Is your house really a castle? Something that you could defend?

These are crazy times and people are getting pretty freaked out about roving bands of looters and rioters. I remember when I was a kid I loved having a fort and thought that one day I would build a house that was indeed a fort. So here are some ways to approach that idea-paranoid though it may be…

If I wanted to have a defensible home, then I would build it with concrete block walls. Florida has loads of these homes, so this is not a new idea. Down there they are popular because they don’t blow down in hurricanes and they are naturally energy efficient

So, what’s the deal with one of these homes. Concrete blocks are eight inches thick compared to 4-inch thick wood-framed walls so in fact, they are really good forts. If you want it to be incredibly tough then they can have steel rebar run through the hollow cores of the block and then fill the cores with concrete- That bad boy is not going anywhere and your an AK 47 round is not going to pop through your exterior wall. If you are looking for security in this day and age of rioting and civil disruption then remember that a typical house with wood or vinyl siding will not stop a bullet or for that matter will not stop a piece of hurricane-driven 2x4 from penetrating the walls! Even a modern brick home is fairly delicate since the brick is simply a cosmetic veneer that is not structural in any way.

Here comes the Molotov Cocktail- no worries, concrete block does not burn and if you put a metal roof on the house then that won’t burn either. In fact, regular composition shingles are fairly fire resistant and have a two-hour burn rating, but there is some other fire-resistant of coverings besides metal such as the really expensive really cool roofs like Terra Cotta clay or concrete roof tiles or slate. They just will not burn.

Yeah, but what about the windows? A short google search for bulletproof residential windows turned up all kinds of solutions. One company offers ballistic glass which is a laminate of glass and acrylic. Others use glass-clad Polycarbonate which is available in thicknesses that will stop anything from a 9 mm round (fairly weak), all the way to stopping military grade 7.62 rounds fired from automatic or semi-automatic assault rifles…The key element is how thick you want your window to be. The thicker the better, but the thicker than the more expensive…

And of course, you must come in at the door…there are many bulletproof or bullet-resistant doors available. Many of these are simply heavy steel doors and then there are all sorts of hybrids with honeycomb interior cores- even Kevlar is used. In fact, Kevlar is claimed to be as much an 8 times more bullet resistant than steel.

Finally, remember that nothing is stronger than its weakest link which is often the lock. Fortunately, there are locking solutions available including one that has ten sliding bolts similar to those used on the giant bank vault door. Neither a breaching shotgun shell or a large prybar will defeat these.

All it takes to make a really good fortified house is plenty of money. There are many security consultants out there to help you build your actual home castle. As for me and my house, the Lord is “my fortress,
My high tower and my deliverer and the one in whom I take refuge”

Ned Dominick has been inspecting homes in Warner Robins, Macon, and all of Middle Georgia since 1978. He and his qualified inspectors have examined over 28,000 local homes. For more go to his website at www.housetalk.net or call him up at 478-738-0893.

 

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