Secret Compartments, Hidden Spaces, and Panic Rooms, Oh My!

Thinking of adding something to your home in your next remodel to add some pizzazz? Why not go for the exotic and add a hidden room? Now, you can hardly say that you haven’t once thought it would be cool to have a secret room like Bruce Wayne, or a hidden passageway like a haunted mansion. Many people have, and now, with modern technology, that kind of mystery can be added to your home for less hassle than you think.

Recent innovations in construction have unearthed new ways to make an ordinary home into the extraordinary, and one of those ways is by adding secret rooms to the floor plan. Depending on the footprint of the home, how deep you can dig, and how much you are willing to add on will determine the kind of hidden room you can have. But even with the slightest amount of space, these engineers of secret rooms can do a lot, so the question is, what do you want them to do?

There are several kinds of hidden rooms, secret passageways, and so on that you can choose from during your remodel. The first is the standard secret compartment. These are safes and storage compartments that you could not enter yourself, but you could use to store and hide your valuables. The second kind is the hidden room. These are the kind most popularized by spy films, haunted houses, and Batman. These are where you literally have a room that other people do not know about, and the entrance to which is hidden from plain sight. Lastly, there’s panic rooms. Panic rooms are also seen a lot in spy films, but also in many thrillers. The panic room is a room you can go to if your home is being attacked.

The Secret Compartment

There are plenty of things you might want to hide; jewelry, cash, firearms, and the list goes on and on. So what is to be done? Are you supposed to bury them so that no one will ever find them again—including yourself if you forget? Nope! What you need to do is to invest in a secret compartment. Now, there are many different secret compartments that you can choose from. There are some that are built for specific items like firearms, and others that are more generalized. So, the best idea is to first decide what you want to hide and then go from there.

If you are trying to go for a more general secret compartment, you can either build one into the home during the remodel, or you can buy a piece of furniture that has a secret compartment already installed. For someone wanting to hide their things inside the actual structure of your home, one of the most conventional options is to buy a fake air vent cover. These things are large metal boxes that take up space beyond the wall and look just like a normal vent cover. These will be overlooked by burglars as they look so plain. Similarly, there are fake outlet covers. They look like (and sometimes are) functional wall outlets, but, when unscrewed open up to a small compartment that is perfect for money and jewelry.

Bigger pieces of furniture are easy to ad as part of your remodel and no one will suspect they are anything special. The most common furniture compartment combo is the coffee table. These amazing devices allow you to lift the lid of the coffee table, or lower the bottom of a drawer to reveal extra space. These can be great if you are looking to hide a firearm, cash, jewelry, or anything else you might want hide.

Hidden Rooms

Hidden rooms come in all shapes and sizes and they can be used for an assortment of reasons. There are people that have hidden rooms with pool and foosball tables and there are also hidden rooms with libraries inside— it all depends on what you want to do with it. So, if you want to add a secrete room to your home, it’s best to know what you want to do with it first.

After you have decided what you want out of your hidden room, you have to figure out how you are going to conceal it. There are a number of specialty companies out there that make hidden doors. They can make them out of mirrors, dressers, bookshelves, and can even make your staircase open like a hatch. Now, which one you will use is dependent on your homes design and your remodeling budget, but no matter which you choose, you can know you are going to get the best service possible. Each passageway is specifically designed for the home, seamlessly becoming part of the decor. This customization will also add to the security. If the doors were generic and mass produced, anyone who has done any research into hidden rooms would peg it as a hidden room from a mile away. But, when customized, it is unique -- unidentifiable.

Panic Rooms

Panic rooms are a whole different beast all together. These are designed to be a place where you can go if your home is being invaded. They come in all shapes and sizes with a variety of different functions.

The most basic panic room is simply a hidden room, one that you can easily get to and hide yourself in if there are unfriendlies in your home. They are supposed to be a place where you can stay until it is safe to come out. However, there are more and more panic rooms that are cropping up that are more like bomb shelters.

The modern panic room is part hidden room, half fallout shelter. Most of them are literally a safe that you can deadbolt seal from the inside. Some people fill theirs with supplies to las themselves a long time, while others are just meant for a few hours.

If you are building a panic room into your home, it is important to remember a few key things. 1) Make sure that there is proper air circulation. If there isn’t enough air in the room for you, then it will be just as deadly as being outside the panic room. 2) Provide yourself a way to call for help. The best idea is to buy a prepaid phone and leave it fully charged and off in your panic room (if possible put an outlet in the panic room in case the battery doesn’t last). This phone will allow you to call the police from the safety of your panic room. 3) Connect your security systems to the panic room so you can see everything that is going on outside. If you go by sound alone, you could be fooled in thinking your attackers are gone, when in fact they are just being quiet.

As you continue on your endeavor to remodel your home, be sure to never do any instillation of hidden doors or panic rooms yourself. Contact a local contractor and have them do the work as it can be difficult and dangerous to do alone.

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