Tips for Building a Hidden Room in your House
There are many reasons as to why a family may wish to have a secret room in their home. Maybe it is needed to store valuables in case of a break-in, maybe it is wanted as a gun safe, or even as a safe room for emergencies. The possibilities are endless.
If you have made the decision that a secret room is something that you are seriously considering as an addition to your home, you have two choices but you need to understand that it won’t be cheap.
- You could opt for the DIY option and do the work yourself, or
- You could hire a specialist company to do the work for you
Finding and Preparing the Space
Unless you just happen to be designing and building your home from scratch, you are going to need to repurpose an already existing space.
If you are wanting the secret room to be used as a safe of some sort then you may just opt to modify a walk-in closet which would work perfectly.
Another option, especially if you want to create a safe room for use during an emergency, you could opt to seal off the original doorway of an unused room and creating a new passageway through the wall of an adjoining room.
A trapdoor in the ceiling or floor can lead to a secret room in the attic or basement directly above or below the bedroom.
Once you know exactly which space you will be using, you will need to prepare the area. If you opted to convert a walk-in closet, you could probably save yourself some money by doing a fair bit, if not all, of the work yourself.
For anything bigger, which involves putting holes through walls, ceilings or floors, it will be safer to consult a licensed contractor or structural engineer. Failing to do this could have dire consequences if the work is not done correctly.
Unless you are a licensed electrician, you should also contact an electrician to do any wiring or other electrical work.
Secret Room Entry
In order for the secret room to go unnoticed by others, you need to decide how you are going to disguise the doorway. A quick Google search can pull up plenty of great ideas from a fake bookcase, to a sliding dresser, to even a revolving fireplace.
The method that you choose should fit in with the rest of the rooms furnishings so as not to attract unwanted attention. As an example, if you are creating a secret attic room and the trapdoor is going to be in the ceiling then you should install ceiling tiles to blend it in.
If you have the tools and skills, you may opt for building your own hinged bookcase door to hide the entry into the secret room or adapt the back of a wardrobe.
If you don’t want to be doing the work yourself and would rather pay a professional to do the job for you, there are many specialist companies offering this kind of work. The more high tech that you want the entryway, the more likely it will be that you will need to hire someone.
Many of these specialist companies such as Creative Home Engineering work with you to get your ideas out into a real thing. They aren’t cheap but it’s well worth the expense.
Secret Room Locks
You may just opt for the simple solution of blending the door in and forgetting about the lock but if the secret room is going to be used as a safe room, I highly recommend that you have one installed and this is where you can get creative.
Travis Humble of Creative Home Engineering can do just about anything. He has created secret rooms that can only be opened by pressing the cap of a fake Lysol can which then sends an unlock signal to the door.
They have also installed “knock-knock” locks that will only open if you knock in a very specific pattern. One client with an expensive wine collection had an unlock code that could only be triggered by turning three custom-made wine bottle switches in a certain combination.
Although this company is based over in the States, they work with customers worldwide and I was fascinated looking through their brochure.
Links to Ideas
The following links will take you to various sites and show you the different possibilities with secret rooms. Check them out and be inspired.
- Dwell – secret media room
- Creative Home Engineering – gallery of work
- Gizmodo – wardrobe to Narnia
- Pinterest – plenty of awesome ideas