By Pauline Hammerbeck, Allstate
Guest blogger Pauline Hammerbeck is a content editor for The Allstate blog, which helps people prepare for the unpredictability of life.
There are several things homeowners can do to add value to their houses; upgrading a kitchen or adding in a new bath are common projects that come to mind. But a recent study from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes has revealed another unexpected suggestion: building a safe room.
Designed to provide protection in extreme weather events, tornado safe rooms were found to increase the sale price of a home by 3.5 percent (or an average of $4200)—an 84 percent return on a $5000 safe room investment.
Of course, the study was conducted in central Oklahoma, the heart of “Tornado Alley” where safe rooms can be a very practical feature. But it uncovers an unexpected point of consideration for preparedness-minded home owners who might be in the planning stages of a renovation or new build.
Consider, also, that safe rooms aren’t just for tornadoes. They can provide shelter against hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters, and even more sinister events like burglaries or home invasions.
And they don’t have to be high-end affairs. Ordinary closets, bathrooms and laundry rooms are prime candidates for a retrofit; they just need to be converted so that walls, and any windows, can resist high-velocity objects being projected by storm winds or other events.
There are plenty of options, though, if you want to model your own safe room on those you may have seen in Hollywood movies; video monitoring systems, keypad door locks or ventilation systems are all plausible add-ons.
Regardless of which way you go, you’ll need to make sure your safe room is well stocked. In the event of a storm or serious disaster, you could be stuck in a safe room for days, so a store of emergency disaster supplies is a must.
There’s enough to worry about these days without stressing over what you might do if a storm or other disaster hits. But converting a space in your home into a safe room, or planning for one in a new build—and knowing that you’ll likely get top dollar for it when it comes time to sell your home—can give you much needed peace of mind.
Wondering how to create a safe room? Allstate provides their ideas in an infographic:
(Click on the image below to enlarge and view full infographic)