Oklahoma is right in the center of what is known as “tornado alley” and for good reason. During the spring it is common for a cold front to move in from Canada and mix with warm, moist air moving up from the Gulf Coast. These fronts often mix right over Oklahoma, causing severe weather outbreaks and often violent tornadoes.
The best protection against such violent storms is a good storm shelter. Traditionally these have been underground, and many still are installed underground, but a good storm shelter can also be a purpose built safe room inside your home. FEMA recently published specifications regarding safe rooms – FEMA P-320.
The question we often hear is “will a save room/storm shelter increase the value of our home?” The good news is YES!
Our experience shows that most buyers value a home storm shelter. It makes the home more attractive, especially for people from out of state who have heard about our violent weather and want a way to protect their families. You might not get the full value of your investment back when it is time to sell, but often a storm shelter can easily add $1,000 to $2,000 to the price of your home. To be more precise, according to a study by Dr. Kevin Simmons, professor of economics at Austin College in Texas, home values increase by an average of 3.5%. Depending on the price of the home, this increase in value could substantially defray the cost of adding the safe room.
Safe rooms/storm shelters can easily be added to an existing home. A popular option is to install a small 6 person shelter inside your existing garage. These shelters take up no extra space and can be installed in just a day or so for a few thousand dollars. Another popular option when you have room outdoors is to install a storm shelter that is 80% underground, like the one shown below. These can be installed in just a few hours and are quite affordable.