Do you live in an area prone to tornadoes or hurricanes? Maybe you've been considering building a storm shelter, also known as a tornado room. It's relatively easy to design a room to do double-duty as a storm shelter/storage room in a new home. But it's not easy, and might not even be possible, to retrofit a storm shelter inside an existing home. An unfinished basement is a possible location, but even that wouldn't be simple.

 

But just about everyone has a yard and could use a garden shed, right? A stand-alone version of this storm shelter design is relatively easy to build for a moderately skilled DIYer. But this plan doesn't include a roof, obviously a necessity for a yard shed. Instead of incorporating a roof into the design, you can build it exactly as shown here and add the roof of your choice, resting it on the top. It's still important to anchor the roof to the building, but that's easy to accomplish by adding hurricane clips connecting each piece of roof framing to the outer walls.

 

There are a few more advantages to a storm shelter in the yard. It's a virtually impregnable vault for storing valuables—guns, documents, money, anything of value. And everything you store will be safe from a house fire as well. Since the storm shelter is completely lined with 14-gauge steel, it's nearly fireproof.

 

— Travis Larson, Senior Editor

To find out exactly how this storm shelter is built, go to:

How to Build a Storm Shelter