How to turn your home into a Fortified Bunker

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Fortified Home Bunker

A while back we briefly touched on home fortification, in this guide we are going to show you how to turn your home into a bad ass fortified bunker.  We will show you how to make your home bullet resistant, and airtight, while making it damn near impossible to breach without a direct hit from a 40mm grenade, or twenty lumberjacks working at it for a few hours. Why should you consider turning your home into a fortified bunker?  If you live in a population of less than twenty thousand citizens, in a rural area, and have no plans on bugging out to another location it’d be best to fortify your home protecting you from attack.

The trick is having a way to institute the protective measures in a relatively short amount of time and you don’t want to have these fortifications up before SHTF, lest ye look like that ‘crazy doomsday guy’ painting a big red target on you.  Keeping this in mind we will also go over some concealment techniques that will allow you fortify your home while not giving up that the home has been fortified.  By no means will this project be cheap, but can you really put a price on your family’s safety? Me neither. The expected cost of this project will be between five hundred to seven hundred and fifty dollars.  You may be able to do it cheaper by re-purposing certain items people commonly throw away.  Be thrifty.    

Fortify Windows

Window Fortification Plans

Now, I’m not big on misrepresentation or lying so in the spirit of full disclosure I extrapolated this idea from the popular television show Doomsday Preppers, and made a few tweaks as I saw fit.  In the graphic above I have drawn up schematics to better describe the steps needed to construct this fortification.  To construct this project you will need;

  • 2in thick wood (enough for all your windows)
  • A drill and saw
  • 1/8in steel sheets for outer layer
  • 1/16in steel sheets for inner layer
  • Carriage bolts with nuts
  • Rhino Liner i.e. rubberized coating

For this project you will need to measure the height and width of each one of your windows (do not assume all your windows are the same size).  With these measurements in hand you will need to cut your steel sheets, and wood three to four inches larger than the opening of each window.  Once cut you can assemble these two protective layers, the inner layer (inside home) will consist of a wood layer, 1/16in steel outer layer, and a 1/4in thick layer of rhino liner.  The outer layer (outside home) will consist of a wood layer, and a layer of 1/8in steel.  You with then drill four holes that line up to the absolute corners of your windows frame on both the inner and outer layer, you will then feed the carriage bolts through these holes with the nuts on the inside of the home to prevent slipping out of place.  

As stated in the graphic each unit will weigh between 15-20lbs, which really isn’t that much. The reason for this layering is fairly simple, the outer layer will prevent small arms fire.  Should the unit be struck by rifle fire it’ll get past the first layer only to fragment before penetrating the inner layer.  Fairly simple setup, and if you don’t believe me, take a unit out to the range and watch what happens.

Fortify Doors

Fortify Doors

Fortifying doors is much more simpler than window fortification.  For one, you can simply buy a steel door, and call it a day but for those frugal folks that need to have a cheaper method of fortifying their homes we have drawn up a simple setup for your to follow.  If you haven’t figured it out by now to achieve bullet stopping power you need to layer various materials together.  Unfortunately, out of the factory most doors are simply made of wood, and other ‘soft’ components.  And don’t get me started on the locking mechanisms with puny two inch screws.  To fortify your doors you will need;

  • (8) 4in lag screws for each door
  • (1) 1/8in steel sheet
  • (2) Carriage bolts
  • Drill and saw

Unlike the windows this will require a little fabrication before the SHTF to be used successfully.  You will need to cut your 1/8in sheet of steel to the outer width of your king studs, and the height of your header.  Mark your four holes on each side depicted in the graphic above and drill holes through the steel and studs so that they will line up when you’re ready to fasten the sheet to the king studs.  Additionally you will want to drill two holes (or possibly use existing peep holes) through your door to insert your carriage bolts. Note: You can hang two long pictures over these holes to disguise them until they need to be used.

Fortify Breach Points

Unfortunately there are no schematics for breach point fortifications because they can range through all different shapes and sizes.  You can use the same theories described above.  The main point for listing this if that you identify any points in your home that could be breached by some roaming nincompoops i.e. air conditioning ducts, cellar doors, etc. is that you fortify them by any means to prevent entry. 

Concealing Your Fortification

If you look at the image depicting window fortifications you’ll notice one of the elements defined as ‘graphic image’.  To conceal your window fortifications you can take pictures of each one of your windows from the outside with a high resolution camera and have a graphic designer crop them to the edge, and print them so they can be mounted to each individual window.  From a distance it’ll make your home look empty. 

Other ways of concealing your home is making it look like shit.  Sucks to say but you need to make your home look so ran down that no one will think there’s anything of value in there anymore.  A couple cans of black spray paint will go pretty far.  Some might not be so savvy on destroying the outside of their homes, so you can also use trash, old wood, and etc to make your home look like a 80’s trailer park without damaging your home too much.  Moral of the story is to make your home look abandoned and worthless, while not causing too much attention.

Secure Exit Points

If things go south you don’t want to get stuck in a death trap so you need to establish a secure exit point.  If you have a two story you can leave your windows open to fire on hostile forces, while making your escape through the back.  Or you can use some of the breach points as exit points since they won’t be a primary focus for entry. Either way you need to have a bead on your exit point, having eyes on your exit before you jam out so you don’t run directly into enemy fire.

Practice Bug In Drills

Like all things in the prepper community, you need to train your family on the steps to take when bugging in.  You don’t want mass confusion when the shit hits the fan and no one in your family has no idea how to put these fortifications in place.  Be prepared for doomsday, and train your family on the steps they need to take, and their roles for bugging in, or else you would’ve spent all that time and money for nothing when you get breached before you can put them up.

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About Administrator Ryan

Administrator Ryan has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Emergency Administration and Management from the University of Kentucky, and has been the primary handler for usCrow.org since it's founding. Professional background includes over a decade's experience in survival and preparedness, graphic design, computer programming, website coding, and asset management. Personal background in mountaineering, climbing, rappelling, combat training, and big game hunting.

26 thoughts on “How to turn your home into a Fortified Bunker

  1. Before boarding windows, take an oil soaked rag, lit on smolder. Stain the exterior wall above the windows. It will look like a burned out home, already boarded up. Place burned furniture with other junk out front. Go Camo

    • Good idea…because there is no way to effectively “Fortify your home”except lining your home with steel or sandbags to stop a combat rifle round.

  2. Anybody that questions the usage of rhino liner in the sandwich needs to read up on their British Royal Naval history ….

    The Brits found that lining the deck and upper structure of their smaller watercraft, with a product similar to rhino liner, gave protection from heavy armor piercing machine gun rounds …. they would also add stone grit making it a tar & chip mix (asphalt) ….

        • Remember, it’s not always the bullet coming thru the wall that gets you but the fragmentation of what the bullet pushes thru the wall. I would want a considerable amount of foam, cork ect to stop what the bullet pushes thru the wall.

          Doing some studies here, my .40 FMJ went thru a 12″ x 12″ ceramic floor tile, 1/4″ Lexan , and blew out the 12″ x12″ ceramic floor tile behind all that. The shreds of material went thru 1 layer of cardboard box ( acting as skin ) and popped the balloon behind all of that.
          That said, stand behind the fat guy, most likely he is wearing body armor.
          RangerRick

  3. Your website is by far the best of the best out there. Problem, I’m 68 yrs old and live alone. Am wanting desperately to take your advice as family is not on board. Could you suggest any article (s) that might be directed for us senior citizens ?

      • njmarginean, contact me and I will try to help you. Send specific questions and I will answer them as well as send you more info. I am 65 and getting it done, so can you.
        Best Regards,
        RangerRick
        RangerRickOne@Hotmail.Com
        North Idaho

        • Ranger Rick, thank you for your offer. You are the first one of prepper sites in two years that has answered me. I will get back with you on my elementary questions.

          • My friend, this is one of the best sites here. Any way I might be of service.
            I have 50 years dealing with what ifs and how to get it done.
            Be Prepared – Be Prayerful – Be Thankful – You are an American
            RangerRick

    • I totally agree, out of all the sites US Crow writes the articles no other sites know how to or are willing to write. I’m sure if you have a specific question one of the site admins or commenters will be down to help you.

      • Thank you for your kind reply. I will write down specifics & ask. Here’s one. There are so many that are selling emergency food. 5-25 years shelf life. But I understand that some could make one very sick. Could you suggest a quality or two of these foods ? Thank you

        • Commercial food storage is just a band aid. You can put back for 3, 5, 10 years but then when it is gone , its gone. Plant an orchard, fruits and nut trees.
          The foods I have used over the past 30 years and would do so again without reservations. LDS Church when it was still legal. Their milk is good to cook with, but I did not like it as a stand alone drink. You can still buy from them, Cheaper.
          I have used Mountain House, Nitro Pak, Ready Reserve, Provident Pantry, and Augason Farm, love their milk. Anyone of these would be great.
          Join a group, Heirloom seeds are very important to have, those seeds are you future food. ISSUE; If someone else in the area has non-heirloom seed ,they can cross pollinate and you are screwed. Much like the terminator seed from Monsanto, it produces food then kills itself. It can cross over into your heirloom and do the same. I have been told you need at least 2 miles radius to keep this from happening.
          There is nothing like home grown food. You may go on line to the LDS Church web site and download their free Survival Manual. It covers everything and is good to have on hand.
          If you are close to North Idaho, I teach Survival and Emergency Preparedness for free since leaving the military and moving up here in 2010. I have a basic 52 week course I teach.
          I trust this is a start. blessing’s to you and yours, RangerRick

          • Ranger Rick, thank you for your advice. You have given me enough to start searching. I’m in the Foothills of the Sierras. Northern Calif. I’m really screwed because I live in Senior Apts. big mistake I shouldn’t have sold my motor home. I will check out the references you gave me. Certainly I learned a lot from your reply. If you think of anything else please don’t hesitate. Good to know about heirloom seeds. Sure wish I lived near you & your classes . Thank you kindly.

          • If you like, email me direct. I will add you my email list for the nationwide info program I have. As I find something good, I send to all; Bcc.
            I also will send you some good links on food, water and medicine.
            Anyway I may be of service.
            Best Regards, RR
            RangerRickOne@Hotmail.Com

            Sorry, can’t make it clicky. RR

          • Thank you rangerRick for the ldc suggestion, I’ve just started going through it and wow, this will take time to go through. But just add anything worth while it will be time well spent.

          • Do you have a link for the LDS survival manual or is it the AVOW one?

        • I would recommend storing the old way by using canning and rotating food accordingly and also using 5 gallon bucket and Mylar bag techniques for dry staples with O2 absorbers. As far as the freeze dried 20 year life stuff, it has it’s setbacks and you need to find a good company that is non GMO. I don’t use the stuff for prepping.

          • Thank you for the tips, however thinking back to hardtac, Pemmican balls that kept our forefathers alive. Doesn’t sound healthy.
            My question, is there anyone out there that knows of a company that sells MRE’S that doesn’t take all this water to prepare ? Looking @ survival foods that require so much water I’m thinking this has not been thought out clearly. They are assuming that there will be water & water to spare. Any recipes or suggestions would be appreciated .

  4. Perhaps use the black spray paint and choose a “graphic image” to seem like the building has partially burned.
    Beyond the scope of the article, but don’t forget that if they can’t shoot through windows they may try the walls so some protective measures may be needed there (at least enough to crawl).
    Found at forum I visit that may be useful, a commenter was going to remodel his bathroom so he did a test:
    “It only takes one ceramic [floor tile] to stop my 40SW duty ammo from 15 yards. I tested the floor tiles by placing one in front of the other with a layer of craft foam between them as padding to stop the rear from breaking. Im gonna guess cork or even several layers of newspaper would work. They were “duct taped” together and then taped to a phone book for testing. The front tile cracked but was still “use-able”. There was no damage to the back tile or phone book.”
    The range stopped him before he could test against a rifle.

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