The Perfect Prepper House? (Part-5)

old-door-window

Guest article, by ‘NRP’…

The following article covers aspects of the Doors, Windows and Interior “stuff”

 
Doors and Windows and Sinks, Oh My…

Today I’m going to go over a few of my thoughts on Doors, Windows and interior “stuff”.

Doors

The front door to your home is like the very first meeting of your best friend; The “First Impression”, so to speak, says a lot about the person or family that lives behind the entryway into your own private world.

Some will say you should have a door that will withstand everything from a 115MM mortar round, to a tank trying to pass through, to a point I will agree, I want to know when I “lock” that door it’s secure, and yet when I open it it’s also say “Welcome” to my home. Hard decision, do I want to live in that concrete bunker with a 2’ thick concrete filled steel door? Or do I live “concerned” yet welcoming life into my home? For me, it’s the later.

An example of a decent door could be by “steel-shield-security-doors” or JCI Enterprise. There are hundreds of door manufactures out there that build a GREAT secure door, check them out; you will be well surprised a very secure door can also be a “Welcome Mat”. Oh, and buy a GOOD lock, and USE IT!

Installing a good insulated security door is a very good investment in your house; just remember again, there is nothing built that a determined group of people cannot get through with a little time. A security door is buying you time to react, and to determine your next step. As I said, a good strong door does not have to look like a vault door hiding your bicycle.

 

Windows

Windows are going to be the weakest security aspect of your home, but windows also open your home to the wonderful world outside and bring it inside.

Window Film, buy it use it. Or you can invest in some nice cheap (HAHAHA) bullet proof windows. Yes they will stop a bullet, up to a point.

Personally I have installed a LOT of “bullet proof” glass in courthouses and banks. BUT I will tell you right up front, I cannot afford it.

Additionally the frame and wall that you set it in, may or may not stop that 7.62. Again, you are trying to gain time to escape or prepare, I guarantee that burglar or punk thug will turn away and run as soon as you show up armed and returning fire if needed.

So yes, I will be installing a good quality triple glazed window with a very high R-Value and “film” installed. FYI I like a LOT of windows, I will not give up that wonderful view of the lake and mountains because I’m afraid of some crack-head breaking in. That’s what security systems are made for. This is a prepper house, not a Level 5 Security Prison.

 

Security

Since I mentioned a Security System, get a GOOD one, something that is LOUD!!!! Something with a lot of lights flashing, cameras, and a recording device. Buy extra dummy cameras, put them around. Most burglars and punks hate to be seen, all alone recorded. Make sure it has its own power supply and has those little red led lights on the cameras. Next, get a dog or 10; Man’s best friend can also be a crooks worst nightmare. Dogs don’t have to be mean, just noisy. Can y-all tell I LIKE Dogs?

 

Electrical

I will be installing a good old “normal” everyday house wiring system; nothing special about that. I will be adding a Full-House Grid-Tied Solar System with oversized battery backup. Plus 2 backup generators. The switch gear is interesting to say the least, but it does work. Not cheap BTW.

Being totally off grid is ok, just not my cup of tea for now and I know I will get all kinds of feedback on that, but. Also install a Buy-Back Meter system, it will pay for itself in 3-5 years and a 30% tax incentive (through 2016), is hard to go wrong. I know there are a lot of you out there that don’t want to be tied “to the man” but grid electricity is still rather cheap. If you set up the correct system (solar) up to start with, you can always get the temper flared up and disconnect from the Grid when/if you wanted.

One more thing; install a GOOD lightning prevention system. One thing that scares the crapo out of me is Lightning. The number of lightning fires and deaths is absolutely crazy nuts. And for crying out loud, do NOT play golf in a thunderstorm; sheeple die every year from that.

 

Plumbing/HVAC

There’s nothing worse than a slow running toilet that backs-up, or poor water pressure, Plumbing is probably one of the most overlooked systems in a house. There is a LOT more to plumbing that “Stink goes up, and ‘stuff’ goes down” Correct sizing, properly installed fixtures and shut-off valves, proper support of pipes, and equipment to name just a few.

As far as my house, I like “tank-less” water heaters, a well installed oversized septic system, 2 sources of water (municipal and backup well), a LARGE underground storage tank (1200 gallon min), good and I do mean very good fixtures (sinks, toilets, tubs, shower). I like Propane, and not grid tied Nat-Gas, even if available. And most of all limit the plumber to one penetration through the roof.

OHHH and you know those little supply tubes that run from the valve to the faucet or toilet? Get the braided stainless steel ones and the high $$ valves, my company makes $ millions off insurance claims every year repairing water damage.

I also will be installing oversized HVAC. When I get home in the middle of the summer, and I want it cooled off in the house, I hit the thermostat and get an instant blast of cold air. Yes it cost money to run, but there are times…… Same way with the heaters, when I want heat now, I want heat now. Then build those fires in the wood stoves. Again, buy the good equipment, not the junk that last 3-5 years.

 

Wood Stove

I do NOT like fireplaces, too inefficient and costly, they look nice, but no way Jose. A nice wood stove will give you a lot more heat and will burn less wood in the long run. Personally I like the Soap-Stone wood stoves; I heat my entire current house with 2, and keep it very nice. Firewood, now I know people say a million things about not burning this or that wood, bull hunky, I have had good wood stoves for years and years and have never had a problem with any species of wood. I even burn tons of pallets, aside from the nails being hard on the saw, nada a single problem. I clean out the flu once a year and burn probably 3-5 cords a year.

 

Interior stuff

Well the basic thing I can say about all the things like Sinks, Bathtubs, Counter-Tops, Flooring on and on, is Buy good quality stuff, do NOT skimp on the “cosmetics”, the paint, wall covering, Flooring anything. This house you are building should last you a lifetime, the rest of your life, something to be proud of and a place to “hang your hat”. Personally I will be building one final house soon, a place I will retire to and spend the rest of my days, so guess what? Will I build a secure house YES but not a concrete box, a place to enjoy and to have friends and family, a place to have a living dream. Build your own house as it is YOUR HOUSE!!! Not a tract house in a subdivision with 30,000 neighbors. Take pride in your home.

The interior of a house can have many different “feels” from a rustic wood, to ultra-modern, to a concrete box. What you put in your house again is what will make it your home; I know what my house will have, exactly what I want it to be. Each person will have a million options to choose from. And for the persons that are just beginning to discover what you like, please take your time, do NOT rush into something you “think” will impress someone else, your home “should” not be a “keep up with the Jones’s”.

 
As someone that has built all of my life, I see people “wishing” they could have done this, or would-of should-of could-of done that, do NOT be one of those, Plan and Plan than Plan some more, take the time you need to “do it right”. Money is always a problem, but so is running out of time in your life wasted being a sheeple.

Will the prospect of building be a drain? OMG yes…… Is it worth it, even more than you could you ever dream…… So, what are you waiting for, build your own “Perfect Prepper House” but please remember Prepping is a lifestyle, not a pastime, your home is not simply a box to live in, it’s part of who you are, part of your soul, part of being a Prepper.

 
I told Ken I would do this in 5 articles, Well almost did it, I’m going to do a conclusion next week and share the exact parts and pieces to my next house/home, more of a “list” article. I have tried to cover the technical and emotional aspects of a lot of stuff, and do appreciate others toning in, thank you all.

-NRP

 
Perfect Prepper House Part-1
Perfect Prepper House Part-2
Perfect Prepper House Part-3
Perfect Prepper House Part-4
Perfect Prepper House Part-5

Similar Posts

35 Comments

  1. One thing that I would add for those that are on a sewer system. A back flow preventer valve can be installed by most handy people and are found on Amazon for not much money. If you have PVC plumbing, a hacksaw and some PVC primer and cement is all that is needed. It can save you from having what your neighbors flushed from coming to visit you.

    1. @ To NRP – Much Thanks
      I would agree with a good backflow preventer valve (if on a community sewer system), I would make sure your municipality and the local “codes” allow them. Understandably if you have the skills to install on that’s good, but when it comes to installing a valve in a “grid tied system” I would have a licensed plumber do it, you can surely dig the hole, backfill and all the “manual” work, but…
      Just my thinking if and that’s is a big if, the valve malfunctions and still allows a flood in your home you will have recourse.
      NRP

      1. NRP,Had such a “flood” in a wealthy clients home in LV. They were a little ways down the hill from other huge homes.It made a huge mess. They ended up putting a lift station/back flow valves in.Contrary to rich people’s beliefs their pooh does indeed stink!LOL!
        On a side note,checked on a clients house a while back.They had imported 10′ tall custom wood dual pane glass sliding doors for a huge patio off the house.One of the door’s glass seals failed.Condensation isn’t forming on the inside.The glass has turned a milky white on the inside.Makes me wonder what type of gas they may have used.Doors came from Taiwan.Haven’t seen that before. Have you?

        1. @ Bill Jenkins Horse
          I have had a couple of homes get “flooded” here in this little town of 50K, usually the “main Lines” the city owns plug and backup into the homes, what a friggen mess for sure. So I guess yeah as Bertha put it, “Another fantasy project for rich people” kinda works out for those not so rich also. And at less that $200 rather than over $15K for the repairs, wellllll maybe?

          As far as the glass??? No I have never seen one go “milky” usually they just condensate up. I have seen them blow apart from pressure buildup when shipped with no vent tube. Only thing I can think of is maybe an oily film on the glass when laminated and the condensate and oil mix caused the milky haze???
          NRP

          1. That’s a thought.No warranty on those doors either.Glad I didn’t provide them.The owner bought them when they traveled over there.It’s gonna cost a bundle to fix it.Glad she has the money.The doors are 4’wide x 10′ tall.Monster doors and weigh a lot.Happy to be out of the loop on this one.

            Great article BTW.

          2. @ Bill Jenkins Horse
            Agreed, replacement 4X10 1/4″ double-glazed Tempered, OUCH!!!

            Thanks, going to wrap it up next week, or so. Just a list style article of “stuff”.
            NRP

  2. Thank you NRP for your excellent articles on home construction. I would add that strong solid core wood doors with cross bolt lock(s) at your bedrooms might be worth it if home invasions are a concern.

  3. When re-constructing our home, we had the back door replaced and had it installed to open outwards instead of inward. I remember the contractor covered in stone dust from sizing the opening and making it work and look good at the same time. It was tedious but well worth it. We also tore out the ground level (basement) windows and frames and replaced with glass block windows. The wooden frames near the ground were rotted.

    Could’nt agree more with your choice of wood stoves as we have soapstone wood stoves to heat our house. It is a very efficient setup. I find the best wood is the driest wood. (Make sure it is seasoned) I personally use standing dead hardwood cut and seasoned for an additional year. I manage our woodlot by applying a double girdle cut on the base of trees to be thinned. I will leave them standing for two to five years and then fell them for cutting, spitting and stacking.

    Thanks NRP on the articles and advice.

    1. I understand that some areas the building code will not allow doors to open outward on a home.

  4. Good job, as usual NRP. Thanks for your extra work on this project. I am sure Ken enjoys the respite! This is a great site, always thought and discussion provoking.

    1. @ Pioneer Woman
      Not to sure Ken gets a reprise or not, with the editing needed on my poor writing skills HAHAHAHA
      NRP

  5. Good article NRP. I would also add that a solid door is useless if the hardware such as hinges, latches, and deadbolts are inferior. Also the jambs should be reinforced. Just as an idea of what I mean, I was locked out of the house one day. I went up to the door leading into the basement and with one kick I was in. The door was solid, the jamb split and the door opened. Now if a little old lady can do this, just think of a determined intruder. I have fixed all of these inadequacies as well as added a security bar, which is nothing more than 2 brackets bolted in to the jambs on either side of the door with a 2×4 slid onto the brackets.

    God help me if I get locked out again.

    1. @ Peanut Gallery
      Interesting story and entry strategy.
      Just goes to show us all that what we think of as a secure home, even with the doors locked, how easy it is to “break-in”.
      Also a point to what Timberplot said about “out swinging doors” they are a lot harder to kick in, but easier to pry open outwards with a bar. So YES locks and safety bars are essential to the security of the home.

      FYI, find a place to hide, and I mean really hide (not under the door mat), a key outside of the home, will save a lot on repair bills. :-)
      NRP

    2. Great Article !
      Question @Peanut Gallery and all –
      You mentioned your “new” security bar with two brackets on each side of the door. I almost installed one of those, but seemingly, the bolts would go into the door facing, and be easy to kick in, or did you reinforce it somehow ? Or did you install in the wall somehow ?

      Thank you and Have Fun Prepping !
      : )

      1. @ Happy Prepper. The brackets are about 2 1/2″ outside the sides of the door. So the brackets are screwed into the framing around the door with 3″ screws. Each bracket is held with 3 screws each.

  6. Good topic,
    Also good job NRP.
    Different areas require different applications on doors and widows. Here in Florida, all exterior dots must swing out. Mainly because of wind load.
    Windows have become very high tech. Multiple lawyers of glass and film. Because of wind and impact resistance.
    Also the attachment of widows a exterior doors is very specific. With most of the new homes required to be built to 200 mph codes. All attachments are through the PT furring into the concrete block. And the concrete block around the opening is filled with concrete and rebar.
    I won’t even get into the schedule for slab, footing, exterior wall, and lentil. But some builders are going to TFM, insulated concrete form. Because to get a concrete block home up to the new codes cost about the same.
    The owner of the Huge Pennsmore home, is the owner of the company.
    I’m currently researching the building method. And considering it for my new homestead. Mainly for the efficiency and strength.
    Because of the area I’m considering, in the Florida panhandle.
    In all I’ve read about building a secure, bomb, bulletproof, home or building. The things required by Florida codes, fall in line with the designs discussed.

    1. @ Otarn
      I have been doing a little research on the “Hurricane Windows”. Those things are some tough chunks of glass now. Very impressive.
      NRP

  7. Heat pump and woodstove are a good combination. 50 degree rainy weather is great for heat pumps. 20 degree weather is great for woodstoves.
    If oversizing your heat pump or AC, be sure to get one of the newer variable-capacity units. It can run at full capacity when needed, and run at lower capacity and very high efficiency when full capacity is not required. It will also control humidity better than an oversized unit with only a single capacity.

  8. I’ve always wondered why doors on industrial buildings open out but on residential open in.

    1. My understanding (and I could easily be wrong on this) is that the old residential areas had buildings stacked so close together and with such narrow streets/alleys that having a door open out was a traffic hazard. Also a hazard in apartment complexes. Industrial had more space.

      1. Commercial/industrial doors open out to facilitate emergency egress. In an emergency, a ‘pile up’ in front of an exit door translates into a disaster.

  9. In retrospect, if I was redoing my house again I’d use 4x4s for the window and door frame. Would make for a much stronger way of attaching the windows and doors. Cross bolt for the doors and removable bars for the windows.

  10. My journey in trying comprehend, understand and build the pefect prepper home, (not house) has been a journey through 17 states and 60 plus years of realization that 1st it is the locale that you decide to live in not the home that you try to build to withstand the SHTF event. A comfortable shack in the wilderness which is not in the middle of a massive golden horde exit route is the standard compared to a massive structure that is going to be found, isolated, and eliminated. I spent years coming to that decision point, staying in place,and surviving is only an option if you have maximized the chances that you are remote and isolated. The golden horde will only be able to travel so far, the preppers 150 miles radius for large metro areas as a example I believe is a good start. Look online at a U.S. maps detailing those areas that still have ability to be called isolated areas in the ‘Redoubt States’. I moved 4 years ago to a small mining town in North Central Nevada 80 miles to the nearest city and 155 miles from the nearest metro area. I feel my journey is a correct one versus the earlier times in trying to build a bunker home, which by the way, I had to factor in the realization that I would at some point leave anyway. The sniper’s credo, “locate, isolate, eliminate” puts thing in perspective and if they cannot locate you then you chances of surviving have increased.

    1. @ icecathook
      Excellent point ice, hence in my first article “Location Location Location”, I could not agree more. BUT there are those that cannot relocate as remotely as you or I, so we all must do as well as we can with what we all can do (wondering if that makes sense?).
      NRP

      1. NRP,

        I have been checking out FireIce from geltechsolutions for my cabin area. What is your take on this product?

        Also thorny plants are the plan as well, to put around the cabin. This does not include my sensors the old fashion way to protect the house.

        Thanks!!!

        1. @ Texas
          From what little I know of the product it’s an additive to use with water fire extinguishers. But I’ll do some more research and take a look if it will also work as a “coating” sprayed to the structure. Would be a great addition if it can be a preventive product.
          NRP

      2. NRP Your statement mirrors mine, most of us on this great site, have the ‘realists attitude’ the perfect option (for each of us)is to be able make our decisions free of job, family, and other considerations in our current day to day mode of living, BUT as the storms draw closer, we will reach the final decision block where we are forced to rethink those options and our choices may be limited. So, for myself being retired getting out of ‘Dodge’ was my best last option…….I hope and pray others will be able to make theirs before the storm arrives. GOD bless us all

      3. NRP Your comments always make sense to the max, we are wired in a very similar way……..would have enjoyed knowing you as a personal friend. God Bless us all

  11. @ Anonymous & icecathook
    Thank you both, I do try to be a realist, especially when it comes to “advice” such as this article. There is another saying out there somewhere that goes, “Every mans home is his castle” In my opinion each of us has to choose what his home/castle is, I can only relay what I’m looking for, and giving and receiving ideas.

    Personally I’m doing full retirement in 910 days, 8 hours, 15 minuets and 8 seconds, (not that I’m counting HAHAHA). I fully plan on that “one last home”. With that in mind I’m already looking for land, and planning the house as you can probably tell. I will tell you and everyone that my home is not and will not be a concrete block 300 feet underground, it will be comfortable, and warm, laid out for the land I find, and well built. Probably not cheap, but within reason, I’m guessing from the homes I have build before, around $85-$95 per sqft (without land). I will be laying out a lot of my details (in the form of a list) in my next/last article.

    FYI, I’m not an isolationist, and do enjoy the few friends I have, but I also know most of those “friends” have no clue to how or why to prep, and I don’t involve them (or the people at work) with my prepping. OPSEC. Just remember you can not save the world, we will be lucky to save ourselves and your family at times.

    Thanks Again
    NRP

  12. Best series on the topic I have found. I can’t seem to find the list mentioned of actual materials. Is that still coming? Planning on building my house soon and it would be really handy. Thanks regardless!

  13. @ RS

    I have been lazy for a few+ months. And yes I have been thinking of picking up the series again if some are interested, and Ken won’t object.

    As far as actually materials there are a LOT of different opinions, so when I do get to that I kow whats coming…. HAHAHAH But I would be doing my list as I would build my next place, and it may be coming in a year or so…. Will see.

    Thanks for the comment and compliment

    NRP

Leave a Reply

>>COMMENT POLICY
>>USE OPEN FORUM for Off-Topic conversation

Name* use an alias