How Much Do Storm Shelters Cost?

If you’re living in an area that is frequently ravaged by storms or tornadoes, it is important to consider building a storm shelter inside or near your home. Such shelter would be able to protect you and your loved ones during the inclement weather in the event that your house could no longer withstand the battering of winds and rains.

Purchasing a storm shelter and installing it, of course, comes with a price and could be expensive. However, if you think about the protection that such shelters would offer, a few thousand dollars would be worth it. Know how much do storm shelters cost to decide which type would fit your budget and needs.

storm on the making

Average Cost of Tornado Shelters

According to Home Advisor, the reported average cost of tornado shelters is $4,657. The average includes the entire building cost. Most homeowners, according to their report, spent around $2,115 to $7,842 for this kind of project.

The website further details the cost based on the area size of your storm shelter. For instance, an above-ground shelter with a size of 8 ft. by 8 ft. would cost around $6,500 to $10,600, while an in-ground shelter with a size of 8 ft. by 14 ft. averages $2,500 to $18,000. Some building costs would even reach up to $22,000 depending on the features you want to add.

The exact cost of building a storm shelter varies depending on the size, materials, soil conditions, your location, and concrete pouring.

Purchasing a pre-built storm shelter, on the other hand, would cost less. For instance, the purchase and installation of an 8 ft. by 8 ft. above-ground shelter would run from $5,500 to $20,000 while a 5 ft. by 5 ft. by 8 ft. in-ground type would cost a little over $8,000.

Similar to custom-built storm shelters, installing pre-built ones would cost higher depending on your location because of the delivery fees. An in-ground shelter, furthermore, would have higher installation costs due to the necessary ground preparations.

The cost may still get higher if you opt for add-ons such as bed frames with mattresses which could cost $280, emergency exits costing $650, and a handrail that would cost you around $40.

Also, it is also important that you secure a permit before constructing your storm shelter. The said permit would cost you another $50 to $200.

Sample Storm Shelter Prices

If you’re more inclined to purchasing a pre-built storm shelter, there are available prices from different manufacturers online. Each company offers various sizes of shelters you could choose from.

For a sample of costs, here is a list of storm shelters sold by F5 Storm Shelters:

  • 5’ x 5’ x 8’ $6,195
  • 6’ x 6’ x 6’ $6,195
  • 6’ x 6’ x 8’ $7,095
  • 6’ x 6’ x 10’ $8,395
  • 7’ x 6’ x 10’ $8,995
  • 6’ x 6’ x 12’ $9,560
  • 7’ x 7’ x 12’ $11,235
  • 7’ x 8’ x 12’ $11,800
  • 7’ x 7’ x 16’ $13,295
  • 7’ x 8’ x 16’ $15,170
  • 6’ x 6’ x 20’ $13,875
  • 7’ x 7’ x 20’ $17,775
  • 7’ x 8’ x 20’ $19,375
  • 7’ x 7’ x 25’ $21,465
  • 7’ x 8’ x 25’ $23,775
  • 7’ x 7’ x 30’ $27,495
  • 7’ x 8’ x 30’ $29,765
  • 7’ x 10’ x 10’ $16,885
  • 7’ x 10’ x 14’ $21,195
  • 7’ x 10’ x 20’ $28,695
  • 7’ x 10’ x 25’ $37,990
  • 7’ x 10’ x 30’ $42,100
  • 7’ x 10’ x 40’ $58,375
  • 7’ x 12’ x 20’ $34,725
  • 7’ x 12’ x 30’ $48,690
  • 7’ x 12’ x 40’ $66,370

The above costs do not include yet the price for installation which could cost from $2,695 to $12,660. They also charge a delivery fee of $2.65 every mile for shelters up to 6’ x 20’ in size and $3.25 for shelters with sizes up to 7’ x 20’. The said fee would reach up to $5.05 for shelters up to 8’ x 40’ in size.

For another sample of storm shelter prices, here’s a list from the website of Texas Tornado Storm Shelters:

  • Smaller Urban Shelter (4’ x 6’) $3,795
  • Regular Family Storm Shelter (6’ x 8’) $3,995
  • Flat-top Above-ground Shelter (5’ x 7’) $4,295
  • Extended Family Home Shelter (7’ x 10’) $5,895

The above prices already include the installation of the storm shelters.

The company also has a price list for add-ons including:

  • Extended hand rail $100
  • Extension that allows earth to cover the storm shelter $495
  • Utility Access Conduit $100
  • Light and Electric Package $250
  • Open Bench and Carpet $400
  • Rough Cedar Finish-out $2,750

If you’re not into building or installing a shelter, you could also opt for safe rooms. Safe rooms are easier to install than shelters, partly because installing the former usually doesn’t require a permit. For a sample of prices, here’s a list taken from Tornado Alley Armor:

  • Champion Safe Room (30” x 56” x 80”) $3,195
  • Defender Safe Room (30” x 82” x 80”) $3,695
  • Sentry Safe Room (40” x 56” x 80”) $3,895
  • Rampart Safe Room (56” x 56” x 80”) $4,195
  • Allegiant Safe Room (40” x 82” x 80”) $4,395
  • Guardian Safe Room (56” x 82” x 80”) $4,695
  • Protector Safe Room (82” x 82” x 80”) $5,395

Things to Consider in Buying a Storm Shelter

Setting aside the question of how much do storm shelters cost, it is important to also learn what things you need to consider before purchasing and installing one.

One of these considerations involves choosing a storm shelter that best suits your needs and situation. For instance, if you want to install an in-ground shelter, you should see to it first that location of your house would allow digging up the soil. Otherwise, you could opt for an above-ground shelter instead.

You should also consider the size of your family or the number of the residents in your home. Ideally, each person should have a floor space of 10 square feet inside the shelter especially if you will be spending more than a day there.

Also, you should consider your budget in purchasing a storm shelter. Are you willing to spend additional costs for ground preparation or your budget is only enough for an above-ground shelter? Do you plan to add railings, ramps, and exits, or you’re just looking for a standard shelter? How much would you spend if you buy the shelter from a company near you than from a manufacturer outside town? Build a budget plan first based on what you need for a shelter so as to avoid necessary expenses.

Most importantly, remember that investing in a storm shelter is investing in your family’s safety, so make sure that the shelter you would choose to install would be enough to keep your family protected no matter how strong the storm or tornado is.

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