Many people have questions about storm shelter installation. The process can vary based on the shelter, but we follow a general process for the variety of shelters we provide.
Garage Floor Shelter Installation
The installation process is different on each type of shelter. Garage floor shelters take the most time. Traditionally, on a garage floor shelter, we go to a depth of 62 inches on the 4×6 and 4×8 models. On the 3×6, we only go to a depth of 56”. The time can vary greatly depending on the concrete hardness and thickness, also as to what type and how much reinforcement they used during the pour. On our most common size in this category (4×6), it usually takes about 5 hours from arrival to departure.
When we arrive, we meet with the customer to go over the paperwork and select the best location for the unit to be placed. Then we use a template to make precise marks and measurements. After we mark out the area for the shelter, we begin cutting the concrete. Our walk behind saw is usually enough to get through the slab but sometimes we have to use a diamond blade chainsaw to cut through deeper portions.
After the cut is made, we can remove the concrete with our mini excavator and begin the excavation of the dirt. Sometime we have to jackhammer rock in order to break it up so that it is more easily removed. We place all of that material into the dump trailer and take it to a pre-determined location to dump. If the homeowner wants to keep the dirt for their use, that is fine as well.
Next, the shelter is lowered into the hole and anchored. After that, the cleanup begins by using the pressure washer to make the garage floor and driveway look as clean as possible. Once that is complete, we show the customer around the inside and outside of the shelter to ensure they have a proper understanding of how it works and operates. We then complete the paperwork and leave to get loaded up for the next day! There are many different variables that could have an impact on the time it takes to install the garage floor shelter.
Installing Above Ground Storm Shelters
Our easiest and most convenient shelter for the customer to access would be the above ground unit. On this type, we arrive with our drop deck trailer and hydraulic dollies. We move it into place, and sometimes some Johnson bars are utilized to mover it the last few inches. The part that takes the most time is the actual anchoring, which can take 45 minutes to one hour with an overall installation time our around an hour and a half. Oftentimes, the customer can leave from work, come watch the install, and be back to work in a short period of time. Usually, we discuss the installation location beforehand, so it is common that customers jus give us the access information to their garage and we complete the installation without them ever having to miss work or any other obligations.
Outdoor Storm Cellar Installation
The in ground outdoor cellars traditionally are very popular. It takes a lot of area for us to access the site location because we have to bring in a big boom truck to set the shelter. Again, rock content comes into play as far as time goes. The average time is around three hours from start to finish.