Old storm shelter?
KristenJune 23, 2013
We have this little building out back that seems to be an old storm shelter. It's maybe 10 feet by 10 feet. There is a window on each side, a floor to ceiling shelf inside (along with a stove well over 100 years old!) inside with a surprise hole in the floor leading down to a 10x10 cement room underneath. (Creepy, much?) We have no idea what to do with it, being as where I live there are never storms needing a storm shelter. It creeps me out, so I'd like t transform it into something that changes the "feel" of it, as well as having it just in case Mother Nature decides to surprise us one day and we need it. Thoughts?
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decoenthusiaste
You lucky thing! Oh to have a "natural" root cellar like that in these times!
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Kristen    June 23, 2013 at 11:15AM
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PRO
HERE Design and Architecture
How about removing most of the walls and using it as a pergola?
    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 11:16AM
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Kristen
I like that idea! I wouldnt know where to start!
    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 11:25AM
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PRO
HERE Design and Architecture
This is one of those projects where somebody really has to look at the structure to see what the project might entail. Use the Pro Finder to find someone in your area.
    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 11:30AM
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lmreed
Enlarge the window and add a bar counter on the outside. Add a deck and seating area with a pergola or umbrella for shade. Improve the inside to include a bar fridge, counter, and add more shelves for glasses, serving pieces, etc. You could use the stove as an outside table by adding a top to the base, or keep it inside and see if you can update it for use in your new outdoor "bar". If possible, transform the cellar into a wine cellar, or just leave it alone and use it for that storm shelter idea.
    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 11:31AM
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ponitayl
Make a greenhouse out of the top part! Can you install bigger windows for more light? Keep your pots and gardening items in there and start seeding! I would paint it 1st...sunny yellow for more appeal?
1 Like    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Blue
Yikes! I see from your comment about it being creepy, that you are the suspicious type, like me. First, I would ask neighbors what was built first? If the shed went up before the hole was dug, was the previous owner trying to hide its existence? If no one knew the hole was there, then I'd go into csi mode and bring out black lights, and start digging for bodies. I'm hoping it's just a shelter and not a dungeon!
1 Like    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 12:45PM
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Kristen
We're going to put our security system camera in it tonight! It's got infrared light and all that jazz. Maybe we will find some visitors
;-)
    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 1:33PM
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ponitayl
I agree with the root cellar description, back in the day for natural canning and before ac. If you pickle items, such as sauerkraut, or pickles, they had to store them in darkness and the coolest place to be found, underground. Pickled tomatoes, etc.. You have a find there with this shed! My grandmother in Alabama had one & had the best pickles EVER!
1 Like    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 1:33PM
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Kristen
It's very intriguing! It's strange that there are no shelves or anything. Just a big empty cement room.
Even creepier factor: there are bible scriptures written on the walls. "The Lord will be with you always" and John 3:16...
I choose to believe it was a little girls playhouse. =\
    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 1:35PM
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Blue
Was there any hint from previous owners what they used it for? Those verses would definitely creep me out. Is there any ventilation down there? Is there a drain pipe (if water collected down there, where would it go?)
    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 8:14AM
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Brenda
I'm a gardener so I would definitely turn it into a root cellar.

But I'm also a wine drinker ... how about a wine cellar with upper level "tasting room"?
    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 8:22AM
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Jessica
Sounds more like one of those bomb shelters people built during the cold war. As suggested, they make great root cellars. https://www.lehmans.com/p-3047-root-cellaring-book.aspx or you could do what my neighbor did and convert it into a photography dark room. You find those around Washington DC since it was considered such a likely target for the Soviets.
    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 11:32AM
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PRO
Lori Dennis, ASID, LEED AP
It could also be a home office with file storage below. If you have ventilation and great lighting, it will reduce creepy factor. If you're going to spend anytime in it, I'd consider getting french doors that open out- making the space feel much larger when you're inside.
Lion Windows and Doors can help. http://www.houzz.com/pro/lionwindowsanddoors/lion-windows-and-doors
    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 11:46AM
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