Do you remember the 2002 movie, “Panic Room” with Jodie Foster? A woman and her daughter live in an apartment with a secret room where they eventually need to hide from criminals who have broken in. Her panic room is primarily built as an emergency room, but also holds food, water and supplies for weeks. Whether you want to hide yourself, some valuable items or just some extra food, building a hidden room into a house (even a tiny one) can be beneficial.


Many hidden rooms hold personal items that need to be kept out of view: firearms, family valuables, extra or emergency food, coupon stockpiles or even Christmas presents. The rooms can be large enough to hold several people or they can just act as a small pantry. They are also a good place to hide away unsightly items like water heaters, pipes, storage shelving, sports and ski equipment or camping gear. Many times a hidden room is accessed by a secret door: a mirror, a panel with hinges, a bookshelf or a sliding door are various ways to secretly access a hidden room.

Out of the various Cozy Home plans, there are several plans where a hidden room can be integrated. In the 320 foot Granite Mountain, the walk-in closet can be divided to hold a hidden room in the back. The Regal Mountain’s bathroom can be reduced to include a hidden room in the back and the closet on the second story of the High Point can easily be converted into a cozy “safe room.” We would be happy to modify any existing stock plan or concept for you. Contact us anytime with questions or comments.

I built a “Safe-Room” once in Oklahoma; coming from Iowa myself, we always called them “Tornado Shelters”. This was a large room meant to be a Study while not acting as a shelter. Not exactly sure of the overall finished weight of this completed room. 50,000 lbs. would not be too far off . The steel door actually had a sticker that said… I kid you not… Large missile impact resistant.  This was my first one and I probably would do a few thinks different on the next one, but it did turn out well. Building a Tornado Shelter

Tornado Shelter walls Finished Tornado Shelter or Safe Room

Almost Finished Tornado Shelter










Planning and budgeting for this type of room in advance is a really good idea. Currently on the market are several choices from steel, fiberglass to precast cement with above and below ground options. Tiny house dwellers could easily utilize a small precast unit below ground costing $3-4,000 in most areas installed. It’s certainly something to think about if you’re going to live in a tornado prone area.


Photo by Mike Can Do It