How Much Does it Cost to Build a Storm Shelter?

Build a Storm Shelter Costs
Average reported costs
based on 12 cost profiles
Most homeowners
spent between
$4,200 - $7,890
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If you live in an area with frequent hurricanes or tornadoes, building a storm shelter can bring an added sense of security. Investing in one is a big decision as it is not something used frequently. In the event of a natural disaster though, it is worth the investment.

Size of your storm shelter

The size of your storm shelter will be the largest single factor in determining cost. The larger the shelter will be, the larger both the material and installation costs. How do you decide on the size of a storm shelter? FEMA recommends six square feet of floor space per person for a tornado shelter and ten square feet for a hurricane shelter.


The optimal location for a storm shelter is close to the house but not so close that debris falls on it, trapping you inside. See how tall your house wall is and position the storm shelter as far away in distance from its height in length. Think about also building a sloped door so that if debris should hit the door, it will slide down off rather than laying flat.

Condition of the ground

Underground storm shelters require excavation to get the shelter installed in the ground. If you have property that is easy to dig through the installation will go quicker. If you have rocky soil or concrete to jackhammer through, the installation will be more time-consuming and expensive.


It is recommended that concrete be poured around and in ground storm shelter to keep it from floating out should the surrounding soil becomes saturated with moisture. Although this rarely happens it is still the recommendation. If you want to cut costs you could skip the pouring of the concrete.

Building permits

If your city requires permits, having a constructor acquire it for you might add to the overall costs.


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