How to Build a Gun Safe in a Closet | All Actionable Tips in One Guide

Key Takeaways:

  • Building a gun safe in a closet is quite convenient because it is out of sight but still easily accessible.
  • When turning your closet into a gun safe, you need to consider the firearm's purpose and the number of guns you own.
  • There are steps to building a Gun safe in a closet such as strengthening the structure and installing an alarm system.
  • Installing a secret door is a great way to ensure your guns are safe and you're able to install locks that are inaccessible to thieves.

Building a gun safe can seem like an intimidating endeavor on its surface. However, by taking some simple steps, you'll find that designing a secure and effective gun storage solution doesn't have to be difficult. This gun safe guide will teach you how to build it in a closet.  

A safe in a closet

Reasons to Create A Secure Gun Closet

A closet is among the most convenient places to store your gun. It's out of sight yet easily accessible. Just ensure that gun safe isn't close to water bodies, laundry rooms, or steamy showers which could lead to moisture buildup in a gun safe - some common signs of too much humidity in a gun safe include rust and corrosion on the metal surface of the gun.

The only setback is that it's not secure. An assailant can easily lay their hands on your weapon and use it against you. Thus, building a robust and secure gun safe in the closet is always a good idea.  

There are many motivations to do this.

First, you'll be sure that your firearms are in a secure place. You'll also conveniently access them whenever the need arises, and you won't have to worry about your friends' and family members' safety when they're around.

Also, a gun closet increases home security, making it safe for every occupant. A criminal won't be motivated to break into the house if they're sure they can't find firearms. Also, an intruder will have difficulty stealing guns from a closet safe than from an open drawer or shelf.

Finally, a gun safe in the closet is more cost-effective and efficient than acquiring and installing one at the store.

You'll enjoy all these benefits if you heed the crucial considerations and follow the correct procedure for building a gun safe efficiently.

Important Considerations When Turning Your Closet into A Gun Safe

Pay attention to the following consideration factors as you plan to build a secure gun safe in your closet:

  • The firearm's purpose 

  • Reason for storing firearms

  • Storage needs 

  • Door quality

  • Structural reinforcement 

  • Fire protection

  • The number of guns you own

Pistols with ammo


The Firearm's Purpose 

Gun holders seldom use hunting or recreation guns often, so for such firearms, accessibility shouldn't be a key priority. But if it's a firearm for security or emergencies, then your safe should have a more accessible design.

Reason for Storing the Firearm

You'll need safer and more sophisticated measures when building a gun closet to keep away the bad guys than when doing it to prevent access by children.

Storage Needs 

You can keep your gun in a cabinet or rack, so decide based on your preference. Moreover, consider your firearm's size when modifying your closet. A handgun is shorter than a shotgun or rifle, requiring less storage space. So assess your needs to ascertain whether you need a small or large closet space.

Door Quality

The closet door is light, and someone can effortlessly destroy it, so go for a high-quality secret door for your gun safe. For a more secure door, consider deadbolt or keypad locks.

Structural Reinforcement 

A heavy door doesn't necessarily ensure gun safe safety because a burglar can easily break into the safe if the adjoining walls are breachable. Therefore, consider reinforcing the inner closet walls by securing the rebar and adding heavier solid wood layers between studs.

Fire Protection

Fire is a significant risk worth considering. Therefore, using fire-resistant flooring and panels, you should upgrade the gun safe to the fireproof level of modern gun vaults.

The Number of Guns You Own

The number of firearms will determine the layout, size, and weight of your gun safe.

Man putting a gun in a safe


Steps to Building a Gun Safe in A Closet

Here are the steps to follow when turning your closet into a gun safe:

  • Select the right closet 

  • Update your closet's interior 

  • Install a secret closet door 

  • Strengthen the structure

  • Install an alarm system and motion detector

Select The Right Closet 

Closet selection is the first, most crucial step when building a gun safe. Remember that you can only customize some gun closets. Hence, you must heed the consideration factors before choosing a suitable cabinet.

Three guns in a safe


Update Your Closet's Interior 

After finding the right storage space for your firearm safe, you'll start planning how you'd love to store the weapons and gun accessories. Start with organizing the closet's interior by figuring out the types of firearms you own. Once you've figured out the kinds of guns you own, you'll find a way how to organize the gun safe.

Next, you'll eliminate unwanted features like shelves or the closet rod to create more storage space. You can leave a rod or two for hanging your clothes.

You should install free-standing or well-mounted ranks to arrange the weapons before thickening the walls to prevent forced entry.  

Install A Secret Door 

When all your guns are in one place, thieves will easily do what they brought them. So you need a robust and secret door to hide your collection, or you risk losing it all. The best options are steel and wood. Most people prefer the latter because it makes installing efficient locks and deadbolts easier.

Be sure to record the accurate dimensions to purchase a helpful door. Mirrors create reliable secret doors for a gun closet. Since mirrors are natural in the bedroom wardrobe, an intruder may not identify the entrance.  

A big black safe

Strengthen The Structure

Even with a heavy mirror door, an intruder can easily break into a typical gun closet by tampering with the adjoining wall. So stay ahead of them by reinforcing the interior walls of the cabinet. The reinforcements, however, often involve a lot of work on the homeowner's part.

One way to strengthen the entire structure is to block alternate access by securing thicker wood layers or rebar between the safe room's perimeter walls. You might have to tear out your drywall, but it'll be worth it as it could block an intruder's attempt to bash the wall with a crowbar or pick. Moreover, a thief will be less interested in stealing hard-to-access objects.

Add Lock Mechanisms 

Your primary objective is to ensure your guns are as secure as possible. When you add a gun safe lock mechanism, you'll contribute immensely to this goal. You can choose between a manual or digital lock depending on your budget and preference.

For a digital lock, you may choose a product with a screen or one that doesn't have one. Either option is efficient in ensuring your gun collection's safety.

A closet full of ammo

Install an Alarm System and Motion Detector

It's an excellent idea to get a notification whenever there's a breach in your closet safe. Thus, consider installing an alarm system and motion detector inside the gun closet to deal with this problem. 

If there's any attempt to access the closet gun, the alarm and motion detector will detect everything and notify you instantly. The safe's alarm system should ring in your ear whenever someone opens the closet without authorization.

FAQs

Can You Turn a Closet into A Gun Safe?

Yes, you can turn a closet into a gun safe. You just need to pick the suitable cabinet, reorganize it to accommodate your firearms, and secure it appropriately with the right locks and a mirror door.

Is It Better to Store Guns Vertically or Horizontally?

The best way to store a gun is with the muzzle pointing down or horizontally. Gravity can pull the oil into the action when you keep it upright to form a sticky film. It can also flow into the stock and soften the wood.

Is It OK to Put a Gun Safe in The Basement?

The basement is a suitable location for your gun safe as it allows you to secure the safe to the slab floor. But you must ensure this section isn't too humid. Also, if the firearm is for emergencies, you want to ensure that you can easily access it.

What Does It Take to Make a Gun Safe Out of a Closet?

Fortunately, turning your closet into a firearm safe isn't as complicated. You only need a deadbolt, a secured door, and a digital lock. You can add as many security features as you want. The process entails picking a suitable closet, reorganizing it to accommodate your firearms, and securing it appropriately.

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