The true cost of adding an emergency shelter to your house

It might not be as fun as a pool, but emergency shelters are still worth considering as a home improvement project.

As the nation continues to reopen after the pandemic, people are starting to think ahead to make sure they’re prepared in case something similar happens in the future. While some people are adding swimming pools to their backyards to make their homes more fun to be in -- and increase value -- it might also be worth looking into having an emergency shelter, which can reportedly add around $2,500 to the value of a home.

Bomb shelters are obviously going to be more expensive, although there are companies that specialize in installing them.

Bomb shelters are obviously going to be more expensive, although there are companies that specialize in installing them. (iStock)

There are actually various kinds of shelters that can be added to a home. For people who want to be prepared for anything, they might consider building an emergency bunker that can withstand bomb blasts. Others, however, may only want a storm shelter, which are much more common.

Bomb shelters are going to be more expensive, although there are companies that specialize in installing them. According to CNET, prices for a shelter start at $19,000 and increase from there. But depending on how elaborate the space is, it can cost millions to install something like this.

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Meanwhile, an underground storm shelter can cost anywhere from $5,500 to up to $20,000, Home Advisor reports. Underground shelters have additional installation costs which can add thousands of dollars to the total. These factors can include soil conditions (some areas are tougher to dig in, increasing the cost), pouring concrete for stability and the rental of digging equipment. Also, depending on local laws, a contractor may need to be hired, further increasing the cost.

Of course, shelters need to be stocked and then maintained. It can cost several hundred dollars to keep an emergency supply of food, medical supplies and other items, which will likely need to be replenished every few years.

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Adding a shelter will definitely impact the value of a property, however. Some states allow shelters to be added to homes without impacting property taxes, the Journal Record reports. Depending on the area, some homeowners can add a shelter of up to 100-square-feet without impacting their bills.

The news outlet also reports that underground storm shelters can add about $2,500 to the value of a house. While that doesn’t entirely offset the cost of installation, it can make a house more attractive to buyers, especially in areas prone to destructive weather.

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However, some buyers may be turned off by a full-on bomb shelter. More elaborate constructions that include plumbing and electricity may scare off buyers who don’t want to deal with the maintenance.