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F5 Storm Shelters
Frequently Asked Questions
“Q: Is there a deposit?”
A: Yes. The deposit secures your spot on our schedule. F5 requires that you pay a $300 down payment toward the total cost of the shelter with a major credit/debit card to secure your spot. In the event that you need to reschedule, you must give F5 48 hours notice. If you cancel, or our installers show up and you don’t wish to get the shelter installed you will surrender the 10% deposit to F5. The remaining balance is due upon the completion of the storm shelter.
“Q: How long does it take to put a storm shelter in my garage floor?”
A: We allow for one day of installation. However, it typically takes between 5-9 hours depending upon the composition of your soil and the size of the storm shelter being installed.
“Q: What time does the installation process start?”
A: Unless told otherwise, we will be on the job site between 7-8 am for the morning slot or 1-2 pm for the afternoon slot.
“Q: How many people will my storm shelter hold?”
A: This is a very subjective question and it depends upon the size of the people. Many storm shelter companies prefer to refer to their tornado shelter by the amount of people they will hold. Don’t be fooled by this marketing trick. Ask for the actual dimension size of the storm shelter in feet. We prefer to give a ballpark of what a storm shelter would comfortably hold. Of course, you could fit more people in a shelter and especially if they are smaller people. Our large size underground garage shelter will comfortably hold between 4-6 people, the XL will comfortably hold 8-10 people and the Jumbo will comfortably hold between 10-12 people.
“Q: What is coal tar epoxy?”
A: Coal tar epoxy is a rust preventive treatment that we apply to all of our tornado shelters.
“Q: What is a post tension foundation and how do I know if I have one?”
A: A post tension foundation is where high tension cables are run inside your slab. F5 and/or any of its contractors don’t want to cut and/or damage these cables, but we have no way of knowing if you have this rare type of foundation. Ask your builder if you have a post tension foundation. If you purchased your home from a seller find out who built the home and they should be able to tell you if you have a post tension foundation. Many companies that do run post tensions cables leave a cut out to allow a storm shelter to still be installed. As the homeowner, you are responsible for knowing if you have this type of foundation and F5 will not be held responsible if we unknowingly cut the cables and any costs associated for repairing the foundation will be the responsibility of the homeowner.
“Q: Do you give free in-home consultations?”
A: We absolutely do. We will send one of our professional team members out to your home at no cost to advise you of the best location for your storm shelters assuming you live within the Oklahoma City metro area.
“Q: What happens if there is rock underneath my foundation?”
A: This is a rare occurrence, but it can and does occur. If we run into rock underneath your slab we will jackhammer for free for the first hour. Every hour afterwards is $125 per hour. The purpose of this is not to make any money off the extra work, but to recoup the costs associated with wear and tear on our equipment and the time of F5’s contractors.
“Q: Can I park my vehicle over the storm shelter?”
A: Yes. The storm shelters are designed to be straddled over with your vehicle. In most cases you can even leave your vehicle in the garage and still access the storm shelter without backing out.
“Q: Are there water, sewer, sprinkler lines etc.. underneath the slab of our garage?”
A: There aren’t supposed to be. We have done hundreds of storm shelters and have seen lines underneath a home less than a handful of times. However, if we do run into any lines underneath the shelter it is the responsibility of the homeowner to have the lines relocated.
“Q: Do I need a permit?”
A: It depends. Many cities now require you to have a tornado shelter permit to have a shelter installed. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to pull the permit unless told otherwise. F5 will supply the engineered blueprints and/or any other requested documents in securing the permit.
“Q: What is a Safe Room?”
A: A safe room is an alternative option to an underground garage tornado shelter. It offers quick access for the elderly/disabled who are unable to go down stairs and those who feel claustrophobic or want easier access to their shelter.
“Q: What is the Safe Room constructed of?”
A: The safe room is constructed of 1/4″ gauge steel. Many of our competitors only use 10 gauge, but we feel it’s necessary to go above and beyond when the entire shelter is above ground. Additionally, we use high grade anchor bolts that are 4 ¾ inches to anchor the safe room into your slab. These high grade anchor bolts have a shear off rating of over 10,000 lbs each. All of the safe rooms are grounded in case power lines or lightning were to strike the safe room. The safe rooms come equipped with 4 dead throw locks and an additional hatch lock. We use automotive paint to coat the shelters to ensure long lasting durability. If the safe room is to be placed outside on a back patio we recommend galvanizing the shelter. You can see the safe room impact video test under the safe room section on our website.
“Q: Will I have enough ventilation and light?”
A: Yes. All of our in-ground storm shelters have a special cut out on the front lid to allow for additional light and ventilation that far exceeds the FEMA guidelines.
“Q: What if I’m claustrophobic?”
A: If you feel a little bit of anxiety going into a storm shelter it’s understandable. However, we have made several attempts to make it easier to do so. For starters, we cut out an additional ventilation hole that lets in natural light and air near the exit. Secondly, we offer some of the biggest storm shelters on the market, so you won’t feel so cramped. If going underground is the issue you can always go the safe room route and it’s like being a big steel closet. Most people realize once they get down in the shelter it wasn’t as bad as they thought it was going to be.
“Q: Will having a storm shelter increase the value of my home?”
A: We aren’t realtors and can’t guarantee that a storm shelter will increase the value of your home. With that said, having a storm shelter in Oklahoma is never a bad thing. It’s akin to having a swimming pool, or granite counter tops in the sense that it’s another selling feature and could be the feature that gets your home sold over a competing home without a shelter.
“Q: Does the storm shelter have a lock, so my child won’t fall in?”
A: Yes. All of our in-ground shelters have an auto lock system that is quick to get into, but ensures a child or someone walking over the shelter won’t fall in.
“Q: How long do I have to wait before I can drive over the concrete”
A: Concrete needs time to cure. You must wait a minimum of 7 to 10 days before you can drive over it.
“Q: Do you have a single or a double lid?”
A: We have a double lid on all of our storm shelters that we sell. Many companies offer a one piece lid design. Meaning you only have one way to exit your shelter in the event of debris on the top of your lid. By offering a two piece lid removal, it allows for an exit through the front or the back of the tornado shelter. Make sure you have the security of knowing you can exit your storm shelter through either side.
“Q: What is a tornado strap system?”
A: Most companies have only one locking mechanism fastening their lid system. We have 6 tornado straps plus a front lid lock. This system means there are 7 points of contact anchoring your lid to the frame. This prevents lift from removing the lid during a tornado.