Laurel's Adventures in Home Repair   


Storm Shelter Installation - Elgin, Oklahoma House

June 3, 2021


If this is the first page you are visiting on this website, we had another storm shelter installed in 2014 in Lawton, OK.  See the 2014 installation here.....

Fast forward exactly 7 years and we are doing this again in Elgin, OK, in a home we purchased in 2018.

A couple of things you need to check on before installation:

 1) What kind of foundation do you have on your house?  Is it the good ole cement slab or the newer post-tension cable system?  Even though this house is a new build, it only has a standard cement slab.

2) Mileage charges.  Because the town our house was in, was not the same as the company's, they additionally charged us for mileage. 

3) Is the entrance to your garage large enough to get the shelter in?  As you will see in the photos below, it can be a tight fit if the shelter was larger or opening smaller.

4) Do you have any plumbing where you plan on putting the hole?  You may not know until the project begins.  We didn't on our 2014 installation.  Which means we had to halt the 2014 project until we found a plumber to re-route the pipe.

5) Does your city require a permit and pre and post installation inspections?  Lawton, OK does!! And there is a fee.  Find out from the storm shelter company who will contact the city inspector and take care of the fee. 

For this 2021 install, we are in a rural area outside of our town's limits.  No permits. No inspections.  Since we were familiar with the shelters and the installation process, we were relieved that an unnecessary inspection by an overworked governmental employee would not tie-up the process like the 2014 installation.

6) Does the company charge based on the amount of hours they think it will take?   If they have to come back a second day, will they again charge for mileage and the additional time?


The company we used in 2014 was no longer in business.  Therefore, we needed to look for another company.  This time my husband did the searching and contacted the company Ground Zero Storm Shelters out of Oklahoma City.

He ordered the largest in-ground garage shelter they had.  After finalizing the purchase and installation particulars he paid a $450 non-refundable deposit.  Non-refundable sounds like they have had folks cancel their orders frequently. 

The install date was scheduled for June 3, 2021.  The day before, they called my husband 4 times!!!! ask if we were ready for the install.  A little excessive for my tastes.  On the second call, I would have told them not to call again unless something had changed.  Jeez, the garage floor was cleared and we would be home.  What more did we have to do to get ready???

Below are the photographs of the installation process

They two man crew (Richard Millers and Mauricio) from Ground Zero Storm Shelters arrived on-time Thursday morning Jun 3, 2021 with our storm shelter.

The first thing to do was to mark out the area in the garage where the shelter would go.

Richard cuts the concrete slab for the storm shelter. 
Mauricio sprays water on the saw blade to prevent overheating

The concrete slab, over the soon to be dug hole, is removed.  The dirt is then removed.

This is the moment of truth.  You never know what you will find at this stage.  At our 2014 installation, we found the main water line for the house.

At every scoop, I peeked inside the deepening hole.

Besides pipes, there are other things that could be found in the hole.  Water.  Ground water would be a problem.  A large boulder. 

Or ..... B-O-N-E-S.....Hah!  You laugh!!  This house was built on an area where there were woods. 

You never know who or what passed through this area a 100 years ago.

What did we find in the hole?

Other than the dirt and some twigs...  Absolutely nothing.  A perfectly dug hole with no issues.


Mauricio hops inside the hole and does some final digging and leveling of the dirt.  He measures to make sure the bottom of the hole is deep enough and level.

After the hole bottom is level, it is time to lower the storm shelter into the hole.

Richard moves the shelter into place inside the garage.

The shelter is inched in and then lowered into the hole.


Some of the removed dirt is placed back into the outside edges of the hole

After some dirt is added back in, water was used to wet the soil before placing
the concrete in the top of the hole around the edges.

Concrete is added to the top edges and smoothed out
After the storm shelter was installed, my husband contacted the city's Storm Shelter Registry to register our storm shelter.  This way if the worse happens and the house is destroyed, they will know to look for us under the rubble.  It is a good idea to let any friends, neighbors, or relatives know also.
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