If you’re looking for a way to protect your valuables, you’re in luck. Installing a wall safe at your home or business is a task anyone can accomplish. Afterward, you can rest at ease knowing that your important items, like legal documents, passports, bank statements, jewelry, and other valuables, will be secure and hidden from prowling hands.
Where to start On This Old House blog, Joseph Truini estimates it takes less than an hour and $180 to $200 for the project. Required tools, he writes, include a tape measure, hammer, level, drywall saw and drill or driver. The preparation process also involves selecting the correct type of safe. Choose a model that is the appropriate size, is fire resistant and has your preferred access control features, according to wikiHow. Keep in mind, not all wall safes are fire rated. Those only 4 or 6 inches deep won’t have a fire rating because of their small size, while safes 12 to 15 inches deep, such as these products, typically will be fire rated. Wall safes don’t receive a burglary rating, but they can be concealed in a closet behind clothes or underneath a mirror, picture frame or other decorative item, which is why they are useful in the event of a break-in. As for size, most homes have two-by-fours spaced 16 inches apart, which means “the typical safe will fit in this space,” according to wikiHow.
The height is your choice, depending on what will fit the items you wish to secure. WikiHow also suggests buying your safe from a company that specializes in safes, such as online retailer SafeandVaultStore.com, so you can speak with an expert first. Installing your wall safe With equipment in hand, you’re ready to get to work. In this video, Mary, with V-Line Industries, gives a visual demonstration on how to install your wall safe. Locate studs using a stud sensor or by tapping on the wall (you can detect the studs by the hollow or solid sounds produced). Once you’ve located the studs, mark them with a pencil.
- Begin to carefully cut a hole or strip the correct width for your vault between the stud marks. A drywall saw or knife is the best tool for cutting. Start small so you can use something (try a coat hanger or your hand) to make sure you don’t have electrical wiring or plumbing in the space you’ve chosen for your vault. If you do, move it out of the way or reroute it. If that’s not possible, you may need to choose a new location.
- Finish cutting a hole that’s the correct size. Using a level and marking the four corners first will make the process easier.
- Insert your vault into the wall, with the door open (remember, that’s the heaviest part). Mark starter holes, two on each side. Remove the vault and start drilling holes in the studs. Slide the safe back into the wall. Fasten screws into the studs by going through the holes already on the safe’s interior. Make sure each one is drilled in place before doing “the final tightening on all of them,” Mary says.
- Once your safe is secure, insert your steel shelf or shelves, and then make sure your door shuts securely.