Things to do in Hampstead when you’re…

…filthy rich and want to spend 70 million dollars on a new house…

All right, pretty old news, but an Israeli named Lev Leviev (sounds like some kind of fakihr, no?) bought a bulletproof house in a suburb of the London suburb (wait, what?).

Lev Leviev

“Bulletproof” is of course a misnomer – big enough bullet, and it will go through anything, but seriously bullet resistant is probably pretty accurate. How to do this? Well, if you want to have a bulletproof (let’s just stick with that word a while – you know what I mean) house, there’s a lot to consider. Walls, windows, roof, doors – everything would have to be manufactured specially, and even though these things would actually have a large impact on other things inside the house – insulation and dramatic noise reduction – it probably isn’t worth it in the long run. Kevlar, for example, has a life expectancy of about five years if it is at all exposed to moisture or heat, so there’s a point to add on your maintenance plan.

Your windows will be fine for a long time, of course, but they will be so heavy that the frames will either have to be steel or regular maintenance checks will be required to make sure they won’t come crashing down on top of anyone.

For all of us that don’t have 70 million $’s just burning holes in our pockets, a panic room might just be the best alternative.

0 Replies to “Things to do in Hampstead when you’re…”

  1. I think you overestimate the difficulty of making a house bulletproof. It’s considerably simpler than bulletproofing something that has to remain portable, as for the most part you can just rely on good solid construction; you don’t need to worry about exotic materials like kevlar. Yes, it does depend on just what the bad guys are firing at you, but assuming they are limited to 7.62 mm AP, a double layer of ordinary breeze block (cinder block) with loose rubble poured into the cavities, will completely stop it. This is only marginally more expensive than normal construction.

    The tricky bits are doors and windows. There are several solutions for the doors, all of which will be heavier and more expensive than normal doors, but not necessarily more maintenance intensive. Windows, on the other hand, are going to cost a fortune if you want them to still be see-through whilst stopping 7.62 mm AP. A cheaper solution might be armoured shutters.

  2. You’re right, Roger. Walls are definitely not very hard to bulletproof, but doing it while still keeping secured access to piping, wiring and gas is harder.
    Going all out with this would mean constructing conduits for water, gas and electricity, and those would have to be reinforced, preferably with something light (like kevlar and aluminium) so as not to make vulnerability in what would be very heavy walls, following the cinder block-and-rubble technique.

    Steel core doors would probably be enough to stop 7.62 rounds (not necessarily – 7.62, if you’ve fired it at anything you know it’s heavy duty ammo), but not necessarily .50 caliber, which would most likely be the weapon of choice for anyone actually trying to shoot through the house. Specialized doors need specialized hinges, and those would have to be secured to a specialized frame, and have specialized wall support.
    It’s not hard, when you have the money to do it. There are challenges, but of course they can be overcome.

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