An empty road with rural surroundings and a pole with a tornado symbol.

How to Choose Between Above-Ground and Underground Shelter For Your Fort Worth Home

If you’re living in Fort Worth, you likely already know that your home lies in Tornado Alley, and so you need to be always prepared for a tornado emergency. Safe rooms are structures that provide near-absolute protection in the case of destructive storms. There are two broad options you have when choosing the type of storm shelter for your home: above-ground and underground. Whilst both have to abide by strict guidelines to guarantee maximum protection, here are some reasons why you might choose one over the other.

Saving Cost (and Time)

Above-ground shelters can be installed more quickly and with less disruption to your property than underground storm shelters, which require excavation and construction.

Above-ground shelters are also generally less expensive to install than underground shelters, which require excavation and construction. If you already have a basement, you can cut excavation costs, but if you don’t, an above-ground shelter might be the more cost-effective choice.

Above-ground tornado shelters can also be installed more quickly, saving you time.

Accessibility Considerations

white painted international symbol of accessibility on a stone or concrete surface

If someone in your house has mobility issues or a disability, it might make more sense to invest in an above-ground shelter because it’s easily accessible and removes the need to figure out underground ramp access and installation.

Space Flexibility

Safe room shelters can be built in various sizes and shapes, depending on available space and needs. This is especially true for above-ground shelters, as underground storm shelters are limited by the size and shape of the excavation. This can impact the number of people that can be accommodated and drive up construction costs if you want to build a larger shelter.


Underground storm shelters provide greater protection from flying debris and high winds, as they are surrounded by earth on all sides. Above-ground shelters may be more vulnerable to damage from high winds or flying debris.

Water Tables and Flooding

In some areas, it just isn’t advisable to construct safe rooms below ground level, especially if you’re at high risk of flooding. For Forth Worth, the risk is mostly minor, but it would be good to also consult the water table in your neighborhood to ensure that an underground safe room would remain structurally intact.

Making the Right Choice for You:

Ultimately, the choice between an above-ground and underground shelter will depend on your individual needs and preferences. It is important to consider factors such as cost, accessibility, space, and protection when making this decision. Additionally, it’s important to consult a professional contractor or engineer to ensure that any shelter you choose is safe and meets local building codes.

Safe Rooms in Fort Worth, Texas

If you’re looking for trustworthy and affordable safe room shelters builders in Fort Worth, Texas, US Safe Room Tornado Shelters have been in the business for over 25 years. We offer services in Oklahoma and Texas and can install your safe room within two weeks. Our shelters meet FEMA guidelines and are designed to withstand level EF5 tornadoes. Contact us today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and get a quote for a tornado shelter customized to your needs!

Other Storm Shelters