How to Build a Secret Room in Your Home

Hidden Bookcase Door

Over the past couple of years, we’ve written a decent amount of content surrounding the topic of secret rooms. This includes articles like:

In fact, we have entire categories devoted to this and other “hidden” topics. The content, in part, is due to the fact that SOSS has the best invisible hinges on the market. And invisible hinges are often necessary for a decent hidden entrance.

What is a Secret Room?

A secret room is any room or space that is located inside of a home but is also hidden and out of plain sight. Secret rooms may range from panic rooms and wine cellars to man-caves and top-secret storage units for high-priced valuables.

Uses for a Secret Room:

  • Game room
  • Library
  • Children’s playroom
  • Hobby space
  • Wine/alcohol cellar
  • She-shed
  • Man-cave
  • Storage unit for valuables and collectibles
  • Meeting room
  • Tunnels for traveling or transportation

All that said, we figured it time to have a bit of information helping show you how to build a secret room — if you so choose.

Here goes.

How to Build Your Own Secret Room

If you have decided to build your own secret room, there are a few steps to follow and keep in mind throughout the process. Because secret rooms often use hidden entranceways, tools, and components such as invisible hinges, it is important to think your idea through thoroughly before beginning work on your project.

Define Your Vision

What vision do you have for your secret room and the space you intend to build? What purpose will your secret room serve for you and your household? Will the location be kept private and only accessible to you, or do you intend for the space to be used by all members of your household? Define the vision you have for your secret room before getting started.

Contemplate the Space You Have Available

Where do you plan to build your secret room? Are you building your secret room on the main floor of your home, in the basement, or even in the attic? Consider how much space you will require in order to build the room you have in mind, as well as the doors and entranceways you currently have available. If you are planning to build an entirely new space, you will need to consider the costs as well as the locations of the doors and entranceways you intend to place.

Set a Budget

If there is plenty of labor required in order to build your home’s secret room, you will need to set a budget. When setting a budget, be sure to keep the following factors in mind:

  • Location: Are you planning to use a room or space that is already available in your home, or will you be requiring additional construction in order to complete your secret room?
  • Purpose: Consider the intended purpose of your secret room to determine if you will require any special investments and/or preparations to get started.
  • Size: How big is the secret room you are building? Will you be adding an addition to your home in order to complete the project?
  • Indoor/outdoor: Is your secret room going to be located inside? If so, will it also require insulation and/or additional heating and electrical work? If you are building your secret room outdoors, what type of electrical work, insulation, and protection will you need in order to secure the space throughout the year?
  • Entrance: What type of entrance do you intend to use with your secret room? If you are planning to create a custom entrance with the use of invisible hinges, how much space will you require and what type of doors will work best?

Four Specific Steps

Step One: Choose the Best Place

There are a decent amount of potential spots for your hidden room. A couple of the most common include:

  • A corner of the basement: Most people don’t have a basement the same size as the rest of the house. So, if it’s a little smaller (because of your secret room) no one should notice.
  • An Entire Closet: Most bedrooms have closets and many people use a bedroom as a spare room or office. The closet in this room could be converted to your hidden room. (You could also hide the entire room, if it didn’t have a window.)
  • A Partial Closet: False walls conceal a portion of the closet in order to create a compartment for your small valuables.

Step Two: Draft a Plan (including function and design)

After you have the perfect location, it’s time to put together the detailed plan. For larger secret rooms, an architect and professional contractor is needed. If you’re handy, it’s still a sizeable project for DIYers.

Step Three: Get Your Materials 

Once you have the plan and measured twice, it’s time to gather all of the goods needed to build out the secret room.

Things including:

  • Tools
  • Lumber
  • Drywall
  • Fixtures (including SOSS hinges)
  • Finishing Touches (trim, furniture, decor, etc.)

Step Four: Build It Out!

The dream, the plan and the materials are all present. It’s time to build it out! 

Whether you’re building a true secret place (for a panic room or hidden safe) or you want it to show off to all of your friends — we wish you well on the adventure toward your secret room!

Building the home of your dreams does not have to begin and end with a standard blueprint. If you want to truly create a unique space, consider building your very own secret room.

Placement of Your Secret Room

When choosing a location for your secret room, keeping the space a secret is an obvious top priority. If you are unsure of where to build your secret room, consider the following options:

  • Behind a bookshelf: Have a bookshelf that has been built into the walls of your home? Consider installing a door into the space if you have an available room behind the shelves. You can also build your very own customizable bookshelf using invisible hinges to create a uniquely hidden entrance to your secret room.
  • In your basement: If your home has a basement that is not frequented by guests and visitors, it may be an ideal location for your secret room. Using a basement for a secret room opens up numerous possibilities, especially if you have plenty of open and available space. Use your basement to build entire walls and rooms without taking away from the rest of your home. A completely open basement is similar to having a blank canvas when it comes to planning and building a fully customized secret room.
  • Inside or behind closets: Another location that is ideal for a secret room might include behind a closet or even inside of a closet. Build a door or secret entranceway at the back of your closet. Especially if it attaches to another room that is not accessible from the main area or hallway of your home. Closet secret rooms are often smaller but can be perfect for those who are looking to build a completely top-secret area.

Building a secret room in your home does not require a massive budget or a top-secret lifestyle. With a bit of creativity, brainstorming, and the right tools, you can get started on your own journey towards building a secret room of your very own.

Uses for Hidden Areas in History

In history, secret rooms were extremely common, especially among royalty and throughout wars. Secret rooms were often used as hidden chambers or even as concealed passageways that were used for incognito missions and transportation. In battles, secret tunnels and rooms were best known for hiding out and escaping from enemies.

As far as the 2nd century AD, early Christian believers used their very own secret rooms in order to worship uninterrupted. Secret rooms, tombs, and chambers can also be found in the Great Pyramids of Egypt, where many pharaohs and kings roamed and were buried.

Why You Should Have a Modern Secret Room

Having a modern secret room is highly recommended if you have the space and budget available. Building your very own modern secret room is a way to implement an additional layer of protection to your home and household, especially if you are intent on building a panic room.

Modern secret rooms also provide an opportunity to get a bit creative, especially when it comes to building movie theaters, secret libraries, or even a hidden man-cave or she-shed, depending on your vision.

Having a modern secret room is a great conversation starter and is often highly entertaining for those who are unfamiliar with secret rooms. Building your own modern secret room will also help to add value to your home and property if you choose to list it for sale on the open market in the future.