30 Construction Workers Of Reddit Share Their Stories Of Building Secret Rooms And Hidden Compartments For Clients

Found on AskReddit.

1. Whoever thought a principal would ask for a secret room?

I used to do some construction work on schools during the summer. The principal wanted, in his closet, a door to slide up where he could keep a safe for special school records, and a mini-fridge. Although it wasn’t very big or that cool, it was the coolest work I ever was involved in that summer. Plus, who wouldn’t want a mini-fridge hidden in their wall?

2.  A casual survival bunker.

It was an underground survival bunker accessed through a hidden door in the back of a garage. It had an additional exit by means of an underground tunnel that lead almost 100 feet in the bordering forest. The strangest thing about it was that it was a survival bunker that he had us wire with outlets and lights, despite there not being any type of back-up/off-the-grid power. Makes me think that he actually had an alternative purpose for the shelter.

3. A secret, unusually insulated room.

Yes, we worked on what was supposedly going to be a hidden/secret walk-in safe in the basement. This room was heavily reinforced.

Normally, walls around doors are framed using wood. This doorframe was solid reinforced concrete. The room was a square attached to the outside of the basement, so all four walls were concrete. We poured concrete above it, so the ceiling was concrete. (Very unusual!) We also poured the floor.

So, it was six sides made of concrete. Since it was attached to the outside, there was no sign that it existed from the inside. No ventilation. No wiring from what I saw.

I never saw the finished product, but the owner was keeping it a secret, and wouldn’t explain much about it. So another contractor finished it off.

4. They found a REALLY creepy secret room in a farmhouse.

A friend of our family bought a huge old farmhouse after the couple living in it passed away. They were doing some remodeling and found a hidden door in the back of a closet. It was only a couple feet tall, so you had to crawl through it. It went to a medium sized room with no windows that no one knew about. The only thing in the room was a bed, which would have had to be in there before the walls were put up. It was definitely creepy.

5. A really cool way to confuse house guests.

My parent’s house has a “secret” room that’s behind a bookshelf in their master bedroom. The reason I put quotations around “secret” is because this hidden room is wall-to-wall open window.

So basically, you could hide from someone inside of the house, but if they happen to walk around outside, you appear to be in a normal room.

6. And these aren’t as uncommon as you’d think.

Yep. All the time. People that can afford it pay a lot for panic rooms and hidden armories. Swinging bookcases, doors in wall paneling, you name it. People with that much money usually have something to protect.

7. Strangely enough, more people have swords than you would think.

Friend of the family works as a custom cabinetmaker. Most of his jobs involve him making secret compartments for rich clients. Mainly desks with a secret place that can hide guns, keys, ledgers and swords (oddly enough a lot of people request that),

8. A millionaire’s secret attic room.

I’ve been painting houses since I was 15. One was in a millionaire’s summer home. On the fourth floor of the house there was a closet on the same wall as the elevator. A section of drywall came away and lead to behind the elevator. There was a wooden ladder that went up and down the entire house; at the very top was a trap door that lead to a small room that was about 6 by 6 feet. It had windows and vents that could be opened or sealed completely. Pretty sure it was for their son to hotbox.

9. Probably the creepiest secret room out there.

Never built one, but I did find one in a house I was doing some plumbing work in once. This was an expensive condo, and they had a secret office that had a secret one-way mirror looking into the GUEST SHOWER. Creepy as fuck, man.

10. You’d be surprised how many people get secret rooms to grow weed.

Carpenter. I built a grow-room for a guy’s medical marijuana in Vermont. An alarm was wired directly to the state police barracks in the event of a burglary.

11. How to mess with future house owners of a home with secret rooms.

My dad is a doctor, and does a lot of construction at home on his free time. This one time he was moving a wall, making one room smaller and another bigger. He was putting an entire-wall-bookshelf kind of thing in the smaller room, and just to fuck with future homeowners he snatched one of those plastic skeletons from his job and hid it in the space between the bookshelf and the wall.

I expect headlines sometime in the future.

12. No big deal; just a NARNIA CLOSET.

I built a Narnia closet for someone. Their daughter had one request for the new house: she had a built An armoire, white and modern looking with nice shelving units on the right side and a bigger opening on the left. However, when you pushed the back of the left, closet side, it opened up into an actual closet that was about 5×10 feet on the inside, not too shabby at all. Was a pretty fun build, albeit somewhat challenging.

13. Found awesome secret rooms in a university frat house.

Worked in IT, not construction. Anyway we needed to do some work on a network switch we had stashed on the third floor of this building on a well-known university’s campus. You opened a closet and climbed up a ladder. The 3rd floor was a hallway with dorm rooms, bathroom and showers. It led to an open living area with a fireplace. The building was an old fraternity house and had been converted to the international house on campus. It was cool. There was writing on the wall from some of the students writing baseballs scores down from the 50s while listening to a game. It was like stepping into a time machine. Old desk, beds, etc. Found an old zenith terminal from 1979 that still booted up. I’m sure there a lot more to checkout, but it was a little creepy to be there alone.

14. There’s a secret door that looks like a mouse hole in this guy’s apartment (with photo).

Not a construction worker, but in my old house one of the bedrooms had a small opening to the crawlspace that was made to looked like a large mouse hole.

Here’s a picture.

15. Sooo this guy obviously went to Hogwarts.

I am not a construction worker. I attended a private boarding school when I was younger the school itself was 200+ years old and the castle it was built around was much older. Upon exploring me and a few other friends found an entrance to a system of tunnels that ran beneath the school. The tunnels were used as maintenance tunnels for the old heating system that was once run from a gas boiler system. Originally we thought that was why they were built. We began trying to map out the tunnels and used to spend hours underneath the school during study time/ night roaming around with a measuring tape drawing it to scale. We never completed the map due to the systems enormity.

As we got further and further into the tunnels we learnt that these were much older than just the gas boiler. A new, cement tunnels seemed to extend about a kilometer in radius. Past a kilometer the tunnels got older and more dangerous. We found that they extended all the way out to a pavilion in our school. These passages were also in cement but were very clearly much older. Most of my time as a 14-year-old was spent roaming around them. It gave us passages into locked rooms, the castle (banned grounds), to the forests etc. We decorated a lot of the walls down there in shoe polish and stolen art paints. We would even smoke down there a mere few feet below the headmaster’s office.

16. Parents tried to build him a secret room; ended up screwing him.

Funny story, when I was a kid. My parents were designing their dream home, they asked me as a child of about 8 at the time, what I would want my room to be like, I didn’t care about my room but pleaded for a secret room connected to my bedroom, to my amazement they agreed…

Little did I know that they were about to ruin my fucking dreams. The house was built, my bedroom and secret room was made, I was so fucking excited to finally see it… They blindfolded me and led me into my room and asked me to try to find the secret room, after much searching I finally found it, it was hidden behind a swinging bookcase and it blew my fucking mind.

I quickly went inside… Only to see a full sized door at the far end of my little secret room, upon opening it I was outside in the hallway next to my bedroom door… THE FUCK PARENTS!? I tried, I swear I tried but the amount of times visitors stumbled upon me in my secret room thinking it was a bathroom in the hallway or a bedroom…

My childhood dreams were ruined.. RUINED!!!

17. The ol’ push-a-stone, open-a-door trick.

I’m a pool builder and we were asked to build a hidden poolroom for the equipment and other random things. We had stonemasons turn the whole underneath of the house into a secret room and blended the door into the wall. To open the door you needed to push a stone and the door opened automatically.

18. You probably don’t want to get on this guy’s bad side…

Residential contractor here. A client once asked that I add a 4×6 room next to the master that would be “just big enough to allow someone to ‘calm down’ if they were being ‘bad.'” Specs had no windows. Brick walls. Double thick door, etc. He gave off that creepy as hell vibe, but you know, money.

Anyway, the job was going fine until we ran out of red bricks and started using those blue and yellow ones. He lost his shit! Cancelled contract and never looked back.

19. Found a secret office in the house she just bought.

Just moved into a house that was built in the 70s. The previous owners custom built it, and the architect was the man’s old frat buddy. Custom stuff everywhere (trash chute straight from the kitchen into the garage wheelie bin!).

When we first looked at the house, we really loved it, but there was no office space that my husband could use for his music stuff. It was the only disappointing thing about the house, but since everything else was so perfect, we went ahead and put in the offer.

When we were doing another walkthrough with our parents, we showed them the walk up attic, which is pretty cool too. When I turned around to leave, I noticed a wall of insulation that looked…different. If you push the insulation to one side, a doorknob appears. And behind it is the secret office.

Coolest house ever.

20. This guy might be living in Being John Malkovich?

I once built a whole level of a room that was half the size of the others. It was a half room, I don’t know why they wanted a half room, but it was not accessible with stairs, and the only way to get there was by stopping the elevator.

21. This guy got away with living in a hidden, 4-bedroom condo for a year.

Some years back I lived in a pub in the UK. It had previously had a floor, which was dedicated accommodation for staff – which was then condemned by the fire inspector.

The owners sealed up the staircase/doors to this floor.

I cut a passage to it from my bedroom and had a hidden 4-bedroom condo in the west end of London for about a year.

Then it went horribly wrong…

22. This guy has a secret sex dungeon. Because, why not?

Wife and I had a secret, soundproof “sex dungeon” type room built adjacent to our bedroom. The reason for the room is that we have various devices in there that are impractical to disassemble and put away when we have friends over (or the day we have kids and still want to enjoy our fun discreetly).

We had some devices installed when we built the room, such as a large metal cage and other restraining devices. The people who built the room probably asked us a hundred times if we were sure we didn’t plan to abduct people. The architect nearly dropped the project when I jokingly asked him to make sure there’d be an electric outlet to plug a chainsaw.

23. Big-shot CEO needed a big-shot way to smoke his weed.

I used to work construction over the summers in high school and within just a few miles of where I grew up there are 20,000+ square foot homes…anyways this one client (who was pretty well know for being a CEO of a large corporation) requested a secret self-contained smoking room. Complete with secret entrance, a bathroom, cedar paneling, self-contained heat and A/c, and an industrial sized smoke-eater. Along with hideaway shelving that would store an endless amount of mason jars full of pot. Also has some crazy vaporizer as well. He would have meetings upstairs in his underwear and robe whole being high as f**k.

24. Just a secret room for girls to get urinated on! Why do you ask?

One time we converted part of the basement into a “piss dungeon,” where young girls would be urinated on again and again by older men. Why attractive young women submit themselves to this stuff willingly is beyond me, but then again I don’t really understand BDSM and dom/sub.

25. A secret apartment that could very well harbor criminals.

Plenty of times. There was one I never saw the finished stages of that was basically an entire apartment accessible only by a small hatch in a closet. Either the homeowner was planning to harbor criminals, or a mistress, a man in an iron mask, or just really wanted to be able to get away from his family. Hope it wasn’t like an HH Holmes thing.

Did a lot of mansions and this wasn’t insanely common but far more than I expected. There was one builder that did a lot of these houses who managed to find a retired electric chair that he kept in a hidden room. He ‘joked’ that when his kids were bad he would make them sit in it for few hours. It didn’t have power running to it but still.

26. A secret, extra room, that looks exactly like the rest of the house, only half the size.

Not a secret room, but a friend of mine had a weird compartment in her house. In the middle of the dining room, there was a door that was about half the size of a normal door, maybe about 3 1/2 feet tall, same style as the rest of the doors in the house, knob in the same place halfway down as any other door. It led to a room, about 3′ x 5′, same height. It came wallpapered and carpeted similar to the rest of the house, but definitely intentionally decorated–my friend and her family never changed it. It was just this weird, half-sized room/finished crawl space.

27. A hidden underground swimming pool!

Yeah, working on a big house that this eccentric couple owned, there was a secret underground Olympic swimming pool, we installed a pool table that came out of the ground floor. Basically dug a big hole, some other dudes sorted all the pneumatics and electrics. Don’t know what the table looked like at the end, but his swimming pool was dope.

28. A house with two secret rooms (and photos)!

My house has two secret rooms and here are the photos of it in construction (almost finished). It is off of my movie room behind one of two black velvet curtains.

The main secret room is huge (20 foot by 9 foot), large enough for five or more people to escape tornadoes.

Ceiling and walls are 18 inch thick concrete. The ceiling also has a steel roof with 10 inches of concrete poured atop it.

All wired, vent and return, internet wired. Nothing wireless works in this room. We some times call it the black hole because the bars on your phone just disappear when you enter.

The room is finished now and decorated (like rest of house). It gives it less of a creepy vibe. Enjoy.

29. Found a secret room complete with bloodstains.

A house I lived in when I was younger had a secret little passage. My step-brother jumped out from a mirror one day and I nearly soiled myself. Turns out the mirror swung open to a passage under some pipes and then into the electric (or whatever) cupboard in the hallway. You wouldn’t know because of the pipes, but there surely was a way around and through.

Weirdest part was that there was a gigantic bloodstain on the floorboards, near the mirror. I told myself that someone waited behind the mirror and then jumped out and stabbed some unsuspecting soul.

30. A secret compartment for a pro wrestler to stash his drugs.

We put false vents in the walls for a pro wrestler to stash his ‘roids in.

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