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Thread: Haunted House Maze Construction?

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  1. Default If you only would listen 
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget-evilusions View Post
    Our building department required our wall panels to be secured to the floor with 1 tap con each. They also required any wall panels stacked over 8', (for example, our 16' facades), to be bolted to each other, and not just screwed.
    See Larry if youd only listen...
    Alot of states securing the walls is required by codes.. You cant just go by what you think you know until your forced to do it the right way..
    Larry when your forced to take down a complete haunt then start over securing walls into the floor you might agree with me.. like I said be safe and secure your walls...

  2. Default I had to 
    The building codes in Huntsville required walls to be screwed, bolted, or nailed to the floor. I nailed it because it was quicker. In Huntsville there is no such thing as a temporary wall. We literally built a building within a building. I don't know about other states or cities but I can tell you 100% that if my walls were not secured to the floor I would have not opened. When the walls were studded they were inspected, when the wire was ran it was inspected, then the walls were covered yup they came back and inspected. Be glad if you can get away with it I sure as heck did not! Shane and it's mine is there to stay even if I leave!

  3. Default  
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Required here as well, but I still would, even if not required, due to past experience with blown-out wall bottoms. It's not that expensive, it doesn't take that long to install or remove and it gives huge piece of mind. To each- their own!
    How can a man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and the temple of his gods.

    What you put into your mind- you put into your life.


  4. Default  
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    St. Louis, MO

    I've built and installed over 200 haunted houses and I've never seen anywhere a code that says you must secure the walls to the floor for a haunted house. In fact out of all the haunts we've ever built for a client we've never once secured the walls to the floor or to their existing perimeter walls either. Here is the deal... to each their own whatever you think is best is what you should do. But I'm telling you for a fact that at least the way we build the wall system its not needed, will never be needed and will never be done.

    I've got mazes out at Creepyworld which we've since torn down that sat up for 7 years through rain, snow, and seven years of abuse during Halloween sitting on gravel that NEVER got secured to the floor... you can't its on gravel. Finally those walls started coming apart so we built new ones, they came apart from sitting out in the weather for 7 years. I don't want to take them down it actually cost more money to take them down and put them back up rather than rebuild them every 7 or 8 years. Anyway that is a different subject.

    Bottom line is not one wall in Darkness or Lemp for that matter is secured to the floor... this haunt industry went through both attractions over the last 5 years along with tens of thousands of other people no walls moved. Lastly if I want to take my haunted house apart, I can quickly and easy and then put it back up somewhere else without any problems.

    Again not saying you are wrong because you are NOT wrong... if people must secure their walls to the floor to make them strong they should do so! But for me the way we build the mazes and the walls its not needed and will do basically nothing to make them any stronger than they already are.

    Shane: We don't stud up the walls its not how we do it, and any inspector would never be able to move our walls even if he brought in a sledge hammer banging on the bottom of the walls they won't move. Trust me!


  5. Default  
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    I install a lot of large displays where we can not drill into the tile floors and we use two 2" strips of 1" 3M dual lock. It is a hard plastic industrial velcro that will hold over 200 lbs on a vertical wall. two of these on the bottom of a wall is as strong as a 3/16 tapcom. I have used this stuff for 15 years now and am still amazed by how strong it is. Also if you plan well and have intersecting walls you don't need to use tapcons the walls will be self supporting.

  6. Default  
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Yes the walls are self supporting ... as for what you described under the walls there is no need for that either. Our walls in all the haunts we own or build for other people are installed one wall after another on any surface with nothing supporting the bottoms. The walls are in and of themselves self supporting. If you stud the walls as Shane suggested then all the walls as in whole entire sections of wall are one big long piece... none of our walls are like that. Each wall is a self contained 4x8 wall panel that can be put up and taken down at will, stacked, packed, loaded, unloaded, moved, blah, blah.

    There is simply no need to secure walls to the floor if you build the walls correctly... and in the long run when you do renovations it will be easier to move things around and change stuff.

    But again hey it doesn't hurt to pop them into the floor no doubt about it... but if you don't need to why do it? Larry

  7. Default  
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Cincinnati, Oh
    It all depends on your states building code, and ultimately what the building inspector wants. I imagine you will have to have an architect draw up your plans, them submit them to the building dept for a building permit. Your inspectors will tell you what they expect. You need to make them happy and follow the code as closely as possible.

  8. Default  
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Lexington, KY.
    Google SketchUp can be your best friend! You can completely pre-design your attraction and look at it virtually using real world measurements and even export blue prints! This can save you A LOT of time and money in the long run.

    >Download free Google SketchUp collections made just for haunt owners and designers.

    Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HauntDesignKit

  9. Default  
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Columbia, SC
    Fun convos! First, I'm buying a Darkness tour ticket next year at TW and I'm kicking EVERY single wall as I go. I DO believe that was the proposal?! Haha. Second, SC must have the slackest building inspectors ever. It COULD be because we grandfather into a lot (lack of sprinklers, etc.)...but we also aren't required at our location to bolt/nail/screw panels to the ground. The guy who built our show before I came around used to nail the panels down and when I came in I found it to be THE most annoying thing ever. Our show changes 100% every year and when I needed to shift panels I found myself chipping off tons of concrete and splitting lots of panel bottoms cause they were a PAIN to get up. Now I won't lie, in HIGH scare areas I've noticed a wall bottom get pushed out, but that's so few and far between. Our halls are close enough in proximity to, as King Kirchner said, support themselves. I'm gonna be a never say never person here, but *knock on wood* hopefully we will NEVER have to secure panels like that. PAIN PAIN PAIN.
    O'Shawn McClendon
    Creative Chair -- Operator: Cayce-West Columbia Hall of Horrors

    One mans junk is another mans kick-ass new prop...






  10. Default  
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    I like this thread!

    I want to chime in just a bit, when we build our haunts, we never have to attach the panels to the floor, we screw one sided walls together via the end 2x4's top middle and bottom, and as we go we use a small section of 2x4 to brace the pieces together to one another on the top (usually we go about a foot in each direction with two screws going down into each panel), we use angled panels for stability wherever possible, but for longer panel runs we take 2x4's and extend it to another wall across the pathway for stability, and lastly we go through and any angled walls that seem to be in an area where they might be in contact with people (actors or patrons) we do an angled 2x4 brace up top.

    We've never had a wall move or bust out.

    For double sides walls, we construct everything single sided first than add on the other side of the panel. A simple piece of colored duct tape at the top of that panel lets us know that that is the side to be unscrewed to disassemble at the end of the season.

    I walk along the top of the walls all the time in our haunts be it to wire lights or animatronics, make repairs to connections or whatever, even just to get to different scenes faster, and have never had an issue with anything breaking or cracking or moving....

    NOW, depending on your LOCAL building departments, some may not understand how haunts work, and therefore just treat it as if you're REALLY BUILDING A HOUSE....since its a rather rare thing for them, a lot of local officials vary in how they want you to build out. It shouldn't be your focus to simply do a build out but to go the extra step to explain and teach your local officials. There's things they don't know and things you could also learn from them, it's a process and when you are malleable and work with them the extra mile, it's better and easier on both parties.

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