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See also: Walls
The chances that you will be able to find the perfect base will be slim to none, so when you find something suitable for the size of your group (if you have one), you will need to find materials to "fortify" the location. Major base modification, although necessary, can attract zombies and bandits so your modifications should be able to stop both. Remember modification should add-on to existing structures. Below is a brief description of some of the most basic and available of materials.
What To UseEditLumber: Great for a quick wall, wood can be found in excess at any lumber yard/ home improvement store. A good rule of thumb is to build a seven to eight foot high fence; this will prevent any climbimg attempts. The wood wall may also burn down, so try and implement a dual wood and earth wall. Asides from physical barriers they may also be used for fortifications and the building of platforms or watch towers.
Plywood: Basically big flat sheets of particulated wood that is compressed, a popular building material to use, they come in a wide range of thickness. 3/8" or thicker plywood will provide decent covering on the inside of windows and unused doors. Plywood will degrade when in a humid or wet environment, so keep extra sheets lying around in a cool, dry place for replacements after rainstorms.
Sheet Metal:This material is fairly sturdy and also fairly easy to find. It can be used to cover windows, reinforce doors, and serve many other functions.
Household Objects: Large objects found in most households can be used to barricade existing structures, though raw construction materials are preferred.
Vehicles: Due to their size and maneuverability, vehicles can used as a beginning in perimeter construction, though other materials should used to protect against crawlers and bandits.
Barrels: Barrels can make a serviceable wall. Just stack them up and fill them with heavy stuff like rocks and sand after ensuring the barrel 'wall' is constructed in a stable fashion. Barrels are especially ideal for shoring up defenses in critical areas, such as checkpoints, gates, and over watch positions (machine gun nests). These will NOT blow up if set on fire, unless you fill them up with explosives, which is not recommended. Care should be taken when stacking barrels to ensure that they are stable; As a general rule, barrels can easily be stacked one on top another with proper preparation to prevent being knocked over. Additionally, food grade barrels should never be wasted on construction; save these for foodstuffs and water storage.
Pallets: These are made to withstand tremendous amounts of weight, and are great for windows. Pallets can make excellent strong backs, and most pallets can be torn apart for materials. They are also very useful as temporary barricades and partitions; Stack them up or nail to some sort of framework and you have a wall. Note the pallets to the left are form-fabricated; That is, plastic or wood dust/epoxy is injected into a mold. This makes it much stronger, but it can not be disassembled to be re-used in other applications as easily. The pallets at right are traditional nailed wood (probably reinforced with glue). These aren’t as strong, but can be torn apart for other applications (such as strong-back and other barricading features).Aluminum Roofing: Another easily found material. Can be used for a plethora of fortification purposes. Should be intermixed with other building materials such as lumber, brick, blocks, and sandbags. research into how the corrugated roofing sheets are attached to other materials so as to provide the most secure method of attaching, minimizing loose ends. can be used to provide fire proofing to roofs and wooden walls.
Barbed & Razor Wire: Great addition to any fence base, and top. May also be placed around windows and unused doors to help deter/slow down forced entrance. Keep in mind that zombies do not feel pain, so this is only useful against raidersChain Link Fence: This is more of a "first line of defense" fortification, as it works better to slow things down than to stop any kind of attack. A determined raider or zombie will be able to climb it or break it. You can attach bells to help alert the watch of an attack. You can also electrify it to help deter raiders and zombies if you have the power to spare. Can be used over windows or unused doors to improve the barricade.
Brick: Can be found in most home improvement stores. Building a wall will take some time and patience with the knowledge of mixing mortar/cement. Be sure to use multiple layers and a foundation to increase the stability of the whole wall against being pushed over by hordes of zombies or raiders.
Cinder Block: Similar to brick, but easier to reinforce with rebar and lumber. Cinder blocks are also much larger, which means much quicker fortification. One row of cinder blocks does little to impede bullets, however.
Metal Highway Plates: These are used to cover trenches in the roadway, when they work on the road over repeated days. They’re tough enough to hold up thousands of cars day in and day out for weeks or months of construction. They come with only two holes in the huge plate (5-6’ by 10-12’), but they’re *very* heavy. You will need crowbars to take one out of the ground (usually they’re asphalted in place), and heavy equipment to lift them.
Sandbags: A great idea for any base, as it can make any wall bullet-proof. They are also simple to make; simply put sand or dirt in a canvas bag. May also be used to help fire-proof structures. However, creating a sandbag wall can take much time. Do not put them directly on a wall, as this might make the wall more likely to fail.Tyvek: To the eye, Tyvek is a large white expanse of something remarkably like paper. Upon closer inspection, however, it proves very different. It is absolutely waterproof, impossible to tear, and crinkles much more loudly than cellophane. It comes in rolls eight feet tall and about a hundred feet long. Nearly everything about tyvek suggests a tall, strong fence that rustles loudly to warn of intruders.
Hesco Bastion: The modern replacement for sandbags, these barriers are both more effective and easier to deploy. The average worker can fill approximately 20 sandbags in an hour, an arduous and slow task. Hesco bastions allow a small group of personnel to quickly erect an effective barrier against land based threats, including small arms fire. The Hesco Bastion is a canvas box reinforced with wire mesh which unfolds to create a wall up to 7' x 5' x 100'. This box is typically filled with sand or gravel using a front end loader.
Traps: Traps are designed to kill or catch an animal and therefore can be used effectively against unsuspecting bandits and undead, though they should not replace fortifications.
Paper: It is NOT a strong material, but can be used to cover windows that can't/don't need to be barricaded(like windows from the second story). It is easy to find: in every home you can find books, boxes, or even normal sheets. If stacke, they can also be pretty resistant: 50 sheets(if you make them paper-mache, it may work better) stacked together will be able to stop a 9 mm bullet, thought you should use them only for covering or as a start/last resort.
Where To ModifyEdit
Windows: Place aluminum siding on the inside, fill the center with a few sandbags or place brick/cinder blocks in the center, then cover the outside with wood planks or aluminum. Adding metal bars to ground-level windows may need to be considered if you live in a heavily populated area.
Door: Any unused doors should be filled in the same as the windows post above. Doors that will be used should be reinforced with either aluminum or metal bars. To secure the door close, you should use an old-school wooden block/metal rod used in conjunction with quality deadbolts. Always have a weapon nearby in case of an unwanted intruder.
Stairs: Although it is preferable to Destroy the Stairs, you may create a barricade on the stairs if you cannot or do not wish to. If stairs pose a threat to your survival, destroy them by any means other than burning. Setting stairs on fire might cause more damage than intended, and may even be accountable for loss of life.
Entire outside wall: As best you can, you should leave the sandbags slightly off the walls themselves, for stability reasons. Use sandbags to keep the structure you are inhabiting as fireproof/bulletproof as possible.
Perimeter: Though not necessary, building a wall or other fortification will keep zombies at a safer distance from your base. Building one will most likely attract bandits and require much more materials to construct. Perimeter defenses are also very noticeable to bandits.