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Victor Safe
Victor Safe  
Please forgive me as I am new to all this.  I am in the early stages of buying and old bank to convert to office space.  Within in bank is a Victor Vault. There are 2 other doors behind this one.  By the paperwork inside the vault it appears that that this vault has a time lock. The combination is lost. Is it possible to hire someone to get the vault in working condition again?  Also, I don't know what value to add to the building. Does the vault add any value? The vault is 13X16. I have other photos to help in this matter. Again, I am new to all of this. And this building will make a cool office building. I want to make sure I am fair to the seller.

Thank you for your help.

David Norman

Hello David,

Very nice vault door.

I can guarantee you that the time lock is NOT active.    At most it would probably only have been able to lock for up to about 72 hours.    Even with a newer model lock, max time would have been 144 hours.  So unless someone JUST locked it up recently, it would have run down a long time ago.

The door appears to only have one lock on it, but I would imagine that it is most likely a 4 wheel vault lock, with a potential of 100,000,000 possible combinations - so if you don't have the combination - hopefully the door is locked open.   You didn't mention whether it is open or locked close and/or how you know that there are two doors behind it, other than saying that the combination is lost - which to me indicates a locked up door.

As for getting it operational, that isn't a problem once the "locked or unlocked" issue is resolved and the door open.

Does the vault add any value???   Other than the "COOL" factor, the answer is a yes and no.   First it does NOT add any value as far as a working vault for a bank, jeweler, Credit union, check cashing or other similar organization as it does NOT meet any current standards for burglary resistance.   For any other reason - especially the cool factor - yes it does.

Let me ask you a question.    As you are buying the building - if you were basically looking at two identical buildings in the same area, but one has this cool vault installed and operational would YOU be willing to pay more for it???    I guarantee that if you ask the same question to 100 different people ALL of them will say yes.     How much does it add to the value of the building???   That depends on how cool YOU think it is.

As far as a "value" for the door itself, it has none while it is installed.   If the door is removed from the building and cleaned up ready for sale - THEN it will have some resale value.

As you are making an offer, YOU have to decide how cool the vault is and how much YOU are willing to pay, compared to a similar building in the same area, which doesn't have the vault.

Obviously the seller will have his high and low values for the property and you should also.   Somewhere between HIS high asking price and your low, initial offering value, there is possibly a number that you can both live with, and be happy.    If the numbers are too far apart then it may not happen.

As far as putting a price on the vault for comparison sake alone, if you didn't buy this building but bought the similar, comparison building, and decided to add a vault, you could easily be in the $25,000 to $50,000 range depending on the size of the vault and the door installed.    This price doesn't include any permits or contractor $$$'s to finish the installation.   Its just the cost of the vault, the door and installation labor.

Hope this answers some questions for you.    If you do get the building and would like more info on the door, I would be happy to look at it for you to come up with some type of age, etc.  

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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