Durability and weather resistance are crucial considerations in the home building industry. Homes should be safe and secure places for homeowners to relax after a tedious day. However, subpar construction can quickly turn your home into a calamity. This explains why home builders and contractors shouldn’t ignore weather conditions when designing homes.
Building a weather-proof home requires that you choose a designer and builder versed in your local climate. For instance, for those who live in Houston, your contractor should know that Houston weather may affect concrete and other building materials. Whether in Houston or other hurricane-prone areas, your home design should revolve around the following for assured durability and weather resistance.
Consulting local state laws before home construction is a must. While building a fully hurricane-resistant home is impossible, adhering to local laws increases the chances that your home will withstand predicted calamities. Most states have local laws that developers should observe to reduce risks and damages.
Even though construction materials won’t make your home hurricane-proof, the design and manufacture of these materials can make your home strong. Concrete and steel are preferred options. Wood isn’t a good choice for hurricane-proof homes for many reasons. Some materials to consider include:
- Concrete homes: Homes made from concrete can withstand up to category 5 hurricane forces. Reinforced concrete is robust and durable, making it a perfect option for coastal homes prone to hurricane damage. Besides being popular among contractors, concrete is affordable and allows developers the liberty of increasing reinforcements for more strength.
- Steel: Homes with steel construction are also resistant to hurricanes. Such homes can resist winds of up to 170mph. Steel also excellently absorbs earthquakes.
- Recycled plastic: Innovation coupled with the increasing awareness of sustainability led to the introduction of composite materials made from recycled plastics. Disposed plastic is melted and converted into forms-like material that can withstand strong forces of wind and water.
- Prefabricated homes: Modular homes are designed offsite and transported to the construction site for assembling. Prefabricated homes are a great choice for clients who want hurricane-proof homes on a budget. Several prefab home designs withstand hurricanes and earthquakes.
- Tiny homes: Tiny prefab homes are eco-friendly and hurricane-proof. Tiny home constructors use insulated panels that can withstand extreme weather conditions.
- Shipping container homes: Container homes are increasingly becoming a popular design option, especially for millennial homeowners. Besides being affordable, container homes can withstand hurricanes and other harsh weather conditions.
The foundation is an important part of any construction. It determines the building’s strength, especially against strong forces like hurricanes. In this situation, a strong foundation should be high and reinforced. You should consider the following options:
- Concrete slab foundation: While water affects concrete components, it won’t hurt cured concrete slabs.
- Pile foundation: Helical pile foundations are resistant to hurricane force. These foundations are constructed high enough and have lateral loads that resist wind force.
- Pier foundations: Like pile foundations, pier foundations raise the building high enough to ensure hurricane winds blow under the structure. They also have a reinforced crawl space.
Windows are probably the most fragile part of your home. Even with a strong foundation and strong exterior walls, a hurricane can still damage your household appliances and internal walls. You should choose strong windows to make your home fully resistant.
That said, you should choose between hurricane windows and high-impact windows for your home. Most homeowners think these types are the same, which isn’t true. High-impact windows are robust and can withstand more force than hurricane windows. Apart from hurricane protection, these windows are beneficial in the following other ways:
- Offer excellent noise reduction: Hurricane-proof windows have excellent noise-reduction abilities. This means you won’t be disrupted by barking dogs, lawnmowers, or traffic noise.
- Solar protection: Multi-layered impact windows also offer great solar protection benefits. This keeps your family members and household appliances safe from harmful solar rays that damage furniture, fade window treatments, and are harmful to the skin.
- Energy efficient: Hurricane and high-impact windows have two or three glass panels, which makes them very energy efficient. This saves homeowners a lot on heating and cooling costs.
- Improved safety: High-impact windows are robust, making it impossible for intruders to force their way in through the door or window.
- Increases your property value: Potential buyers won’t think of purchasing a standard home in a hurricane-prone area. However, using hurricane-resistant windows and sturdy options can increase your home’s value if you intend to sell your home later.
- Reduces insurance costs: All modifications designed to make your home hurricane-resistant also help reduce insurance costs. Insurance companies offer discounted rates to homeowners with hurricane-proof homes.
Like windows, doors are a weak part of your home that should be reinforced when building hurricane-proof homes. Strong hurricane winds have previously destroyed standard garage doors. As such, homeowners should strengthen their garage doors against hurricanes or install metal doors for assured protection.
Hurricane-impact doors have special additions that protect your home from tropical storms and hurricane damage. These doors have a strong frame, panel, and glass to withstand flying debris and strong winds. These doors also offer excellent noise reduction capabilities and are energy efficient.
Roofs are another exposed part of your home. Strong winds can easily blow off standard roofs and shingles. Most building codes require homeowners in hurricane-prone areas to use metal roofs that can withstand strong winds. You should choose a roof based on its strength, authenticity, cost, and warranty. However, you shouldn’t sacrifice aesthetics.
Your roofing contractor should use hurricane straps and ties. They are an excellent reinforcement for homes in hurricane-prone areas. Straps and ties ensure that your home’s structural components and foundation can withstand hurricane force.
There’s a lot that goes into designing and building a hurricane-proof home. The foundation, choice of building materials, doors, and windows are very crucial. You should also choose a building contractor with proven experience constructing hurricane-proof homes.