When extreme weather conditions hit, people often seek shelter in their home. However, not all residential structures are capable of providing the protection necessary to keep families safe during extreme weather events. The average house may be able to keep you warm and dry during a downpour or blizzard, but when it comes to more severe weather patterns, having a reliable foundation with hurricane resistant siding is often a matter of life or death.
Whether you live in the Gulf Coast, Northeast or Midwest, there are a variety of dangerous weather events possible. When a hailstorm, tornado, or hurricane hits, you’ll want to be able to trust your home to provide safety from the storm.
Luckily, there are a few simple upgrades you can make during the planning and building process that can make a huge difference in the long run. A few small changes go a long way when it comes to making your home safe and stormproof. In addition, these changes will save an incredible amount of resources in the future that would otherwise get poured into repair and rebuilding after significant storm damage.
Take a look at these three straightforward tips for making your home hurricane resistant.
Pay Attention to Details
Building a home already requires incredible attention to detail. But building a home that will prove hurricane resistant demands an even stricter ability to designate every detail of your home’s construction.
Talk to building experts to see what changes you can make in the home’s architectural design in order to prepare for severe weather. If a balcony is an added risk, take it out of the design. If smaller soffit panels are suggested to help endure harsh weather better, than add them to the layout. If reducing the amount of window space or rearranging window layouts will strengthen the home against strong winds, take these notes into account.
There is no room for overlooking details when you’re set on constructing a home ready to withstand a hurricane. Every last piece of the puzzle must be looked at, and all appropriate changes must be considered.
Invest in Quality Building Materials
Arguably the most critical aspect of designing a home ready to withstand hurricane force, selecting quality building materials is absolutely vital. This element is – quite literally – make or break for your home. Think of material choices as an investment. Choosing quality materials may be more expensive, but it will save a fortune in time, money, and effort that would be required for repairs.
One simple way to upgrade your home is to incorporate fiber cement siding into its construction. Unlike vinyl, which is much more likely to break, snap and shred during a hurricane, fiber cement siding is built to be more durable. Heavy and strong, this quality building material is capable of providing additional protection from wind and debris during a storm or hurricane.
If you truly want your home to withstand severe weather, you simply can’t afford to cut corners by choosing cheap products over tested, durable, quality building materials.
Go Above and Beyond Local Building Codes
Areas that see consistently dangerous seasonal weather events, like Florida, are likely to have much stricter building codes than other areas. The reason behind these code requirements lies in local efforts to keep the community safe by limiting the amount of property damage experienced each year.
However, meeting code requirements don’t always guarantee that your home will be weather-proof during turbulent storms. It’s necessary to go above and beyond building codes in your area if you want your structure to outlast.
One homeowner whose property experienced a devastating hurricane claims that his home was the last structure standing because of a strict commitment to going far beyond local building codes. While the local code regulations required residential structures to be built in order to withstand 120 mph winds, this homeowner built his house to withstand 250 mph winds. It’s no coincidence then that his home was the sole structure standing on the block after a record-breaking hurricane passed through the area.
(photo by https://www.knoxnews.com)
These are just a few simple upgrades you can select in order to make your home hurricane resistant. How much will these changes cost you? On average, it may increase the cost of building your home by 15-20%, but it may be just the key changes necessary to keep your home, family, and belongings safe during a hurricane.
When you think of the difference in those terms, a 15-20% increase in initial building costs seems incredibly minimal compared to having the confidence of a hurricane resistant structure to see you through the storm.