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On Your Way To Build A Home In Florida? Keep These Hurricane-proofing Tips In Mind

By Author: Alex Smith
Total Articles: 4

What Hurricane Andrew did to Florida 25 years back (it destroyed more than 60 thousand homes and damaged 100,000 more) taught home builders an important career lesson – follow the state's building codes to the last detail. Take a fast forward to 2017 Florida. Their love for the rules has saved the state from its apocalyptic fate this time. As the Sunshine State is coming back to normalcy after being hit by Hurricane Irma, one pattern is slowly emerging; the homes built to these strict building codes could successfully defy the devastation. Are you on your way to building your home from scratch on your lot? Whether your lot is in Tampa or Miami, be sure to find an experienced home builder who is familiar with the building codes of the state. Besides keeping to the rule-book, also follow a few construction tricks to prevent your home from becoming a victim to the next Category 5 storm.

Get the Right Floor Plan

Statistics show that homes with a hexagonal or octagonal floor plan can better resist the assault of strong and incessant shower. Another alternative is to opt for a square floor plan.

Select the Perfect Roof Style

A storm subjects a building to different types of wind pressure.While a building’s windward walls face an inward pull, the sidewalls and leeward walls face an outward pressure. The roof has to bear an upward pressure.

Experts concur that roofs built with four or more panel scan withstand heavier wind loads.The more slopes your roof has, the better it is. This means that the hip roof style that comprises four slopes would be just perfect for your Florida home. The two-sloped Gable roofs may be less expensive, but they do not stand a chance against extreme wind events.

A 30-degree roof slope will be your best bet when it comes to hurricane-proofing your home. If you are using any roof overhang, limit its length strictly to 20 inches. Also, adding some aerodynamic features to the roof edges will help neutralize the wind’s uplift force.

Fix the Roof Properly

Strong wind creates a massive traction on a roof which often causes it to fly off during extreme wind events. Hence, how you attach the roof to the walls matters. Before Florida's encounter with Andrew, homeowners used staples instead of nails to fix the roof to the main structure. Post-Andrew, this practice is no longer prevalent.

Keep the Structure on the Ground

A hurricane is powerful enough to uproot your home from its foundation. That is why you should use a technology that helps to keep the structure grounded. In the market, you will find cable products that come with massive tensile strength and can tie the house down to its foundation by connecting its J-bolt to the top plate. The technology involves exerting constant downward pressure on a building, much in the fashion of Chinese finger lock. The system helps to hold your home to the place even during the worst storms.

Reinforce Your Walls

You will have to use something stronger and sturdier than traditional timber frameworks for your walls. A new material like Insulating Concrete Forms or ICFs can do the trick. ICF walls are composed of expanded polystyrene blocks. These resilient blocks can help you build 24-inch thick walls and a solid foundation for your new home.

Hurricane-proofing a home would mean making it in a way so that it is six times stronger than an ordinary house. It is going to be quite challenging, but once you accomplish the feat, you will be eligible for better home insurance terms. Hire an experienced home builder in Tampa to build a home that can survive the hurricanes. Also, explore new building technologies and take advantage of them to make your home indestructible.

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