Build Stronger Near the Beach

June 17, 2013 | By | Comments (2)

Our 2008 showhouse in Galveston, TX, went virtually unscathed after Hurricane Ike ravaged the town. (Photo: Jean Allsopp)

With hurricane season off to an active start, making sure your coastal home will stand the test of Mother Nature is as important as ever. Whether it’s something as small as a two-inch nail or as large as an entire roof, the materials you choose for your home can greatly influence its durability in a storm. Our editor-at-large, Amy Goodman, appeared on Fox News’s Fox & Friends this week to give tips on building near the coast. Watch the clip here.

Below, check out a few storm-resistant materials that you might want to consider when renovating a home or building anew:

Composite window shutters: We often hear from builders that the most vulnerable parts of a home in a hurricane are the windows, so protecting these areas is imperative. Permex Hurricane Shutters are crafted of CPVC (a type of composite) and reinforced with impact-resistant fiberglass, but made to resemble traditional wood shutters (from beaded board to louvered Bahama style)—meaning you can keep the traditional coastal aesthetic without sacrificing durability.

Cement patio tiles: While there are numerous options in patio flooring, we’re seeing homeowners opt more and more for inherently strong choices, like stone and concrete. That may be in part thanks to a departure from the gray, dull, industrial concrete of yore; today, stained, stamped, and painted concrete is taking hold. Granada Cement Tiles (which are made especially hardy by pressing the cement under 2,000 pounds of pressure) are one example of concrete beautified.

Fiber cement siding: Choosing between the charming look of a shingle-style home and the hardiness of a hurricane-resistant structure is tough…Luckily, you don’t have to. James Hardie crafts textured wood-like shingles and planks of fiber cement (a mixture of sand, cement, and cellulose), so your siding can take virtually anything Mother Nature throws at it. The hardy material won’t crack, dent or lose its shape when hit with debris in high winds, and is resistant to damage in floods.

Hurriquake Nail: Many builders say that what makes a home hurricane-resistant is how well it is put together. So, little things like nails can matter just as much as larger items. The Hurriquake nail by Stanley Bostitch is crafted with a grooved, “ring shank” bottom, meaning it’ll grip wood better in high winds. Its twisted steel top also keeps planks from wobbling and joints from loosening.

Metal roof: Often considered one of the strongest materials when it comes to wind-resistance, metal can withstand winds of up to 120 mph. Metal roofs are also applied in long strips, so there’s no need to worry about losing individual tiles or shingles in a hurricane. The storm-strong material is popular in coastal homes along the Gulf and East coasts—stop by our 2013 showhouse on Daniel Island, South Carolina (Open June 28, Wed-Sat: 10-4;  Sun: 12-4) to see one from the Metal Roofing Alliance in person.

Impact-resistant windows: Add an extra layer of protection to your home by installing impact-resistant glass windows, like ones from Marvin’s StormPlus series. Crafted with a layer of laminate, the windows are designed to crack or fracture, but remain intact, in a hurricane, allowing no wind, water, pressure, or debris to enter your home.


  1. Jason Carey

    Its strange that you guys talk about the little products but not about the structure?
    We build with ICF (Insulated Concrete Form’s) and they are completely hurricane proof. We don’t use sheetrock any more, instead we use a 9000 psi stucco so mold the number one problem after a hurricane is not an issue and in fact at the correct thickness is bullet proof. Govt.buildings now have to be ICF as they are the only structure that can take direct hits from hurricanes.

    June 18, 2013 at 11:37 am
  2. Jason Carey Sag Harbor NY buildings hurricane proof homes come out and see some of our homes.

    June 18, 2013 at 11:38 am

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