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How to Build a Home That Will Stand (Almost) Forever

How to Build a Home That Will Stand (Almost) Forever

April 2, 2020 By Dotcom Design

Building a home is a significant investment. Not only is it essential for you to devote time to design the project, but you’ll also need to factor in any special accommodations your house will need based on your specific location. If where you live experiences seasonal heavy snowstorms, hail and rain, you’ll need to consider what you can do to minimize flooding, structural damage and energy bills. The same goes for regions that get hurricanes, tornadoes, heatwaves and many other adverse conditions. Properly preparing your home for the weather means you will spend less on costly repairs and be able to protect your home and family. Here are several ways for you to combat the elements when constructing your new home.

Build a Sturdy Foundation

A poorly built foundation can have serious consequences, especially in the wake of natural disasters. A sturdy foundation may be the most important part of your house. The foundation of the house must be able to support the load of the entire structure, including the upper levels, occupants and furniture. A sturdy foundation must also prevent underground moisture from leaking in and causing weaknesses in the structure. Any mistakes made at the foundation level will only escalate over time.

Stable Roofing

Area-specific natural disasters, such as cyclones and tornadoes, can cause a massive amount of structural damage. The roof of your home is one of the primary structures that provide shelter and safety. You’ll want to make sure that your roof is constantly maintained and stays in top condition. A reinforced concrete roof can withstand high-category tornado winds. In addition, there are several ways to use ridge and valley beams that will work with the reinforced concrete roof.

Walkway

You shouldn’t neglect your walkway if you live in an area with excessive rain or storms because it is among some of the most commonly flooded areas of the house during heavy rain. Installing a drain near the area of your walkway that experiences the most flooding can help alleviate the problem. If you are constructing a new walkway, consider stamped concrete. Using stamped concrete has many benefits when building a walkway. It involves constructing the walkway with slab concrete and then impressing patterns and textures into the concrete to recreate the visual patterns of cobblestone, brick, wood, and many other materials. The major advantage of using stamped concrete is that it is not susceptible to frost or water damage; underlying flooding; or the breaking off of interlocking materials.

Basement

If your area receives five feet of rain or more per year and/or experiences occasional flooding, you will want to proactively take steps to construct your basement specifically to prevent flooding. Flooding in your basement can cause immense structural damage to your house, because, oftentimes, the damage cannot be seen until severe damage has already occurred. Several construction steps you can take include making sure that your sump pump is working properly, you have a backup generator for your sump pump and you have trenches or drains dug into your basement that connect to the sump pump.

Load-Bearing Walls

As the trend continues for open floor concepts in living area designs, the issue of load-bearing walls is coming up more often. However, load-bearing walls have been a fundamental building concept for a long time. They can hold up the combined weight of the above structure, people and furniture. The load is transferred down the walls all the way to the foundation of the building. It is important to construct a house with properly installed load-bearing walls if you live in an area where you expect a lot of stress to be placed on the foundation due to the natural elements.

Shatterproof or Impact-Resistant Windows

Shatterproof, or impact-resistant windows, can be a great addition during the home construction process if you live in an area that experiences frequent hurricanes, cyclones, winter storms or hail. Impact-resistant windows tend to be manufactured with more than one layer. If flying objects manage to shatter an impact-resistant window, the treated glass of the window is designed to safely crack in an intact, thin, spiderweb pattern contained within the frame against the inner glass membrane. On the other hand, regular windows will shatter into large shards of flying glass if struck by flying objects.

Install Storm Doors

If you live in a hurricane-prone area, storm doors can be a necessity during the hurricane season to keep your home safe. High-impact winds can cause great structural damage to your home if they were to gain entry into your home. The smaller interior space can cause high-velocity wind to increase its impact on your interiors, walls and ceiling. This is why installing storm doors can add an additional layer of protection to your home.

Use Radiant Roof Sheathing Against the Heat

If you live in an area with extremely hot summers, radiant roof sheathing can further help you moderate the temperature in your home. Specifically, radiant roof sheathing is installed as panels on your roof to reflect solar radiation from the sun. This helps cool down your attic and the rooms below, which can help combat extreme heat and reduce the workload of your HVAC units during a hot summer. Not only will you be more comfortable in extreme temperatures, but you may also have a lower energy bill.

Invest in Proper Insulation

Having professionally installed insulation in your home is of vital importance for keeping the temperature stable during unexpected extreme weather, such as a winter storm or extreme summer heat. Not only does proper insulation help keep you comfortable in your own home, but it can also help improve the energy efficiency within your home and increase your savings on energy bills. In addition, proper insulation can also promote a quieter house by muffling noise coming from both the inside of the house and also from outside storms, traffic or construction.

As the construction process continues, you’ll want to make sure that you’re making the best decisions for your budget when it comes to the safety and security of your house. Natural elements can cause a lot of damage to your investment, and you’ll want to make sure that you take the appropriate steps and are proactive in building a home suitable for your geographical location.

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