PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

PATH Case Study

Hurricane-Resistant Building Package Speeds Construction,
Attracts Homebuyers


Continued from Page 2


The following recommendations from PATH will help improve any home's ability to resist wind-related damage:

  • Build fewer floors. A lower-profile house is inherently less vulnerable.
  • Favor a hip roof over a gabled roof, which is inherently more vulnerable to wind damage.
  • Avoid building very low and steep-sloped roofs, which generally create increased uplift and lateral wind loads.
  • Install roof sheathing with 8d (eight-penny weight) nails spaced no more than six inches on center in roof framing members. Ring shank nails may be added for greater wind resistance.
  • Install roof shingles, siding, and other exterior finish materials with adequate fastening to prevent tear-off and water entry. For roof shingles, this may simply involve using six nails per shingle rather than four. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Ensure that adequate connections, brackets, anchors, or tie-straps are provided to transmit wind uplift loads adequately to the foundation.
  • For homes in severe hurricane regions, protect the home from wind-borne debris with impact-resistant glazing, permanent shutters, or temporary shutters. Plywood panels are less costly but do not meet code in most jurisdictions.


Hurricane/Coastal Construction: A ToolBase Tech Note

Tech Set 5: Storm-Resistant Roofing

"We do either metal roofs or 150-mph code shingles. For this particular home, we are using shingles. The metal roof typically adds between $10,000 and $15,000 to the house. Not including the pool and other unique features, this house will cost about $240,000 with the lot, septic, and water. That's moderately priced for this region."


"We do take less of a profit per home than a typical builder. Building this way requires additional labor and material. Trusses, doors, garage doors, windows and hurricane shutters, hurricane straps, shingles and secondary water barriers are just some of the areas where we incur additional costs over building to code. Add to that standard features like granite counters, ceramic tile, higher grade appliances, bull nose drywall corners, and low-e double pane windows that are considered upgrades by most other builders, and it does impact our bottom line."

"It works for us because we build homes much quicker than a typical builder. The precast concrete walls typically go up in one day with proper coordination with the manufacturer. The manifold PEX plumbing system goes in quickly and virtually never has any installation errors, thereby minimizing time required for plumbing. All of our subcontractors understand the emphasis we put on time and scheduling--they are very helpful in achieving our accelerated construction schedules. From the time we pour the slab, we tell buyers they will be in their home in 90 days, which includes a little slack time for us. In the time it takes most builders to complete one home, we can already be starting work on our fourth."

"We are very focused on not wasting any time in each project. This rapid production rate allows us to realistically plan for growth in the coming years. We built 20 homes this past year, plan on doing 50 homes next year, and approach 100 the year after that. To build strong, safe, comfortable homes at an affordable price, it takes very efficient construction methods."

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Content updated on 9/27/2006

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