PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

PATH Case Study

Storm Sellers:

Hurricane-Resistant Building Package Speeds Construction,
Attracts Homebuyers

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Printable Version [.pdf, 169 KB]

[IMAGE: Scorecard image]

Builder:

Mike Romig, President
Tarpon Coast Development
Osprey, Florida

Builder Type:

Small Production Builder

The Technology:

Storm-Resistant Construction with Precast Concrete Foundation and Wall Panels and High Wind- and Impact-Resistant Asphalt Roofing Shingles.

The Project:

A $240,000 2,200-square-foot home in Gulf Cove, Florida. The homebuyers lived next to the lot and wanted to upgrade to a more storm-resistant structure.


"It's a fairly typical pattern. When the people who are interested in strength and safety see our homes, they usually say 'Yes, that's the home for us.'"

-- Mike Romig

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ROMIG'S STORY

"The homebuyer approached us in early May, shortly after we had cleared the lot in their neighborhood," says Mike Romig, president of Tarpon Coast Development. "We had put up several signs that talk about the strength and durability of our homes, as well as the energy efficiency. The buyers like the area and didn't want to leave, but they did want a better home."

[IMAGE: While this home may look like others in Gulf Cove, it's a veritable fortress. Tarpon Coast Development sold it on its storm-resistant construction features.] "They had been looking for a couple months, and within a week, they decided to buy this one. It's a fairly typical pattern. When the people who are interested in strength and safety see our homes, they usually say 'Yes, that's the home for us.'"

SELLING WHAT THEY CAN'T SEE

"People do think about safety a little bit more around here," Romig says. "This whole area near Port Charlotte went through a lot with Hurricane Charley in 2004."

"Still, it's been a bit of an uphill battle to get the public to understand what we are doing. Our goal is to give people affordable homes that are safe. However, the typical homebuyer in our price range is just looking at the appearance and floorplan of the model. Sometimes it is difficult to get homebuyers to understand that what we are building looks the same as Joe Builder's home down the street, but it's so technologically advanced, it doesn't even compare."

"We are looking into radio now, but most of our advertising is through print ads and our Web site, which we just started a few months ago and are still developing. It's already become a pretty good tool for us, describing who we are and why our homes are better. However, for practically every buyer we meet, I take the time to go through the way the house is built and why we do it that way."

CARVING A NICHE FOR EXCELLENCE

"Our goal is to exceed the most stringent Florida code for barrier islands and the Florida Keys. We are building in a 130-mph-wind zone, but our construction goes beyond the requirements of the 150-mph-wind zones."

Starting with this home and another we are building in Gulf Cove, every home Tarpon Coast Development builds will be designated as Fortifiedů for Safer Living, a program operated by the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) to specify construction, design, and landscaping guidelines to increase a home's resistance to natural disaster.

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[IMAGE: Mike Romig]


Builder Mike Romig brings 30 years of experience in shipbuilding and the concrete industry to homebuilding. Along with Janet Romig and entrepreneur Wendell Hughes, he founded Tarpon Coast Development in 2001. Romig's goal: build strong, durable homes at an affordable price.

Why he uses storm-resistant construction:

"We did extensive research and eventually arrived at this particular combination of technologies. We felt it gave us the strongest system, and was the fastest to erect. That reflects on the bottom line."


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Content updated on 9/27/2006

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