Charlie Johnson Builder
Medium-sized Residential Builder
High Wind- and Impact-Resistant Shingles
Model home in Eustis, Florida.
"Buying a home is a lot like buying a car," says Kristin Beall. "You don't want to wait until you have an accident to put your family in a safe car. It's the same way with a home. You want the peace of mind of knowing that your home is going to perform well in a storm."
After witnessing the devastation caused by three major hurricanes in central Florida in 2004, Kristin Beall began to investigate ways to build homes that could withstand the effects of high winds and heavy rain for the least amount of money.
"It's a lot harder to build a $200,000 home than a $1,000,000 home with all the materials that are required for storm resistance that go beyond code," says Beall. "I spent six months conducting research to find the best products that I could for the best prices, making sure that they'd be safe and affordable for working families."
"Unfortunately, most homeowner insurance plans feature a percent deductible. When you have a house that costs $150,000 or $175,000, you're looking at a $3,000 deductible. A lot of people don't have that kind of money sitting around waiting for a hurricane claim. I'm trying to build homes that aren't badly damaged by storms in the first place."
Beall partnered with the Institute for Building and Home Safety's
Fortified … for Safer Living program, which specifies criteria to increase a home's resistance to natural disaster, to create the
Storm Safe Homes project. The first homes to be built under the project will be Beall's community in the Oaks at Summer Glen in Eustis, Florida. Each home will be built to exceed local building codes, and each will include high-wind-resistant shingles, which can withstand 130-mile-per-hour winds and resist damage from flying debris and hail.
High-end shingles on homes built for affordability? Beall makes it work. She compensates for the cost of the shingles by skipping the fancy extras for the interior. This puts her homes within reach of less affluent buyers while protecting profitability.
A licensed builder for nine years, Kristin Beall is third in a line of builders. Her grandfather Charlie Johnson founded Charlie Johnson Builder in central Florida in 1958. The company builds 100 homes a year ranging in price from $200,000 to $1,000,000. Beall is also executive producer and host of Home Talk TV, a weekly production for WRDQ Channel 27.
Why she uses hurricane-resistant shingles:
"If you're going to be putting high-quality shingles on a home anyway, it just makes sense to use ones that are impact- and wind-resistant."