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PATH Case Study

Achieving Strength and Affordability with Top-of-the-Line Technology


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This detail shows the proper installation of ridge shingles in high wind areas.

"My philosophy is that you can add granite countertops and change your lighting fixtures, but you can't rebuild the body of a house. That's why I'm putting money and energy into building a really strong envelope."

In addition to wind-resistant shingles, Beall used concrete masonry block (CMU) for durable walls and foundations. The home also features a safe room, doors that swing out, impact-resistant windows, and emergency backup power.


"We used Owens Corning 40-year shingles in this project," says Beall. "Compared to traditional shingles, there is little difference in appearance. High wind-resistant shingles are heavier and thicker and require a different nailing pattern, but they take the same amount of time to install and they don't require a special level of expertise. Any builder can use them."

"Besides quality, the only real difference is the price. While regular shingles cost $70 per square, these cost $97 per square. But for the strength and durability, they're worth it."

Depending on the frequency of storms, the homeowner's cost for a roof with high wind-resistant shingles could be less than the cost of replacing the roof--to say nothing of storm-damaged interior walls and furnishings. Some insurance companies may also offer a discount on homeowner's insurance for shingles meeting a UL 2218 Class 4 rating.


This project included the following PATH-profiled technology:

This detail shows the proper application of cement in a typical high-impact and wind-resistant shingle installation.To complement the strength of the shingles, Beall used a hip roof design, which is less vulnerable than a gable roof in a storm. The roof includes a ridge vent made from a heavier gauge metal that has a lip to prevent water from entering the structure. Beall says ridge vents are stronger than soffit vents and less likely to blow off in a storm. The home also features 5/8-inch roof decking, a tighter nailing pattern than required by code, a peel-and-stick water barrier on all seams of the roof deck, and 30-pound felt. Hurricane straps tie the roof trusses to the body of the house.


Beall's Storm Safe Homes project isn't just about storm-resistance; it's also about preparedness. Details like the safe room and back-up power offer buyers peace of mind. Doubling as a master bedroom closet, the safe room is made from 8-inch concrete block, poured solid with a 4-inch cap of concrete on the ceiling. This is reinforced with #5 rebar running every 8 inches in each direction. This detail shows the proper placement of roofing nails on a shingle installation.

"A lot of the damage we've seen in storms has been the result of trees falling through roofs. A poured concrete slab that is reinforced with rebar will be safe from a falling tree."

A pre-wired six-circuit breaker box plugs into a generator that runs to outlets in the safe room, the master bedroom, the refrigerator, and one set of lights in the living room.

"It won't be a totally functional home, but it gives you enough power to run a fan, cook, and live for a few weeks," says Beall. Generators also allow fans and dryers to dry out the home if the power goes out after a hurricane.

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Content updated on 9/27/2006

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