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Are you dreaming of building a beach house on the coast? While there’s certainly something magical about waking up to sweeping ocean views and the fresh breeze, it’s important to remember that constructing a house near the shore presents its own challenges.
✔ Before you begin this exciting journey, you must do your research to avoid making mistakes that may find you crashing with the law. This article explores factors you must consider when building a house on the coast.
Building a House on the Coast?: Consider These Factors
a. Construction Company
✔ The first step is finding an experienced contractor such as Boh Bros construction who understands how to build homes at or near the coastline. You can ask your local builder for references and thoroughly research before signing any contracts.
✔ Speak directly with past clients and look into their current projects and the work they’ve completed in recent years. This will give you an accurate idea of what kind of work they do and if it fits your needs.
✔ You can also check with industry associations such as The Home Builders Association (HBA) or National Spa & Pool Institute (NSPI) for further information regarding service providers specializing in beach home-building services.
✔ Building a house on the coast can be costly but you don’t have to break the bank. Create a budget that includes materials, labour costs, and permits before starting your project.
✔ Researching different home-building companies in your area will help ensure you get quality work for an affordable price. Some construction companies may even offer discounts for working with them multiple times or referring their services to friends and family.
c. Local Zoning
✔ Before you begin building, check with your local zoning department to see if any special regulations or restrictions apply to coastal construction.
✔ You may need a permit for certain modifications; in some cases, the city might require additional permits or special insurance coverage. This is especially essential if you are building in a flood-prone location.
✔ If you don’t comply with the zoning requirements, you risk incurring heavy fines or even criminal charges depending on the severity of the transgression.
d. Coastal Building Codes
✔ Since beach homes have unique requirements, such as weight-bearing walls designed to stand up against strong winds and waves, contractors and homeowners alike need to be aware of local coastal building codes.
✔ Depending on your location, these codes could vary widely from those applicable elsewhere, so ensure you’re familiar with them before starting construction.
e. Flood Zones
✔ It’s also important to consider potential flooding risks posed by living near a coastline when choosing where your house will be built whether it’s right onto the shoreline or further inland, away from potential storm surges.
✔ Knowing which flood zone you live in can help you make informed decisions about how much elevation is necessary and what materials should be used during construction.
✔ You must also check out FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) online, which provides detailed information about areas particularly prone to flooding.
f. Building Materials
✔ When constructing a beach home, it’s important to pick materials specifically suited for the coastal environment and ensure they meet all relevant building codes, as mentioned above.
✔ Generally speaking, stainless steel nails and screws should always be used due to their resistance to corrosion caused by saltwater air. You must also use pressure-treated lumber, such as redwood decking boards, which are best for outdoor flooring.
✔ And composite shingles may provide better protection from high winds than traditional asphalt ones since they don’t tear off easily like its counterpart would during bad weather like storms and hurricanes.
g. Foundation Elevation
✔ The elevation of your beach house is vital for both aesthetics and practicality. You want to ensure the foundation is high enough, so it doesn’t get damaged by flooding yet low enough that you won’t obstruct views from other properties or public spaces nearby.
✔ Besides, if you are building in an area prone to hurricanes or other extreme weather conditions, building a coastal home on stilts also protects against potential flood damage.
h. Building Height
✔ Beach homes typically have height restrictions imposed by local zoning ordinances. As such, you must double-check with your city before starting construction.
✔ These regulations vary according to location but generally speaking, they are often around two stories tall, including attic space. However, if you’re looking for something taller, consider applying for a variance that can increase the maximum allowed limit depending on certain factors, such as additional livable square footage.
i. Windows and Doors
✔ Choosing windows and doors appropriate for a beachfront house should involve consultation with professionals who understand what materials will stand up best against saltwater air, wind load, and debris exposure.
✔ Typically this means going with aluminium frames instead of wood ones since the corrosion-resistant metals do not degrade as quickly due to their protective coating. You must also opt for laminated, impact-resistant glass, which can withstand strong winds.
✔ You can firmly attach plastic panes to the windows to provide extra safety during storms or high winds compared to regular window panes.
j. Protection from Weather Elements
✔ The weather in coastal areas can be very unpredictable, so ensuring that your beach house is built with adequate protection from potential storms is crucial.
✔ As previously mentioned, composite shingles are an excellent choice for roofs since they don’t easily tear off like asphalt ones during high winds. Alternatively, consider using standing seam metal roofs as they provide better protection against wind and corrosion.
✔ You can add hurricane shutters, sidings, and other storm-proof features, such as boards over windows, and reinforce the door frames to protect the interior of your beach home against forceful winds and rain.
k. Outdoor Living Area
✔ Creating an outdoor living area is often part of the dream when building a beach house on the coast. Designing this space should include selecting materials appropriate for wet climates, such as stone pavers instead of wood decking.
✔ Remember to add some lighting fixtures since these will help you enjoy the fresh breeze day and night outside long after sunset.
✔ Without extensive research, building a house on the coast isn’t something to rush into. Before starting construction, ensure you understand how local zoning restrictions apply and what materials best suit the saltwater air.
✔ And the most important is finding experienced professionals specializing in coastal building services. With all these factors considered, you’ll soon have your beautiful new beach home, your dream come true.