CUSTOMIZING YOUR NAPLES-AREA LUXURY HOME FOR HURRICANE PROTECTION
If the budget is not an obstacle for homeowners, wanting unique features and detailing to develop a premier luxury custom home, they should consider whether they are spending enough money to ensure the house will be safe. In particular, those customizing their luxury dream homes in the Naples, Florida, area should prioritize storm-proofing features, as made evident by last year’s Hurricane Ian. The Category Four hurricane caused up to $50 billion in insured losses to southwest and central Florida, destroying 5,000 homes and damaging another 30,000. Compared to some areas, Naples got off relatively easy with more than $1.5 billion in damages, including 22 buildings destroyed, 708 reported as significantly damaged, and almost 2,000 suffering minor damage.
While the general contractors of Naples, Florida-based Carlson Harris specialize in developing homes with the highest quality materials and features that emphasize “luxury,” they also encourage their clients to incorporate the best in storm-proofing to ensure their homes can weather the fiercest storms. Homeowners planning to build or renovate a custom luxury home in southwest Florida should consider the following storm-proofing ideas in their designs.
START FROM THE TOP
While storm surges and flooding that come with a hurricane typically cause the most catastrophic building damage, wind-driven roof damage tends to produce the most visible widespread damage and the number of insurance claims. With this in mind, you should factor wind-resistant roofing into your luxury custom home planning. Roofing materials and design play a significant role in wind resistance, so consider the following options when designing the roof of your custom home:
- Metal roofing—with the ability to weather hurricane-force winds of up to 175 m.p.h., metal offers the best wind resistance of all roofing materials. While the idea of a metal roof might bring the aesthetics of a “tin roof” to mind, today’s metal roofs come in a variety of different metals, designs, and colors.
- Wood shake—this roofing option can provide between 130-160 m.p.h. of wind resistance depending on the wood quality and construction.
- Clay and concrete tiles—the unique shapes and colors of these tiles make them a popular choice for many of our area’s luxury homeowners. From a hurricane’s perspective, this roofing material holds up reasonably well with the ability to weather wind speeds of up to 130 m.p.h.
- Slate tiles—while heavier than clay and concrete, slate tiles have a lower wind resistance that averages 110 m.p.h., with resistance highly dependent on the quality of the roofing work.
- Asphalt shingles—as the least expensive roofing material option, asphalt shingles are popular in the area, though they only offer a maximum of 110 m.p.h. in wind resistance. Even with hurricane straps and wind-resistant roof shape, storms packing 100-plus m.p.h. winds tend to cause at least some damage to asphalt roofs.
As suggested, the quality of roofing construction will play a key role in how well your Naples-area roof weathers the next hurricane. Other considerations to discuss with your architect/designer include roof shape, pitch, overhang, and strapping (mandatory in Florida), as they also play a wind-resistance role. For example, a 30-degree roof pitch is considered optimal for wind resistance.
OPTIONS FOR PROTECTING YOUR WINDOWS
Hurricane Ian’s strong winds created a maelstrom of wind-blow debris that blew out countless windows in the Naples area. While replacing damaged windows can be costly, the graver concern is the additional damage that occurs to the home and its contents due to water ingress, interior pressure changes, and high winds coursing through the house. Thus, anyone building or renovating a home in southwest Florida should incorporate impact-resistant windows as part of the construction. High-quality impact-resistant windows can provide up to 175 m.p.h. of protection from wind-blown debris. For optimal window protection, you should consider built-in hurricane shutters that can be custom built to match the design of your luxury home.
CONSIDER THE LUXURY HOME’S LOCATION
“Location, location, location” is a real estate mantra, but it also affects the degree of damage your home may experience during a hurricane. Luxury homeowners in the Naples area who desire waterfront must live with the threat of storm surge and flooding with the approach of every hurricane. If you’re building or renovating a home near our beautiful waters, make sure you vigorously examine all options for mitigating hurricane storm surge and flooding damage, including:
- Dry floodproofing—building materials and construction designed to make the building watertight.
- Wet floodproofing—building materials and construction designed to move water in and out of enclosed portions of a building’s lower level with the least damage possible.
- Elevation—raising the building to keep it above flood waters.
- Grading—creating slope in the yard to help keep floodwaters at bay.
GENERATE ELECTRICITY FOR THE STORM’S AFTERMATH
In addition to protecting against storm damage, southwest Florida-area residents should pre-plan for a hurricane’s aftermath. For homeowners, this means contending with a potential loss of electricity that could last for days, if not weeks. Generators can provide homeowners with emergency electricity to power various household needs for the duration of the power outage. If you’re living in a custom-built luxury home, we recommend you opt for a standby generator rather than a portable one. Unlike most portable generators, a standby one kicks into operation automatically and may not need refueling for days, weeks, or indefinitely depending on the fuel source. Most standby generators also have the capacity to power everything in the home, something many portable generators cannot do.
STORM-PROOF YOUR LUXURY HOME WITH CARLSON HARRIS
If you’re renovating an existing home or planning to build a new luxury custom home, Carlson Harris can help you incorporate the best hurricane protection measure into your construction. After all, if you’re interested in building the best in the area’s luxury homes, you will definitely want to protect your investment. To learn more about Carlson Harris’s premier homebuilding in the Naples, Florida, area, contact us today at 239-352-2460.