Homeowners and builders need to take more care when selecting building materials for a South Carolina beach house. Why? Coastal building materials are prone to salt air and water, flooding, extreme heat and sunlight, and other factors. It’s important to select products and materials designed to be more wind, water, and heat resistant to avoid corrosion, decay, and other damage. Since coastal homes will require more maintenance and repair, it’s important to select quality materials to avoid higher costs in the long run.
FEMA Recommended Coastal Building Materials
For homeowners, this can all be overwhelming. Faced with a large variety of products in different price ranges, it’s hard to know who to trust. Thankfully FEMA has created a series of Fact Sheets titled the “Home Builders Guide to Coastal Construction” to inform builders and homeowners. One resource to help you pick the right materials for a Myrtle Beach area coastal home is the Coastal Building Materials Fact Sheet. This 6-page resource is easy-to-read and geared toward a general audience, so you don’t need to be a contractor to make sense of it. Below are some key takeaways from the document, but visit the FEMA website to view in full and access other related guides.
BFE is an acronym you’ll see associated with a lot of materials. BFE means “Base Flood Elevation” and corresponds with the National Flood Insurance Program requirements that new construction or major improvements to flood zone buildings use materials resistant to flood damage. Below are flood-resistant materials by type for your beach home:
Lumber: Preservative-treated or naturally durable wood. Naturally durable woods include redwood, cedar, black locust, and black walnut. The natural woods are attractive but will certainly be more expensive.
Steel: Both structural steel and reinforcing steel should be corrosion resistant.
Masonry: Stone-work and tile should be fully-sealed and grouted to keep water out.
DON’T USE! linoleum or vinyl (restricts drying), water-soluble adhesives, materials that absorb water excessively.
Coastal homes may see hurricane-force winds on an annual basis. Wind-resistant materials for exterior home components like siding, roofing, and windows is critical.
Roofing: Metal roofing will offer integrity and life, but it is generally more expensive. Shingled and tiled option also exist with products designed for high winds and water.
Siding: Concrete-based siding or fiber cement siding is a popular and attractive choice as well. For natural looks, cedar shakes provide protection from hurricane elements. Vinyl siding is the most inexpensive option, and if you decide to go this route, be sure to use double-hemmed vinyl siding designed for higher winds.
Odom Design: A Builder You Can Trust
The most important choice a homeowner makes is their builder. Regardless of how involved you choose to be, you should have trust and open communication with your building team. At Odom Design, we invite all questions and want to make clients feel comfortable expressing ideas. If you are unhappy with an aspect of the project, we want to know so we can fix it.
We won’t use materials that don’t work in this environment. We build beach houses to last. We like to think that our portfolio speaks for itself. At Odom Design, craftsmanship and honesty are the foundation our of philosophy. Regardless of budget, we strive to build long-lasting structures with integrity.