Building or designing a new home is exhilarating and it enables you to create the perfect home for yourself and your family. However, there are a few important factors to keep in mind when you decide to build a home in Florida.
- No wood windows – Wood windows require a tremendous amount of maintenance in our wet climate. Having them properly painted with the correct product is critical upon installation. Constant vigilance to re-paint often is important as well. A good vinyl clad window over wood helps even more but is still a risk in the long term.
- No flat roofs – Flat roofs are prevalent in commercial construction and adds to the look of a modern style home. However, they can present issues in residential construction. If the water does not drain quickly enough, it pools – allowing it to sit on the roof, which can cause leaks over time. Usually, flat roofs drain to scupper boxes. These can become clogged and cause water to back up on the roof and also cause leaks behind the stucco.
- How about some overhangs? – Many historic homes were constructed with large overhangs and porches over windows and doors. Recently, newly constructed homes have reduced the size of overhangs to cut cost. Extending the overhangs another foot adds more protection to your windows and doors then the standard overhangs built today making it worth the expense.
- Say “NO” to wood doors – Along the same lines as wood windows, wood doors can have issues too. They will expand and contract depending on the weather. This makes them difficult to open and close. A good fiberglass door is a much better solution.
- No decks over a living space – Don’t do it! Building any kind of an exposed deck over a living space is a very bad idea. The chances of it leaking are very great no matter what your builder does. An exposed deck over a non-living space can also leak over time. Please opt for a covered deck instead and any flashing for the door system is critical.
- Cover over exterior doors – We see so many new construction homes with a side door from the garage that is completely exposed to the elements. This will leak over time. Even a small cover over it would help or reconsider if you really need that door at all. Many times, they are rarely used and offer additional expense with a guaranteed leak issue down the road.
- Avoid flood zones if at all possible – To reduce the effect of flooding on your new home construction will require extra and specialized work – adding a lot of unnecessary expenses to your construction cost if a better lot is available. Insuring you house after construction will be costly as well.
- Second story masonry – If you are constructing a two-story house and can afford masonry on the second story, do so. It will be a wonderful long-term investment for you and your family. One reason is when there is masonry construction on the first floor and wood framing for the second floor, the two materials are expanding and contracting at different rates. This can cause cracks in stucco and maintenance issues down the road. Another is that masonry is a longer lasting, more durable construction material that does not break down as wood does. Storms with strong winds are prevalent in Florida. These storms damage or destroy many buildings. However, with proper design and masonry construction, the damage by these forces can be greatly reduced.