With the pandemic still ongoing, people have opted to move out of the city to avoid crowded areas. Many people have moved to less dense spaces, which offer opportunities for them to engage in their hobbies and reduce expenses.
For some people, the best place to wait out the pandemic is the beach. They may already have a house close to the area or are still planning to build one. People who are still at the planning stage should consider the following things before they buy the first nail for their property.
Local Laws and Zoning
The first things people should check are the local laws and zoning requirements of the area. These requirements are different for every town. Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) permit is necessary for properties located in Areas of Environmental Concern (AEC) zones. The CAMA regulates any development along the coast of areas protected by the government.
Many beachfront and waterfront properties have setback requirements based on CAMA. Local ordinances also have their setback requirements. But the most stringent requirement will take precedence in these cases.
These requirements take into account the footprint of the building and how close it is to the water. It also considers the depth of the foundation of the house. So property owners need to read through these requirements before hiring a building contractor to start planning the construction of the house.
Another critical consideration is flooding. The main consideration in this concern is the elevation of the property, especially if it’s located in a flood-prone area. Due to this, the property owner should check the flood zone and the accompanying requirements of the area. This allows property owners to have an idea about the elevation requirements to deal with potential flooding. One good place to check is the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Flood Map Service Center. The map shows areas where flooding may occur.
Property owners can also check if their property is inside the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). If it is inside the SFHA, they should check its label to know if the flood risk is high or low. Knowing the risk level allows the property owner to make the necessary preparations to minimize the damage flooding can cause on the property. It also allows them to get the necessary flood insurance for the property.
It is also essential for property owners to choose the most suitable material for houses built near the sea. The material should be strong enough to withstand the corrosiveness of salt water. This means the material for the exterior of the home should not only consider aesthetics but strength and durability as well. The material should be naturally-resistant to harsh weather or can withstand the effects of saltwater.
These materials include composite materials, concrete, and cedar. They are durable and resilient. They also allow the home to keep its aesthetic appeal. Fiberglass material is also suitable for the exterior sidings and trims of the home. Additionally, standing seam metal roofing is ideal for homes close to the beach due to its resistance to corrosion and wind protection.
If the exterior materials are strong and durable enough, property owners can play around with the interiors such as giving it a classic appearance using engineered timber for the floor of the home. They can even create a homey ambiance to add to the appeal of their home close to the beach.
Wind and Hurricane Protection
When designing a house close to the beach, it should be strong enough to withstand strong winds. The wind in the coastal can be strong enough to gradually wear down the house. So, the architect and engineer should consider this factor to protect the home.
They can consider hipped and low slope roof systems to minimize wind loads. Aside from protecting the home, these roof designs also get discounts from insurance companies. Installing shutters also provide additional protection against storms in the area. The house should also have suitable fastening systems to protect the roof from uplift due to strong winds.
Reinforcing the garage door is also necessary to prevent damage to the house. Additionally, the homeowners should ensure the downspouts and gutters are free of debris to prevent water from collecting in them during a storm.
Homeowners with properties in hurricane-prone areas should have a plan in case these weather disturbances occur. When mandatory evacuations are ordered, the homeowner should already have an idea where to go to avoid getting stuck in traffic during the evacuation.
Living close to the beach offers a lot of health benefits. But it’s still important to take some things into account before building a house near a beach.