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Master of Boats
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question, like to limit response to people with actual experience, whether in the building trades or visual inspection of post storm structures. Question is :

Did building to the correct code ( or better ) result in a home that made it thru the storm better?

My own opinion - YES! Our little place in SW LA got hammered during Rita, both wind and surge. This time much more surge ( at least 3' more ) but a lot less wind. Power lines still up, but quite a few buildings down. Almost all of the down structures, were not built to code, either not high enough, or lacking some detail that was the eventual undoing of the place.

Seeing a lot of the same thing in the pics posted here, homes that were high enough, well built, standing. Lower elevation, less rugged construction, not as good.

A couple other ideas I took note of are,

Bad things:

1. Stucco
2. Shingles
3. Vinyl siding
4. Closed in lower rooms or ground level structures - blowout walls did not save the structures
5. Bricks - don't like the water impact, end up in piles round the building

Good things:

1. Metal roofs, with extra screws
2. Hardi plank or board for siding - extra plus, cleans up easy, post storm
3. Can't build it too high, if code called for 10', add 5'
4. 2x4 studs can't handle the load, 2x6 is mo bettah
5. screw beat nails, every time

Other ideas for anyone thinking about a coastal property - Dont EVEN think of buying a home that is not up to latest code. If it is built better, so much the better!

What have you guys seen?

MM
 

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I can only speak from experience. A legitimate roofer, that pulled a city permit and also had a qualified windstorm inspector involved installed my roof 6 months ago. We didn't lose a single shingle. I will go on record as saying that I won't be making a single insurance claim as a result of Ike. That includes my house, boat, and bikes. My bikes were housed in an exterior garage that was built to the 2000 codes and recently reinforced by me, personally. Our horse barn was also damage free. Everything I own was built to at least a 125 MPH rating, per the City of League City codes, and was damage free.
 

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My house was built in 1952 with no codes in force at the time. It is still standing and so is the garage built in 1960. Also no codes. I can't really tell anything about it till I get to see it instead of a picture of the roof from way up in the air. But it seems like a lot of the newer houses built in the last 10 years are nothing but a few pilings sticking up in the air or a slab.
 

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Bobby, in 1952, things were built using a code that was really more like good business. Perhaps your particular location played a role in the anticipated survival of your particular house and garage.

I was wishy/washy on all this "new code" stuff until my birthday. You can put me squarely in the corner of code enforcement from here on out. My neighbor that boot legged in a horse barn, that didn't get a permit, that didn't build to code, was the largest source of damage to my house. There can't be enough building code enforcement in my book at this point. It wasn't my stuff, tearing up other people's property. The Southern Building Code should be the Bible for anything being rebuilt at this point. It's already proven it works, and was proven again. I will be actively working to see it's enforced in my area. It's way past time to quit living in 1952 and hoping we had it right.
 

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Hoping to keep some spare change
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Does anyone have references to the new codes? I've got some work to do/get done down at Tiki and I want to make sure it meets windstorm code. Mont, I agree with you. We didn't lose a shingle at our Tiki house, roof replaced 3 years ago. Downstairs held together, our only damage came from the water and the debris that impacted our rollup doors. I lost two pieces of vinyl siding.

Tiki did well, overall. Not a single home lost. Outer perimeter homes (those with the nice bay views) took a good beating down below due to surge and waves. We estimate 10-12' surge based on the water line in the garage.

PS...sheetrock in flood prone lower levels is pointless. Just ask my aching back after shoveling it all day.
 

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Master of Boats
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Jeffscout, I agree with the sheetrock - that is another thing in the Bad Thing column. I have seen hardi board in the ground level, if it flooded, unscrew the screws, pressure wash it, remove the insulation if it was there, reinstall.

Come to think of it, sheetrock on the upper levels, if you KNOW you are in a wind/surge area, is just asking for more cleanup. There are lots of cool wall coverings, you can use now. I'll bet most of the older homes that came out well, don't have any sheetrock, but maybe cedar or cypress interior walls. That and it looks COOL!

MM
 

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Jeff, I wouldn't worry about things on Tiki. Your Mayor has things under control. Just ask for the permit, that will cover it. The International Residential Code covers most of it. Behind that, the Southern Building code. Behind that, the Uniform Mechanical Code. www.google.com knows where to look for the particulars. In order, get a legit contractor, verify he will pull permits, and don't complain about having to miss work to be home for an inspection.
 

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Marshman said:
Jeffscout, I agree with the sheetrock - that is another thing in the Bad Thing column. I have seen hardi board in the ground level, if it flooded, unscrew the screws, pressure wash it, remove the insulation if it was there, reinstall.

Come to think of it, sheetrock on the upper levels, if you KNOW you are in a wind/surge area, is just asking for more cleanup. There are lots of cool wall coverings, you can use now. I'll bet most of the older homes that came out well, don't have any sheetrock, but maybe cedar or cypress interior walls. That and it looks COOL!

MM
I will agree with everything written at this point. Our beach house at Crystal Beach was built in 1956 and it weathered the storm very well. All we're missing is the windows and all extrerior wood structures like porches and stairways. We built the downstairs with blow out hardy plank walls, which did their job and blew out without compromising the strength of the building. Our roof was replaced after Rita and by the photos I don't think we lost a shingle. We had to move our house back on our property about 10 years ago because of erosion and we upgraded it to code at that time. On top of that there is no sheetrock inside, we have cypress walls with no insualtion, wooden floor and wooden ceilings. I think the above reasons are the only reason our house is still standing.
 

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biggest bang for the buck in my opinion is a 30 year dimensional shingle for the average home...
 

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I am a commercial/custom residential contractor and will not build any building without it being designed by and or the design being reviewed by my windstorm engineer period. Not the most economical approach but it will give me and my client piece of mind and I don't have to worry about how the structure will perform in times like these.
 

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FEMA Zone VE
Zone VE is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to areas within the 1-percent annual chance coastal floodplain that have additional hazards associated with storm waves. Base Flood Elevations derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown at selected intervals within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.

The building requirements for this FEMA VE construction standard are very good.
 

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Marshman said:
I'll bet most of the older homes that came out well, don't have any sheetrock, but maybe cedar or cypress interior walls. That and it looks COOL!

MM
Cypress and (i think) cedar also repel cockroaches.

Bobby, give me a shout if you're in the Pearland area. I know you wouldn't want my Central Machinery cheap junk Chinese lathe, but I have some exotic woods I want to share with you - Padauk, purpleheard, and some REALLY COOL burled walnut that came from my Grandmother's house and has been air drying for 19 years. No telling what else I have picked up...
 
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