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More stories about Features

  • Perfect Storm Flashing

    Working on Long Island, remodeling contractor Mike Sloggatt has to prepare homes to weather the occasional nor'easter. So when it comes to installing windows and doors, he's not afraid of overkill. Here, he details the flashing routine he typically employs to create a drainable, water-resistant...

  • Review: Strong, Safe, Foundations

    Faced with an unprecedented coastal reconstruction need post-Katrina, the mitigation arm of the Federal Emergency Management Agency has released FEMA 550, Recommended Residential Construction for the Gulf Coast: Building on Strong and Safe Foundations. This must-have document for coastal building...

  • Tile Roofs for Hurricane Zones

    One of the most common problems found in the aftermath of hurricanes Frances, Charley, and Ivan was failure of the roofing system. The tile industry responded to the problem with new design criteria and installation details, which have since been added to the Florida Building Code. Charles Wardell...

  • Low Country Rx: Wet Floodproofing

    Regardless of what the flood maps say today, the statistics show that flood zones will likely change during the service life of a home, making flooding an often inevitable consequence of coastal living. The answer, says building scientist Joseph Lstiburek, is to use drainable, dryable assemblies...

  • Selecting Sunrooms for Coastal Homes

    You can now get a prefabricated sunroom that will satisfy nearly every design and budget. But you have to work with the manufacturer to make sure you get what you and your customers want. Our guide to systems, glazing, and current codes will help you select sunrooms for the long run, leaving...

  • Wall Bracing and the IRC

    Section R602.10 of the International Residential Code calls for "braced wall lines" composed of "braced wall panels." The location, width, and construction details of these braced wall panels, as well as the materials that can be used to build them, are spelled out in the code's text, tables, and...

  • Rebuilding the Gulf: Cooling Strategies for the Gulf Coast

    In the hot, humid South, it's not enough to install high-efficiency air conditioning. Dedicated dehumidification, along with impeccable attention to sealing the building enclosure, is required. Researchers at LSU exhibit three practical systems that balance performance and cost in the "LaHouse"...

  • Genuine Mold

    It doesn't take a Category 5 hurricane to create a huge mold problem. Mold is rampant throughout the East and Gulf Coast regions. But coastal contractors need to know that mold is not toxic and does not cause diseases. It is simply an allergen that has to be dealt with accordingly.

  • Stucco That Works

    Done well, traditional three-coat stucco should be impervious to water, but the demands of schedule and budget have pushed many builders to opt for less durable one-coat stucco claddings and have enticed applicators to take shortcuts that compromise the integrity of otherwise good stucco. To remedy...

  • In the Clear

    Clear finishes that preserve the natural look of exterior woodwork take a beating in any climate but have an even harder time withstanding the onslaught of sun, salt, and moisture in coastal climes. In this article, we go to boatbuilders, paint chemists, door-finishing specialists, and marine...