As a design-build contractor specializing in custom homes near thewater, I have to take wind loads into account on every project. The New England coastline where I work has been hit by hurricanes before and no doubt will be again; homes here are supposed to be ready to handle a storm.

I've been using wind-resistant design and construction details for as long as I've been a builder, but this year I've been making some adjustments. That's because I face the same situation as many builders in other coastal states: Rhode Island and Massachusetts, where I work, are moving to the 2000 International Residential Code (IRC) and the...

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