The disasters and severe weather events are adding up. Major fires in Paradise, Sonoma County, and Los Angeles County in California. Severe flooding from tropical storms and hurricanes in Houston. Preventive power outages from utilities in wildfire-prone regions. Builders, homeowners, and government officials are forming a consensus that our homes and buildings need to be more resistant to these events. But for builders, the question remains: What resilient construction practices should I use in my home?
In Professional Builder, John Caulfield examines the economic tug of war builders face in their quest for resilience: “While some builders, custom and production, are committed to so-called ‘enhanced’ resilient construction practices that go beyond current building codes, the majority seem content to build only to those requirements for their jurisdictions. And for good reason: They don’t currently build in risky areas (though that map is shrinking) and their buyers, to date, haven’t shown enough interest or willingness to invest much, if anything, for those extra measures.”
While some resilient practices are quite expensive, builders are seeking out low-cost options, such as measures designed to keep a roof over a house during a storm. These measures would cost less than $2,000 for a 2,000-square-foot roof, keeping them in line with what buyers might pay for improved resilience. Standby generators are another feature that will likely appeal to resilience-minded buyers, providing peace of mind that their homes will be protected during any type of power outage.