According to Abigail Phillips of Construction Global, safety is the keyword for home building innovation in the coming year. Especially weather-safety. Residential construction experts know that a well-built home is a home that can stand up to all kinds of inclement weather time and again. Innovation in weather-proofing newly built homes comes from improved structural design and key finishing features. Here are the top five trends in residential construction innovation:
Excess moisture is a major threat to any home, especially moisture from rain and snow. A home’s first line of defense against snow, ice, and rain is the roof, so solid roofing is a must. The last few decades have brought major innovation in roofing materials. We’ve come a long way from terra cotta tiles and tin roof slates. Today’s roofing options include 50-year aluminum shingles and 30-year fiberglass shingles. Both materials are stronger, lighter, and more durable than traditional materials. An advanced roofing system will make the entire home stronger and safer.
Water and Rain Resistance
When precipitation penetrates a home’s siding, it begins to erode the eaves and damage the underlying wood, which compromises the building’s structure. As the moisture seeps in over time, it leads to internal water damage in the framing and foundation. One of the simplest ways to avoid this is to install gutter guard systems to redirect the water away from the house. Gutter guards use helmets and filters to keep out the clog-inducing debris that so often ruin gutter system efficiency. Not only do gutter guards save on annual upkeep expenses, they also prevent moisture from getting to the wood framing of your home.
For decades, heavier materials were considered to be superior materials. With the advent of modern composites, all that has changed. Builders are increasingly replacing heavy lumber like pine with composite woods that are lighter, stronger, and more rigid to improve a home’s structural integrity. Composite woods have the added advantage of being weather and termite resistant. The structural integrity and termite-resistance improve the longevity of the home.
Residential builders are increasingly embracing modular construction These prefabricated units are built to the developer’s specifications in a factory and shipped to the site for assembly. Modular construction runs between 10%-30% cheaper than conventional onsite construction, and takes an average of 25% less time to erect. Modular units are engineered for a perfect fit and the structural integrity of the units isn’t compromised by weather onsite during the construction process. The high quality control and rapid customization features of modular building are also very appealing to developers.
In coastal areas and tornado alley where high-wind events are common, wind-resistance is a major feature that home builders plan for. Wind-resistant safety features such as storm strapping, all-thread tie-rods, and hurricane clips which increase structural integrity are becoming standard features on newly built homes. They can also be retrofitted onto existing structures to increase a homeowner’s peace of mind.