There are 1000 people moving into the state of Florida every day! Many of these people are downsizing baby boomers who want to convenience of a maintenance
free, care-free home that they do not have to spend a lot of time working on and maintaining. After 40 years of owning homes which they spent countless hours
looking after, they want an easier way of life. Also, they want to have a home that costs less to take care off than what they have had in the past. With a more fixed
income after retirement, these downsizing homeowners want to have minimum expenses associated with their new care-free lifestyle.
Here are five considerations when building a house in Florida.
- Consider having a home built with solar panels to eliminate a monthly
electric bill. Most people do not realize that it is very inexpensive to add
solar systems to their new homes in Florida which can all but eliminate
their utility bill. With rising electric rates and climate change on everyone’s
minds, using solar is the wisest consideration to make when building a
house in Florida.
- Build an energy efficient house. Many traditionally built homes in Florida
do not have great “R” insulation values. Most walls are no more than R-7
and ceilings are effectively not much more than R-25. This means the air
conditioning units run a lot more and require significantly more energy.
There are houses which can have effective R values of more than 35 in both
the walls and the roof. A highly energy efficient house will also require
fewer solar panels, keeping the overall construction costs down.
- Build your house with low maintenance materials. Believe it or not but,
using steel for the roof and for the walls is an excellent way to minimize
repairs and maintenance. A typical tile or shingle roof in Florida will last
only about 13 years before needing to be replaced, not to mention the
possibilities of damage from hurricanes. There are new house structures
available in Florida which are built almost entirely out of steel, making
them virtually maintenance free.
- Consider how you are going to use the house. Often, people who build a
house in Florida plan on having extended family visit them so, they build a
large house, only to find out that the family seldom visits, leaving them
with a lot of extra costs for space not needed. So, the homeowner should
consider if and when people will be visiting before they construct a home
larger than necessary.
- Make sure the house is one that can be easily accessible. Making sure that
the homeowner can “age in place” is definitely something to consider when
building a house in Florida. At some point, the homeowner will be glad that
it is easily accessible (and it will add bonus resale value as well!)
Regarding steel structures in Florida and solar systems on newly constructed houses: JLH Sustainable Housing, LLC (a sister company to William C Huff Companies) recently completed construction of Florida’s first 100% sustainable, steel, solar and zero-maintenance home in Naples, FL. JLH Sustainable can be reached through their website www.jlhsustainable.com