Five Considerations When Building a House in Florida
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!)
Posted by Jim Henderson