Florida is not new to hurricanes. In the past couple of decades, we have sustained several hurricanes, some small, but others with catastrophic and deadly results, as was the case recently with Hurricane Michael. In fact, Florida imposed new mandatory building codes after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 (at first locally and then statewide in 2002) and they have improved hurricane resistance dramatically in new construction here. Florida’s standard is the highest mandatory code in the nation. And, with all that experience rebuilding our cities after the worst storms we’ve also learned some important lessons. Those lessons have changed the way we view construction, caused us to update our building codes, and have saved our state money over time.
Why Florida Building Codes Are So Strong
It’s no surprise to anyone that Florida’s greatest export is tourism, and damages to hotels, restaurants, and attractions can create long-term financial issues. Due to stronger building codes, hotels that experienced hurricane force winds during Hurricane Irma in 2017 were strong enough to make it through the storm in one piece and reopen in a matter of days. This not only opens Florida back up to visitors from out of state, but it also provides housing for local families who find themselves without power, or worse.
Florida Code Standards
Since Florida’s codes are already so high, building to the highest standard here wouldn’t add much to the price of construction.
For example, in Miami’s very popular Brickell Business District, higher building standards left businesses with sturdy structures that were able to reopen shortly after a direct impact from Hurricane Irma. Not only were buildings still standing and reasonably unharmed but upgraded drainage requirements made sure that the standing water from the storm surge was eliminated within three days of the storm. Our strong building codes mean that hurricane season isn’t quite the threat that it once was and it’s now easier than ever for people and businesses to get back to their homes and work quickly.
The biggest driver of those costs is in impact-resistant windows and doors, shutter systems and upgrades to any other openings that expose a home to the elements.
In addition to the benefits for current homeowners, higher rated building codes create better homes. This makes longer term investing in new construction an appealing option for new buyers and investors alike. At one time, investing in home construction in coastal Florida was a huge risk, but now more than ever before homeowners can rest assured that their projects – when partnered with a reputable contractor and architect – can withstand a severe storm.
Let Us Build Your Hurricane Safe Home
Florida building codes are meant to keep people safe and buildings standing from inclement weather. The best construction companies will gladly work within the rules to ensure that their finished product will perform as designed through the hurricane season. Here at LaBram we take pride in all of our work and the assurance we can give to potential customers that our buildings can withstand the test of all of Florida’s hurricane seasons. If you would like to learn more about working with us to design and build a hurricane-safe place to live, don’t hesitate to contact us today.