Concrete home built to stand against big, bad storms

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - No more building the old fashion way. Patrick Keen is getting a concrete home. Katrina's wind and water washed away his wooden house. Now the Pascagoula man believes he's found a smarter way to build.

"I started researching and found out about concrete homes. I did a lot of studies on concrete, so that is what we decided to do. Elevate it and make it all concrete and steel," Keen said about his future home.

Peter Cowan is the general contractor.

"This house is built to try to withstand most of the hurricane situations. It is concrete from the footing to the vertical columns holding the main floor," Cowan said.

The men said concrete is becoming the trendy way to build. They also point out concrete usually won't rot like most wood framed homes. The home will also be fire resistant and energy efficient.

"It will require a very small amount of air conditioning. It will be very green, very quite inside,  zero maintenance and nothing can burn," said Keen about the advantages of building a concrete home.

Both Keen and Cowan admit building this way is a lot pricier, but they point out other ways to save. The price of insurance is a big incentive.

"We have had different quotes between 46 and 60 percent reduction in insurance cost. But it takes a lot of paperwork and third party inspectors to get to that point."

Patrick Keen is confident his new home will be much more durable, but knows Mother Nature will be the final judge.

"You probably can't build a house that Mother Nature and God can't take away. But you can try hard, and that's what we are doing."

Keen said his roof will be made of recycled rubber tires. The homes will be finished by early next year.

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