Habitat Bay-Waveland builds first fortified home - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Habitat Bay-Waveland builds first fortified home

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Habitat Bay-Waveland is building it's first hurricane fortified house in Bay St. Louis.

What that means is the house is going up with building materials and technology designed to withstand winds more than 150 miles per hour.

The fortified home certification will mean a huge reduction in insurance rates for the homeowner.

It looked like typical home construction, but some of the building materials and building science were different there.

"A fortified house is built to a higher wind standard," said Wendy McDonald, Executive Director of Habitat Bay-Waveland.

City building codes require a home to be built to withstand a minimum of 135 mile per hour winds.

"Our motivation is to lower insurance cost on the home and make the house more resistant to wind damage," said McDonald.

Once certified as a fortified home, the homeowner will be able to save up to 40 percent on their wind and hail insurance. All because of the materials being used and the way it is being constructed.

"There is a thread rod that is connected to the foundation all the way to the top plate it's basically a giant bolt for the house your bolting your top plate down to the foundation. Those are spaces between every window and every corner and every six feet throughout the house," explained Habitat Construction Manager Ryan Rupp.

A peel and stick membrane will go down on the roof before the shingles are nailed down.

McDonald said, "If the shingles were to start peeling off during a storm this second layer of water barrier protection might keep the sheet rock dry and water intrusion from getting into the house."

"If we used a traditional felt and it blew off, the entire inside of the house would get wet," Rupp said.

The house will be given the once over by a third party inspector before it is officially designated as a fortified home.

Habitat leaders said it only cost them about $2,000 more to build to fortified standards, for a private contractor it would cost a little more.

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