Non Traditional Construction Evident Along Biloxi Beach

"It's about 3200 square feet heated and cooled. And another 1200 or so worth of porches," said Chris Clark, as he showed visitors the home he's building for Lucy Denton of Biloxi.

The Denton home has the look of an antebellum Southern mansion. But this mansion is modular. It was pieced together from several large sections.

"Really there's no limitation. What we do is very custom. A lot of times we'll start with a sketch on a napkin or someone will bring us a set of plans from a plan magazine," said Clark, whose company is Mississippi Cottages.

From the inside, Mary Creels' home-under-construction looks traditional enough. But it's not just the beautiful view that sets the project apart.

Creel designed her new home on the beach in Biloxi. And it is certainly non-traditional construction. Foam-blocked filled with poured concrete and rebar should significantly reduce energy bills and promise wind resistance up to 300 miles per hour.

Along with alternative construction, the finished look should be unique. The home was designed to resemble two landmarks: the Tullis carriage house and Biloxi Yacht Club.

A metal home near the Biloxi lighthouse is getting lots of attention.

"Very strong, impact resistant," says the builder.

Right now, the house resembles a fortress more than a home. Lots of steel.

The home has been turning heads and attracting comments.

"Is it a church? Is it an icehouse? Some people were speculating it was a church that hated the sun, cause we have no windows in it. That was my favorite," said contractor Carl Monceaux.

In time, the mostly metal box will look more like a home. Energy saving, impact resistant walls will be covered with brick and stucco and windows.

"When we're done, it'll look just like any other house," said the contractor.

Builders we talked with say there has been a recent surge of home-building along the beach. And it's not just in Biloxi, but across the Mississippi Gulf Coast.