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Design Ideas – Structural Walls – Revised

3.2 Structural Walls This was written before the hurricane came through the Keys. We still intend to build and we think the only way to build is with the ICF blocks, described below. Where do you start! If you are scared of hurricanes as we are, we decided on a concrete structure. What type of concrete structure? Poured in place, tilt up panels, concrete block? I was first concerned by the cost. After speaking to contractors and architects I am…

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Design Ideas – Balconies

We would like to maximize the view from our lot to the water. To do so we will need to build high and have balconies. Outdoor deck flooring will be an interesting effort. If there are livable areas below the concrete decks, what will guarantee it will be waterproof? Right now I think any deck above a livable area needs a waterproof plastic/rubber mat will have to be used, then covered with slip resistant flooring.The sub-floor had better be smooth…

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Design Ideas – Exterior Wall Finishes

Exterior Wall Finishes Wall finishes in a hurricane zone is an interesting series of decisions. It certainly depends on what materials the walls are made of. If we do go with ICF blocks for the walls, we need to think about the rigid foam block and the outside wall exposed to the environment. Due to weathering I would not choose wood. There is a Hardieplank siding, which has concrete in it, but our ideal style is more Mediterranean. So stucco…

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Design Ideas – Roofing

What kind of roof do we have built? Wood, Metal or Concrete? The building code calls for a roof to be able to withstand winds of 180 mph. The new roof code was instituted due to hurricane losses. For wood roofs, greater use of tie downs and better inspections have helped to prevent roof damage dramatically.   Since hurricane Irma, Monroe County is considering making changes to it’s building code. One change may be the elimination of shingle roof tiles and requiring…

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Design Ideas – Exterior Walls Insulation

Concrete is not a good insulator. I would like to use foam insulation for the ceiling spaces (especially under the roof). Most of the contractors I speak to use fiberglass batting. It’s cheaper than foam insulation but not as effective. Does anyone in the Keys install foam insulation at an affordable price? Foam insulation has an R value of 1″ = R-6.8, NCFI – rigid insulation spray, 3-1/2” = R21. Between the outside walls and the wall of a room…

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