From windows to decking, find recommendations on the best materials for building on the coast.
1 of 11Photo: Terry Pommett
Inexpensive and effective, flashing makes your beach home watertight. It's a time-tested technique used for building extra protection into door and window openings. Besides being effective, the process has two other giant advantages: It's simple and cheap.
Ideal for barbecues and sunset watching, a well-made deck can also increase the value of your home. But before you swing a hammer (or hire a contractor), decide what materials will best meet your needs.
Whether you loved Lincoln Logs as a kid, or simply like the idea of a warm getaway, a log cabin may be the change of pace you've been looking for. Check out the rustic retreats offered by three manufacturers specializing in log cabin construction.
Who knew there was a world of screens out there? Today they're available in a variety of colors, materials, and finishes, from old-fashioned galvanized steel to fiberglass, bronze, and aluminum. Each kind has its advantages and disadvantages.
Consider several types of wood before deciding on lumber for building a deck. Since the Environmental Protection Agency banned CCA-treated wood in 2004, companies have issued new pressure-treated wood products. They are safer, friendlier to the environment, and—guess what—more expensive.
What's the advantage of wood floors in coastal settings? The truth is, when properly installed and maintained, most floor coverings that work inland will also work on the coast—provided you live in your beach house the way you live in the suburbs or the city. But you don't.
Many builders were once leery of cladding on window frames because we'd seen the worst examples―materials that separated from the wood and encouraged leaks and rotting. Plus, the early products just looked cheap. Those days are gone. The top window manufacturers now offer reliable cladding that seals well in the harshest weather, holds shape and color over the long haul, and requires little or no maintenance.
When the electricity goes out, you don't have to be helpless. In storm-prone coastal areas, power outages can prove disastrous, resulting in frozen pipes and water damage (not a pretty picture). But buy the right kind of generator and you'll keep the heat on and your plumbing protected.