Bracing for the elements is an inevitable part of living on the coast. Here are some tips to help you build to last.


Photo: Sara Gray

Winterizing Kayaks and Canoes

When summer's gone it's time to put away your water toys. A bit of seasonal TLC now will guarantee fun and safety next spring.

Stuccoed house exterior

Photo: Lisa Romereign

Designing to Last

We found 14 beach house design ideas that are essential for weatherproofing your home from the elements, including waterproofing and bracing for strong winds.

Boora Architects

Photo: Courtesy of Boora Architects

Building Methods

Building and remodeling on the shore requires storm-savvy design and time-tested techniques. Fortunately, when homeowners opt for traditional building methods instead of up-and-coming pre-fab systems, techniques exist for coping with this wide weather spectrum. The chief tactic is prudence. "Never fool with Mother Nature," says architect Louis DesRosiers, who designs homes on the Great Lakes. "You'll lose every time."

Beach boardwalk

Photo: Courtesy of Watersound Beach

Coastal Development

A growing body of knowledge about the natural cycles of the shore factors into development along the nation's coastline. Over the years, people encroached on fragile beaches, ignoring risks to reserve front-row seats at the water's edge. But responsible developers have helped push growth safely away from the shore.

coastal insurance

Coastal Insurance

Recent hurricane seasons have demonstrated the severe economic and emotional impact that storms can wreak on coastal regions. To mitigate potential damage, it's imperative to secure reliable insurance coverage at the start of the upcoming hurricane season.

Wooden beach house

Photo: Anthony John Coletti

Weathering the Storm

When homeowners build on the coast, they "want to be in a position to observe all that marvelous nature without disrupting it," says Illinois architect Howard Holtzman. But being there also means being involved with a sometimes-volatile environment, one with driving rain, high winds, and storm surges. "What do you do if you want what you build to last?"


Photo: Terry Pommett

All Hands on Deck

Decks can be a bargain, since they expand your living space at a fraction of the cost of adding rooms. But plan and build them right. You know our mantra: Coastal weather, with its wind-driven rain and withering sun, will make you pay dearly for sloppy construction.


Photo: Courtesy of FEMA

Ties That Bind

Connectors are designed to hold the frame of a house together in high winds. This is something a lot of us in regions outside of hurricane territory were slow to embrace. But ask folks in Florida or the coastal Carolinas. They'll tell you about grand beach houses blown apart in big storms because roof systems, walls, and foundations weren't tied together properly.

Marvin Windows

Photo: Courtesy of Marvin Windows & Doors

Stormworthy Products

Thanks to storms—and the building codes they inspire—companies have vastly improved building products to better protect homes near the shore.

Snow-covered home

Photo: Brian Vanden Brink

Winter Protection

Coastal homes can't head south when cold winds blow. A winterizing strategy will give your house its best chance to weather the season's extremes.

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