Flagler County, Florida Building Codes may not be Stringent Enough to Protect Residents from a Major Hurricane; Palm Coast, Florida Builder Sets a Higher Standard

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The hurricane seasons of 2004-05 were incredibly active and caused a great deal of property damage to many coastal communities. Forecasters are predicting another active season in 2006. Current building codes in Palm Coast only require that a home be built to withstand 110 mph winds for inland homes and 120 mph winds for coastal homes. This industry standard may not be enough to protect Palm Coast residents or their assets in the event of a major hurricane making land fall in the area. Spotlight is on one Palm Coast builder, Affordable Florida Homes Inc., that is building their homes above current hurricane code requirements to withstand at least 140 mph, Category 4 strength winds.

As a family owned Florida home builder, it is our obligation and duty to build the safest home possible. At the same time, we must strive to keep our Florida homes affordable for our home buyers. As long as market conditions allow, we will go the extra mile when it comes to building a safe and sound home that is loaded with many upgrades and design features

Flagler County building code may not be tough enough to protect your home during an active hurricane season. At this time, building code requires that newly constructed homes in Palm Coast must be built to withstand 110 mph winds if the home is built inland, and 120 mph winds if the home is located on the coast. Most new homes are built to satisfy code regulations, and very few builders provide the home buyer with extra protection from storm damage. After the devastating hurricane seasons of the last two years, and forecasters predicting an active 2006 season, the current codes may not provide as much protection home buyers think.

Hurricane building codes underwent a major overhaul after Hurricane Andrew devastated Homestead in 1992. Because of this highly publicized overhaul, many consumers believe that homes constructed under the new building codes will withstand a major hurricane. In most areas of Florida, this is not true. Today very few Florida Counties have adopted the Dade County hurricane code requiring that homes be built to withstand a major Category 4 hurricane. Flagler County is not one of the few.

The good news for Florida home buyers is that they can live in Eastern Flagler County and still have greater protection from hurricane damage. Affordable Florida Homes Inc. is one building company that has current projects in Palm Coast and is offering Florida home buyers a safer alternative to the industry standard. AFHI builds all of their homes to withstand at least 140 mph winds. That is the same Category 4 hurricane protection that is required in Dade County.

According to company representatives, AFHI is able to achieve these higher safety standards by building their homes with 6 inch thick, poured concrete walls. Solid concrete offers a great deal of protection against wind damage and damage from wind-bourn projectiles. Solid concrete construction also provides greater protection from the leaks and water damage that often accompany major hurricanes. The roof structure of AFHI homes are built using tougher 5/8 inch CDX plywood roof decking, heavy duty trusses and stronger hurricane truss straps than required by building code. 140 mph wind rated, insulated windows complete the upgraded building package.

When asked why AFHI began building their homes above hurricane code, a company spokesperson said, “As a family owned Florida home builder, it is our obligation and duty to build the safest home possible. At the same time, we must strive to keep our Florida homes affordable for our home buyers. As long as market conditions allow, we will go the extra mile when it comes to building a safe and sound home that is loaded with many upgrades and design features”.

Company officials admit that building a home so far above code requirements does cost more, but point out that it is less costly to pay for a higher quality above code home than it is to rebuild a home that has suffered severe hurricane damage. AFHI representatives were quick to state that they do not recommend that their homeowners stay in areas that have been evacuated by County officials. The purpose of above code construction is not to encourage homeowners to ignore evacuation orders, but to ensure that homeowners have a home to return to after the storm.

The hurricane seasons of 2004-05 served to remind Floridians that hurricane preparedness is key. Choosing a home that is built to withstand a major Category 4 storm with at least 140 mph winds is a major step toward ensuring the safety of residents and their cherished possessions.

About Affordable Florida Homes Inc.:

Affordable Florida Homes Inc. has built 185 homes in Volusia and Flagler Counties since opening their doors in 2001. The company is proud to say that they have a large base of satisfied customers because they make customer service their top priority. AFHI is family owned and operated, and Company CEO, Connie Beaty, has been in the building industry since 1984. Currently, AFHI has 33 active projects in Palm Coast.

For additional information on AFHI homes and above hurricane code construction, contact:

AFHI sales office at: 386-586-1044 or Palm Coast Florida Home Builder

Connie Beaty, CEO

386-586-1044

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Gregory Beaty
AFFORDABLE FLORIDA HOMES, INC.
386-804-9746
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