Four Tips for Building a Weather-proof Home in Hawaii

Hawaii is certainly an island paradise, but that doesn’t guarantee 365 days of perfect weather. The islands experience two general seasons: the dry season (summer) and wet season (winter). While the summers are typically fairly mild, the rainy wet season can bring tropical storms, flood risks, and high winds. 

That means building or remodeling your dream home should include weather-proofing and contingency plans. There’s a lot to consider, but here’s the first four things to consider and discuss with your architect and contractor while designing your new home. 

Foundation Elevation 

There’s a cost to living close to the beach. Homes built in Hawaii’s multiple  flood zones require extra precautions against flooding, including potentially increasing the elevation of a home’s foundation. 

Other precautions include applying a water-proofing membrane to the foundation during construction in order to prevent moisture saturation overtime.

Both these considerations are an important reminder to work with architects and construction teams familiar with the Hawaiian landscape. These experts will also know about local soil quality, and whether or not additional reinforcements like retaining walls or soil drainage systems are necessary for your build. 

Long-term Landscaping 

Did you know landscaping is not just an aesthetic or design choice? It’s true! In addition to adding to the curb appeal of your home, the right landscaping plan can also act  as additional weather-proofing feature for your home. 

Planting native vegetation prevents long-term soil erosion and future flooding, and planting fast-growing trees and shrubbery can protect your home from sun damage during the hot summer months. 

Indoor Ventilation 

While most of us think of weather-proofing as something done to the exterior of a residence, it’s important to remember to protect a home’s interior as well. Many older homes in Hawaii deal with moisture build-up due to poorly-ventilated home designs. 

Excess moisture in the home can lead to issues with mold, wood rot, and even foundational decay. That’s why it’s crucial to design a home with proper ventilation systems, including roof, ridge, and soffit vents that allow humid air and moisture to escape the interior of the home.  

Impact-Resistant Design

Heavy winds and tropical storms occur semi-regularly during Hawaii’s wettest months, which means it’s necessary to protect your home against high wind and flying debris. 

Impact-resistant windows and doors are specially-designed to withstand hurricane-level winds, as well as the accompanying debris. Hurricane straps and tie-downs are also useful in keeping the structural elements of your home in place during a storm. 

Work with Us 

Ready to get started? Finding the right team is the first step. Local professionals can help you create a budget, find the right materials, and design a home perfect for withstanding both Hawaii’s rainy and sunny seasons. Contact us today for resources on getting started, and don’t forget to check out our free online cost estimator for help planning your budget.

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Honolulu, HI 96817

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