Building for Tough Coastal Climates

Building for Tough Coastal Climates


Living at the beach can be a dream come true, but it can be a nightmare on building materials. At the Texas coast buildings are bombarded with more than just the usual salt, humidity,and sun-- they also need to be storm proof. Luckily your neighbors at Putnam Builders have over 50 years of experience building on the Gulf Coast. We know which materials and building techniques will withstand the test of time and the tests of mother nature.

In general you want to select materials that will tolerate salt water and salt air. This means avoiding wood and other porous materials.


For roofing you'll want to choose materials such as steel, slate, clay tile, or treated cedar. Roofing should be installed with high winds in mind. This includes special installation techniques including additional nails and sealants. Other exterior components such as chimneys, porches, and decks will also need additional reinforcement.




For flooring you'll want to choose materials such as concrete, porcelain tile, white oak, or reclaimed hardwood. Choose flooring that will not warp when exposed to humidity and is waterproof or water resistant.





Building materials used such as fasteners should be stainless steel or copper to avoid metal corrosion in the humid salt air. In fact, even on the interior, it is best to choose materials that are not prone to mold, mildew, or metal corrosion.




When selecting your building materials you want to keep in mind future maintenance as well. Avoiding materials that require painting, such as exterior trim or door and window frames, will save you in the long run. Vinyl, PVC and fiberglass are good choices and they are less likely to attract mold, mildew, and wood decay from the high coastal humidity.



The process of choosing appropriate materials for an ocean dwelling can be daunting, and mistakes can cost your dearly in the future. Building near the sea requires a different knowledge base and skill set than building inland. So we encourage you to choose a home builder with plenty of experience building near the sea.

If you have any questions about seaside building materials or would like to discuss your custom home, please give us a call.

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