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Hurricanes and decisions?  RSS feed

 
lee kibler
Posts: 4
Location: Elberta, ALABAMA (5 miles to Gulf of Mexico)
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First post (heavy pod cast consumer)-- I'm a bit of a tech geek who like simple things.

I'm currently living in a conventional stick built brick clad 1800 sq ft house with asphalt shingles on 4.5 ac of land. The problem is that I live 5 miles as a crow flies from the Gulf of Mexico and the insurance idiots are making me very sad. (Hurricane Ivan paid me a serious visit in 2003)

The house will be free and clear from the bank on March of 14.

Options: 1) Stick it out here and continue to pay the beast. 2) Sell out and get about 10-15 ac. of land further inland and build a smaller home and try have more flexibility. (permaculture)


I'm leaning towards option 2. Has anyone used this material before : http://www.crescoconcrete.com/ Looks Hurricane/Formosan proof? Comments?
 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2392
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Welcome to Permies, Lee! Downsizing and simplifying has its advantages. Plus with climate change, the insurance rates into the future have the potential to make you even sadder.

I'm not familiar with Liteblok, and judging by their comparison chart, I must be downright stupid to have chosen ICF for a building project. But in addition to being dumb, I'm also happy, as the ICF worked just fine for me. And I'll probably continue to be dumb until they explain to me how ICF is not resistant to termites.

I suppose aerated block is just as structurally sound as any other material, so it is just one of the options that you have to consider in designing a new home.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3358
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Termites and mice LOVE to burrow through styrofoam.

I have seen aerated concrete, not that brand. They are pretty cool, seen them survive wildfire and tornado. It has insulative value to the block, but not enough for most locations by itself. They are cheaper to ship short to mid distances because you can fill a semi instead of loading to max weight only. Any of the lego block style are much easier to DIY stack--BUT you still have to get things straight an level. Actually it is MORE important to get the first row right because you can't just adjust with mortar as you go.

Usually all the cool stuff like that ends up costing more because of the new small factor and selling GREEN--like organic charging a premium because of the name instead of the quality.

IF IT WERE ME:

If I could downsize and cut the mortgage and insurance and much of my food budget, I would.

I would look to sell, but not in a big hurry--I would get my price I needed to buy new land, build a simple house, and all the food forest set up with no extra out of pocket. If it hasn't sold by the time you own free and clear, I would set back that payment money into a land fund so I could buy land before selling if I find something I like. I would build a bunker-grade house, or as close as I could on my budget, to basically self-insure by risk avoidance.
 
lee kibler
Posts: 4
Location: Elberta, ALABAMA (5 miles to Gulf of Mexico)
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Yes I am going to put it on the market. The county is paving the road in front of my current home so taxes are going to go up as well. Gonna start looking for land.... I've seen several ICF homes around here. The only weakness is they stick built the roofs. I eliminated ICF and SIP's because of the termite factor. Native termites shouldn't be a problem but the Formosan buggers are a whole different story. If we could just get the termites to eat the COGON GRASS everything would be grand!!!


 
Jay C. White Cloud
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I am glad you are staying away from the ICFs, especially in your area. I suppose my first question before going on about stuff, is to ask if you have looked at natural and/or traditional building methods? Are you familiar with the vernacular and historical architecture of your region?

I am always heartbroken to see families struggling with the aftermath of weather and seismic events, but at the same time wonder why folks build the way they do, and where without consideration of potential risks and what the vernacular architecture is or was.
 
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