In Hurricane-Prone Florida, Builders Are Still Making New Homes Out of Wood

By Deborah Acosta
The Wall Street Journal – Real Estate
December 4, 2023
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

Developers in Florida are rolling out new homes built with wooden frames, undaunted by the risk that wood can be less reliable than other materials for withstanding hurricane-force winds. Homes with wooden frames are cheaper and faster to build than those framed in concrete, one reason why wood-frame construction is the norm in much of the U.S. But… South Florida contractors phased out wood-frame construction after Hurricane Andrew’s 165-mile-per-hour winds flattened communities built from this material in 1992. The state changed its building codes not long after that, and the share of wood-frame construction has declined dramatically. …Developers of wood-framed homes say this construction is considerably sturdier than before. …Wood frames can also be built to withstand hurricane-force winds, according to architects and structural engineers. Insurance premiums have skyrocketed across the state, and in particular for wood-frame structures. But wood homes are still usually cheaper to build. [to access the full story a WSJ subscription is required]

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