Building a barndominium is a great way to get your dream home without needing a lot of money. You can get a barndominium built for much less than you would by building a traditional house. However, there are always going to be some safety concerns when building a unique home. Depending on your region, one of the things you might want to ask is are barndominiums hurricane proof.
Barndominiums are built on concrete slabs using steel frames and siding for the exterior of the house. However, this doesn’t necessarily make barndominiums hurricane proof, but it doesn’t hurt, either. While they are very strong and incredibly durable homes, there will always be some risk when building in hurricane country. Knowing the answer to “are barndominiums hurricane proof” can help you decide if they are right for you.
Are Barndominiums Hurricane Proof?
If you are asking “are barndominiums hurricane proof” before you begin, odds are good you live in hurricane country. Hurricanes bring intense winds, rain, and debris that can cause serious damage to your home, no matter what kind it is. Barndominiums are known for being easy to build and having structures that are usually reserved for agricultural purposes. While they may not necessarily be hurricane proof, they do have some durable qualities that make them a good choice.
The things that could make barndominiums hurricane proof have to do with their structure. Barndominiums sit on concrete slabs that are completely solid, and their frames are driven into the ground. When compared to crawl space foundations, these elements almost make barndominiums hurricane proof. They are solid on the ground and built into the concrete, which makes them very strong against winds and rain.
How to Make Barndominiums Hurricane Proof
While many of the built-in elements almost make barndominiums hurricane proof, they are still susceptible to damage. Hurricanes are capable of producing 6.0 x 10^14 Watts or 5.2 x 10^19 Joules per day. This is more energy than the planet is capable of producing by over 200 times. If you want to make your barndominiums hurricane proof, you will have to do some serious reinforcing.
That being said, most homes are not going to be as hurricane proof as a barndominium. If you have to make the choice between your barndo or a traditional home, your barndo will be safer. If you take some of the below precautions, you can make barndominiums hurricane proof to a much higher degree. With some simple modifications, you can have the confidence you need when the weather turns bad.
Install the Frame Properly
The most important thing you can do to make barndominiums hurricane proof is to ensure the frame is installed correctly. Some people choose to repurpose existing barns as their barndominium. While this is the more eco-friendly option, it will not make barndominiums hurricane proof. You will always be better off creating a new, all-steel frame that will be resistant to cracking, breaking, and bending.
You should also make sure that the poles for your frame are driven into the ground to an adequate degree. Your posts should be at least 40 inches in the ground and should be anchored with concrete. If you can anchor the posts in your slab foundation, this is an even better option. This helps make barndominiums hurricane proof and gives you the stability you need.
Use a Slab Foundation
When building a barndominium, you have several options for your foundation. Many people want things like basements and crawl spaces just like they would have with a traditional home. However, these foundations will not help make barndominiums hurricane proof. If you want more protection, a concrete slab foundation will always be a better choice.
The difference between a concrete slab and other foundations is how solid they are. Slabs are single, solid pieces of concrete that are connected to the ground with concrete footings. They don’t have some of the structural vulnerabilities that other foundations have. You will have to make special considerations like setting the plumbing in them, but they will help make barndominiums hurricane proof.
Get Strong Windows
When a hurricane happens, one of the most vulnerable points on your home is the windows. Even if you board them up, they will still be very susceptible to damage and breaks. When this happens, the inside of your home will be compromised and you could be looking at serious issues. If you want to make barndominiums hurricane proof, they have to have strong windows.
One of the ways that windows are rated for durability is design pressure, also called DP. Typical windows have a DP of about 25, which will only withstand wind up to around 100 miles per hour. Make sure the windows for your barndo have a DP rating of at least 35. This will give you resistance up to 135 miles per hour, and the higher the rating is, the better off you’ll be.
Use a Flatter Roof Slope
The slope of the roof will dictate whether or not your barndominium can withstand the force of a hurricane. When the slope of your roof is very high, it will be subjected to much higher wind pressure. This can create serious problems when the wind is well into the triple digits. Even though a flatter roof is less attractive, it can make barndominiums hurricane proof in the long run.
If you want to make barndominiums hurricane proof, the slope should be less than four feet every 12 feet of length. This is considered a fairly low pitch and will be much safer in the event of a hurricane. While a flat roof is susceptible to rain, as long as your gutter system is in good shape, it should be fine. Make sure your drainage is in good working order and you should be relatively safe.
It is very difficult to make barndominiums hurricane proof 100 percent of the time. However, there are plenty of things you can do to make your home as safe as possible. Knowing how to make your home durable and solid can help you feel comfortable in hurricane country.
If you would like more guides like this one, be sure to check out the rest of Barndos.com. There, you will find more tips and tricks from the pros and guides to help you build your dream home. You will also find featured barndominiums that will get you inspired and get you thinking about your own project.