Homeowners Build Stronger and Better After Natural Disasters

January 4, 2017

After an earthquake severely damaged their house in 2014, a couple in Napa, Calif., spent $350,000 to construct a new home. The upgrade features flexible pipes and an up-to-code electrical system, and the house is bolted to the foundation with structural beams that can withstand seismic shaking.

Realtor.com reports that some homeowners who have been affected by natural disasters are taking the opportunity to rebuild an even better house.

A Houston family whose home was wrecked by a flood spent $1 million on a new 5-bedroom house. A New Jersey couple saw their home destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, so they built a new place with resilient features such as beach-durable cedar cladding and a fiberglass roof.

A fire destroyed Lynn and John Stasz’s 1970s-era, 3,000-square-foot traditional home in Boulder, Colo. The new house they built two years later, which cost about $1 million, is completely different. Architect Mark Alan Gerwing created a single-level, modern home with lots of floor-to-ceiling glass and patios to take advantage of the expansive mountain and city views that resulted after the fire wiped out the trees on their 35-acre lot. There is no wood on the exterior (it’s all stone, stucco and metal) and no fireplaces; instead there’s a courtyard with a water feature at the center.

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