Published at Saturday, April 06th, 2019 - 12:29:22 PM. Home Decoration. By Aili Otto.
Why its happening: Natural disasters are occurring more frequently and sometimes with little warning. The most forward-thinking homebuilders are developing resilient solutions for new and existing homes. “The weather is getting almost biblical, and homes that dont address that run a legitimate risk of being seriously damaged or destroyed and having their resale value put in question,” says Nathan Kipnis of Kipnis Architecture and Planning Solutions in Chicago. His designs include oversized gutters and downspouts that direct water to rain gardens or other landscape features that can handle intense rain. He also recommends an ice and water shield on the roof to create a rain barrier, so the interior has greater protection. Coastal homes should add hurricane straps where the roof and walls intersect, he says, to reduce possible wind damage. Sustainable features are also critical to decarbonize the built environment and conserve resources. Kipnis favors all-electric systems, including induction cooktops, mini-split HVAC systems, and heat pump water heaters. Homeowners could take it a step further and have the garage wired to be a charging station for electric cars and add solar panels to the roof.
Soffits are helpful when used to conceal mechanical systems and fill space in rooms where cabinets dont go all the way to the ceiling. But they also often present a choppy look and they can easily date a room, since most homes today use other methods to conceal HVAC and the like. Some homeowners may want to remove them if they serve no functional purpose. “A professional can poke a hole to see,” says Bob Zuber of Morgante Wilson Architects. “It may only be a few thousand dollars to remove them and finish off the top of the cabinets.”
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