Two of the worst hurricanes in history claimed the homes of two families who are confident they won’t fall victim to another storm, thanks to their Deltec homes.
Hurricane Hugo, one of the worst hurricanes to ever hit the coast of the Carolinas, caused roughly $7 billion of damage. Among the damaged homes were Jim Stallworth’s family farm in St. Mathews, S.C. and his parent’s newly renovated home in Charleston.
Left, Jim and Peggy Stallworth's Deltec has survived three significant hurricanes without damage. Right, Tom and Debbie Cole's Deltec survived Hurricane Isaac with 50 hours of high winds and eight feet of water below the house.
“It was awful,” said Jim’s wife, Peggy. “Jim’s parents had just renovated and their new HVAC system, appliances and elevator all had to be replaced again. They were without power for over two weeks and Charleston streets were piled two-stories high with debris. Then, the storm went right over his family’s farm house and a huge pine tree fell on the sleeping porch.”
In the midst of the tragedy, Jim and Peggy remember hearing about two nearby homes that were virtually untouched by the storm—both were Deltec homes.
After the storm, Jim set up a meeting for them to go see a Deltec home in person and they were sold. To date, they have been through three more significant hurricanes and have never suffered any structural damage.
“We never even had to replace the screen on our porch and its 13 years old,” said Peggy.
Similarly, Tom and Debbie Cole made the decision to build a hurricane resistant home after their Waveland, Miss. home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
“After Hurricane Katrina vaporized our home, Debbie and I began searching for a replacement that would be less likely to be severely damaged by another storm,” said Tom.
An article in a New Orleans newspaper about a home that could withstand winds of over 180 miles per hour drew their attention to Deltec. “We were sold on the quality of the construction and the ability to design exactly what we wanted in our future retirement home,” said Tom.
Since Hurricane Katrina, Tom and Debbie’s home has proven its strength against other storms. “We survived Hurricane Isaac with 50 hours of high winds and eight feet of water below the house. Our storage shed was destroyed, but our home was untouched,” Tom said. “We are very happy with the final product.”
Deltec highlights five key elements in their design:
Shape: The circular shape and angled roof allow winds to flow around the house, dramatically reducing the air pressure on exterior walls and diminishing the risk of collapse or damage.
Engineering: The roof and floor trusses radiate from the center of the house, helping it remain intact by spreading the force of high winds throughout the structure instead of allowing it to build up in one area.
Connections: Deltec focuses on three key potential points of failure due to high winds —roof to walls, walls to floor, and floor to foundation. To ensure connections are as tight as possible, they use truss hangers that are much stronger than those required by most building codes.
Material excellence: Deltec homes are framed with lumber that is more than twice as strong as traditional framing lumber. Their structural sheathing meet the hurricane impact test of Miami-Dade County, which has the strictest hurricane building codes in the country.
Sustainability: Deltec can incorporate efficiencies like passive heating and cooling, solar hot water and high-performance insulation. This contributes to energy cost savings and will sustain the home’s occupants in the event that local utilities and infrastructure are crippled.
Learn more about Deltec Homes and hurricane-resistant houses.