Hurricanes Hugo and Katrina Victims Re-Build, Live Confidently with Deltec Homes

April 7th, 2014

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.

Deltec’s Best of 2013

February 14th, 2014

It’s official—2014 is off to a gallop here at Deltec, with every indication that this will be our busiest year since 2008. But 2013 was no slacker year either! We’ve gone through our files and selected, for your enjoyment, the projects that took us to places full of fun and beauty, as well as the biggest, the smallest and the most unusual. We’re not your average prefab home builder, and our list reflects the variety and individuality of our homeowners.

Most Eco-Friendly Home: 1st Renew Collection Home
Fall of 2013 saw us celebrating the first home sold from our new line of high performance and net-zero homes, The Renew Collection. This sleek Ridgeline model will be built in Virginia in the spring of 2014. Our homeowner chose our signature double stud wall for maximum R value, the most efficient choice for high performance homes. The Ridgeline was also our most ‘vetted’ home—both the son and the daughter of this homeowner are LEED professionals and, after careful scrutiny of the plans, gave their seal of approval for mom to purchase a Renew Collection home.

The Most DIY / Smallest Residential Structure: 2-Story 300 sq ft Hampton model = 600 sq ft
Located near Appalachian State University in Western North Carolina, this 600 sq ft tiny home is a work in progress. The shell was built almost completely DIY by our newlywed homeowners, with plenty of help from family and friends.  Said newlywed husband Zaak, “The main reason we chose Deltec was the affordability, but the unique design, customization options and the ability to construct it without professional help were all important factors as well.” Zak and a crew of 8 put the walls up without using heavy equipment. Everything else was done by Zaak and his father, with some assistance from their wives.  We say, “What a way to start a marriage!”

Most Extreme Location: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Brrr, what do you choose when you are going to build your home in the city that holds the record of the coldest capital on the planet? Winters are long and harsh in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and last about seven months, with -40°F a common occurrence. The subarctic climate means both day and night time temperatures fluctuate within a wide range even in the arc of a single day—in spring and summer, they can range daily from 23°F at dawn to  86°F in the afternoon! Deltecs proven resistance to temperature extremes played a large part in the decision to build with us. Floor plans will be finalized soon and the homes will ship before summer’s end 2014. You might even say we went back to our roots with these clients, since Deltecs were inspired by yurts! Our Mongolian guests recently visited our plant facilities, as well as several Deltec structures.

Most Exotic Use: Ten Hampton Models for a Resort in Gabon, Africa
Ten Deltec Hampton models will serve as individual bungalows in a resort community. At 300 sq ft each, they are the perfect size for independent, exotic vacation bungalows, each featuring a bedroom, sitting area, bath and kitchenette.

Most Unusual Deltec: Rotating B&B ‘Around the Sea
Intriguing, indeed: Our first rotating Deltec home was built on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Homeowners Steve and Stephanie Arnold had plans to construct a round 5,000-square-foot Deltec home for use as a bed and breakfast. Shortly before the design process began, Steve approached us with the idea of a rotating home and thus began our journey to create the world’s first rotating bed and breakfast. Deltec partnered with E Rotating Structures to adapt their 35-ton steel rotating platform to fit the round Deltec structure. After months of collaboration and design efforts, Steve and Stephanie were ready to take in guests in July 2013. Now, from an app on his iPhone, Steve can rotate his bed and breakfast 360-degrees, giving every suite an opportunity for an ocean view. A full rotation takes about 45 minutes. It’s so smooth and quiet, you can’t even tell it’s moving!

Most Amazing Staircase: Unique Spiral Staircase
The home that shipped to Gabon, Africa is sure to give you a severe case of staircase envy. The beautiful 14 foot diameter Half Turn stair, made of 100% Sapele (sa-PEE-lee) Mahogany, was handcrafted by Unique Spiral Stairs. The process time for this stair was over 14 weeks! It was shipped assembled (with the exception of rails and balusters), fully sanded and ready for installation in an open-to-below Deltec Windsor model, still under construction.

The Biggest: Over 6,000 sq ft of Energy Efficient Living
As is often the case with homeowners who build in an isolated area, these homeowners aimed to create a welcoming haven that offered plenty of space for relaxed living, including areas for both their preferred activities and work. A 2-story Vista (5,000 sq ft total) featuring an open-to-below window array on the front of the home blurs the boundaries between indoor and outdoor, bringing the panorama in.  The east wing will lead directly into the master bedroom on the first floor, which has it’s own deck. The west wing is all about work, with the inclusion of a mudroom with washer and dryer between the garage and the main house. The homeowners have cattle, so also planned for plenty of storage space for tools in this wing, with an office just around the corner.  Another consideration in choosing a Deltec home was their inherent energy efficiency, as well as our sustainable manufacturing methods.
This home also boasts the most coveted feature: the east wing will have a lap pool with a spa connected to it!

Top Foreign Location for Deltec Sales: The Caribbean
Bahamas and the US Virgin islands tied for the top Caribbean locations, and that’s not surprising, considering the climates and severe weather patterns. Our homeowners were sold on Deltec’s proven record of hurricane resistant homes, which is repeatedly put to the test every year in tropical locations such as these. If you were building in a hurricane prone area, wouldn’t you want a home able to stand up to category 5 hurricanes?

Most Recreational: Two Summer Camps
Both Camp Tekawitha, in Alabama, and Upper Missouri Ministries Camp & Retreat Center, in North Dakota, chose to go with Deltec for their design flexibility and energy efficiency. Camp Tekawitha built a Monterey with wing for a chapel and dining hall+meeting room. Upper Missouri Ministries chose the same Monterey, building two with wings for chapel and dorm space.

Most Educational: Francine Delany New School for Children
With the addition of this 2,500 sq ft Vista model, Francine Delany New School for Children brought their campus total up to three Deltec buildings. Buffy Fowler, Principal and one of the founding members of the school, says they chose Deltec for their extreme flexibility and sustainability, while project architect Robert Todd says, “On the market today, in my opinion, a Deltec structure for a school is the most effective solution to provide a quality learning environment for the kids. Our experience has shown we can deliver a stronger, more efficient envelope , with abundant natural light using Deltec. We can build with a shorter construction period and lower costs than any other method.”

Best ‘Rebuild’: Jersey Strong in a Deltec
It only takes losing your home to a hurricane once to know you need to build it better. These homeowners chose to build a Deltec home to replace the traditional home they lost in Hurricane Sandy because of our tried-and-true record of never having lost a single home to high winds of any kind, thanks to our inherently aerodynamic shape, and our special high wind construction package. They also wisely decided to put their Deltec Sierra model on pilings, a safeguard against high water should they find themselves in another storm of such epic proportions. (Not pictured.)

Top banner, clockwise from top left: The Most DIY / Smallest Residential Structure; Most Eco-Friendly Home: 1st Renew Collection Home; The Biggest: Over 6,000 sq ft of Energy Efficient Living; Most Recreational: Two Summer Camps; Most Educational: Francine Delany New School For Children; Most Unusual Deltec: Rotating B&B ‘Around the Sea’;  Most Exotic Use: Ten Hampton Models for a Resort in Gabon, Africa; Most Amazing Staircase: By Unique Spiral Stairs. Footer photos, from the left: Top Foreign Location for Deltec Sales: The Caribbean; Most Extreme Location: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Our Mongolian visitors toured our plant facilities and model home, as well as a local school.

Simple Genius

January 21st, 2014

It’s good to remember every now and again that problems can often be solved by simply stepping back and taking a fresh look at the big picture. A case in point: Deltec’s insulated headers.
Deltec uses R5 Thermal Shield as a wrap for insulating, and we have done so for many years. R5 Thermal Shield helps to achieve moisture management and energy efficiency, and is placed between the Typar storm wrap and plywood sheathing. R5 Thermal Shield boards are cut to size for each prefab Deltec energy wall panel and, inevitably, there is waste. Although R5 Thermal Shield is free of harmful chemicals, its disposal is regulated. This means it necessarily entered into Deltec’s waste recycling program for disposal.
Enter Steve Linton, (whom many of you know as Deltec’s president), who began working as our Green Building Coordinator in 2007. As a new employee, Steve wasn’t hindered by preconceptions as to how things had always been done. He looked at the R5 Thermal Shield. He looked at our double stud energy wall panels, with their layers of protection over almost 10-inch thick walls. He looked at the empty header ‘boxes’ (also 10 inches thick) at the top of each wall panel—and saw an opportunity: What if the excess R5 Thermal Shield were shredded and stuffed into the header, providing extra insulation for our homeowners’ wall panels? What if, at the same time, this resulted in the elimination of a product that previously had to be disposed of in a documented manner?
The idea was approved and the next step was to find an efficient way of shredding the board, a problem solved easily enough through the use of a chipper. Excess sheet metal was folded to form a rectangular-shaped funnel, which is placed over the header. The chipped R5 Thermal Shield is scooped up and into the funnel, after which the header is sealed. The result? An 8-ft wide double stud energy wall that boasts a solid header of energy efficiency.

Top photo series, from left: a sheet of R5 Thermal Shield; shredded Thermal Shield; pouring chips of Thermal Shield into the wall header. Bottom photo series, from left: header is sealed closed after being filled with Thermal Shield chips; a pallet of insulated headers, ready to be installed in place in double stud energy wall panels; a completed double stud energy wall panel.

Business Heroes

December 17th, 2013

A two-page spread from Deltec's award winning booklet.

Why do we work? For money? For fame, success, self realization or, perhaps, to change the world? Certainly, money enters into the equation somewhere—we all have to make a living. But a dream and a purpose are what lead the way to ambition. The people and companies who strive, excel and achieve do so for reasons other than money—it’s the desire to prove themselves, and hopefully make a difference, that pushes them.

Having said this, not all those who try, succeed. That’s where awards and public recognition come into play. Be they for individuals or businesses, awards acknowledge success as well as recognize the qualities that helped us to achieve it: creative thinking, ability, effort and, above all, excellence. Through awards we gain recognition from industry peers even as we showcase our company for the public.

Deltec Homes is proud to have won several national home building accolades in 2013. As part of the 2014 Jerry Rouleau Awards for Excellence in Marketing and Home Design from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Deltec won both the Excellence in Marketing – Consumer Brochure Award, and the Home of Distinction: Excellence in Home Design, in the 3,001-4,000 square feet category for the Arnold House, a Healthy Built home in Montreat, NC.

Deltec was also one of five winners of the Marvin Integrity Red Diamond Achiever, an award recognizing and honoring impressive design, innovation, sustainability and quality in projects using Integrity products.

It’s not surprising that an inspiring company has inspiring leadership: Deltec Homes president Steve Linton was named one of Asheville’s ’40 Under Forty,’ an annual leadership award presented by the Biltmore Beacon. Honorees were judged on their business success and their achievements as an active member of the community. Steve is responsible for encoding environmental responsibility into Deltec’s core values and spearheaded the installation of 273 solar panels on the company’s roof, enabling us to power our officees and plant with 100 percent renewable energy. Most recently, he achieved his goal of capturing the national market share in net-zero home production by creating the Renew Collection, Deltec’s new line of high performance and net-zero homes. Also an active member in the community, Steve volunteers for Meals on Wheels and serves on the board of both the WNC Green Building Council and the Asheville Chamber of Commerce.

Brenda Cooke, responsible for communications and creative media at Deltec, won the 2013 Award of Distinction for furthering the mission of Deltec’s community partner, Wild South, by helping them reach out across the region through visually striking graphic design, as well as her involvement in organizing Deltec volunteers for various Wild South community events.

A commitment to excellence and innovation drives our company, from the president to admin, to sales and marketing personnel, and right on through to our building production staff. We are proud of our accomplishments.

Pushing Net-Zero Forward

December 9th, 2013

The Ridgeline, one of the home designs in our new Renew Collection of high-performance to net-zero home packages.

We know that it has never been more affordable to build a net-zero home, and our mission is to push the concept of extremely energy efficient homes, easily powered by renewable energy, into the mainstream, in Western North Carolina and elsewhere. Deltec’s Green Building Coordinator, Leigha Dickens, explains how we are aiming to make extremely energy efficient and net-zero homes the norm of new home building. Read her blog post, here.

Mother Earth News Fair 2013: Building the Home of Tomorrow, Today

October 11th, 2013

It’s that time of year again, and Deltec is participating once again in the hugely popular Mother Earth News Fair, this year in Lawrence, Kansas. Participants will get the opportunity to attend a mini-workshop on Deltec Homes and tour a Deltec home built nearby.

At last year’s fair in Seven Springs, PA, Deltec Homes president Steve Linton presented (twice) a talk to appreciative, attentive audiences, “Building the Home of Tomorrow, Today.”  This year he will be repeating this popular talk. If you’d like to download the presentation, we have made that available on our website. While it’s not the same as seeing it in person, we hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity to download the presentation.

Just click here to safely and automatically download the file. And of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at

A Deltec Dream Retirement Home

August 12th, 2013

Exterior and interior views of this Deltec home

In pursuing their dream of many years to downsize in retirement and have a one-of-a-kind place to call their own, Joe and Judy Baker, from Marietta, Ohio, turned to Deltec Homes, and could not be more pleased with their unusual home.

The Bakers chose a Deltec Windsor model on a basement. With 2,000 sq ft of finished home, it’s enough room for all their needs. The unfinished basement serves as a playroom for their grandchildren, and some storage.

One might think the unique shape might stand out sharply from neighboring homes, but thanks to the soft green exterior the Bakers chose, it blends in softly with the natural surroundings. In keeping with their unique home, Judy opted for unusual but complementary color choices transitioning from one room to the next.

A lot of thought went into planning the outdoor living area: The home has two eight-foot sections of screened porch and two open ones with idyllic views of the grassy area and trees behind the home. “We are very pleased with how it turned out,” said Judy Baker

See the rest of the article here.

Round: variations on a theme

August 5th, 2013

If you’re a fan of round homes, you’re probably well aware that there are several variations on the theme, from geodesic to domes, to monolithic domes to Deltec’s own panelized round. Real estate agent Jessica Clausen recently had cause to immerse herself in the subject, as she had clients who were interested in seeing round homes. Jessica condenses thousands of years of ’round’ history into one blog post as she explains how cultures from pre-history to modern times have constructed round dwellings using local materials. She also covers the aerodynamics and hurricane resistance of round homes, and why they are green.

Her succinct explanations of the various round homes, each with a photo example, makes for interesting reading in her blog post. Spoiler alert: Which round house do you think is her favorite? Deltec Homes, of course!

Jersey Strong in a Deltec Home

July 16th, 2013

When last we saw Deltec homeowners John and Kathy Guerin, it was 2010 and they had just finished building their dream home on the Jersey shore. Little did they know that not even two years later, their desire for a home that was “resistant to the winds coming off the Bay” would be put so severely to the test.

The Guerin's 'Jersey Strong' Deltec looks surreal in its perfection, in the midst of destroyed vegetation, bulkheads and damaged homes along Delaware Bay after Hurricane Sandy.

The 2,000-square-foot home is situated squarely on Delaware Bay, offering panoramic views of the water and wetlands. In anticipation of seasonal high water, the two-story house stands on pilings six feet off the ground. Unlike many homes along this beach, the Guerins, in defense of their ocean view and with complete trust in their Deltec, opted to skip erecting a bulkhead in front of their home. When Hurricane Sandy slammed the New Jersey coast last fall, the Guerins witnessed the true hurricane resistance of their Deltec: Although many nearby properties, even those ‘protected’ behind a bulhead, suffered significant water and wind destruction, the only damage to their home was a single turned-up shingle on the roof. Indeed, the bulkheads themselves were destroyed so as to be useless.

“The house withstood the storm very well,” said John Guerin to the press. “That’s one of the reasons we chose the Deltec design.”

Sandy was the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history. With the forecasters expecting 2013 to be an above average hurricane season, you can bet many will be keeping their eyes on Deltec Homes.

When their Deltec dream home made the news in 2010, the Guerins had no idea that Hurricane Sandy would put the hurricane resistance of their home to the test.

R-Value? Don’t Forget About Air-Sealing

July 3rd, 2013

by Leigha Dickens

When we talk about an energy efficient building, everyone wants to know about the R-value. “R-value” is a measure of how well an insulating material slows the eventual loss of heat through the exterior surfaces of a building.

It is a fundamental law of thermodynamics that all of the heat that we contribute precious fossil fuels to put into a building will eventually leave it, for the same reason a cup of hot coffee left on a table at room temperature will eventually cool off. R-value is well and good—but it’s not the whole story, nor even the most important part of the story. Heat transfer comes in multiple forms, and one of the most important strategies for energy efficiency construction comes from paying attention to an entirely different method of heat loss, far too often overlooked in the construction industry.