If you are considering having a home custom built, one of the things that you will want to consider are the advantages of using fire-safe building materials and strategies. Seasonal wildfires are becoming increasingly common in parts of the American West, and even if those who don't live in this region should keep fire safety in mind when having a new home built. Following are three strategies that can help keep you and your family develop some fire protection techniques.
Metal, slate, cement, and ceramic roofing are all excellent options when it comes to fire-resistant roofing. The roof is one of the more vulnerable points when it comes to the spread of fire because because sparks are often airborne. If you live in an area where seasonal wildfires are a common threat, you may be required by local codes to install fire-resistant roofing, so be sure to ask your contractor about your options. Even if your county or municipality doesn't require that new construction use fire-resistant roofing materials, it may be a good investment anyway. For instance, the resale value of your home may be higher if you use fire-resistant building materials, and you may be able to get a break on your insurance premiums.
Fire Resistant Frames
Standard construction has long involved using wood for frames and walls, but that's changed in some areas of the country due to wood's extremely flammable nature. If living in a fireproof home is important to you, consider having insulated concrete forms installed instead of wooden shells. As one of the most fireproof construction materials available, concrete can withstand an exterior fire for as long as four hours. As an added benefit, insulated concrete forms will also provide you with a superior form of insulation that will help keep interior home temperatures stable and keep utility costs in check.
Most quality construction companies work with local landscapers to provide buyers with at least the rudimentary beginning of a comfortable and attractive outdoor living space. Ask your contractor to plant fire-resistant vegetation near your home such as deciduous bushes and trees rather than evergreens. Evergreen trees contain flammable sap and are much more likely to catch fire than their deciduous counterparts. Also, keep tree and shrub branches trimmed so that they don't come within six feet of roofs or exterior walls. If you live in an area where seasonal fire danger is high, strongly consider asking your contractor to create a six-foot space around the perimeters of your home using nonflammable materials such as concrete, brick, or clay tiles.