The Phil Leng Team: October 2012

Hurricane Sandy and Stormy Seattle Home Weatherproofing Tips

What Would It Cost To Make Your House Truly Storm Proof? A Starter Shopping List.


Dan Bigman, over at Forbes, has personal experience to share!


They say there’s nothing dumber or more pointless than getting mad at the weather, but I can’t help it. Sitting in a little old cottage in Northern Fairfield County, Connecticut today, watching the trees sway and bounce off the power lines outside amid the terrifying and endless drone of Weather Channel, I must say I’m feeling a tad bit grumpy, and I know I’m not the only one.


And it’s hardly seeming like some once-in-a-lifetime event. There was Irene, which devastated my wife’s home state of Vermont, totally washing away the main street in her uncle’s town, driving another friend from her bed in the middle of the night with her two tiny kids in tow when picturesque brook became a raging river without warning. Last year’s October Surprise ice storm left this whole region without power for days. Then there’s those tornados in Brooklyn…We’re all feeling a bit like New Orleans residents now.


So sitting here listening to the wind and weathermen howl, I started having what I guess you could call a Sandy version of a revenge fantasy. What would you have to do, to spend, to make it so you’d never have to worry about your family’s safety again when yet another storm like this barreled into the region, or when the next noreaster dumped two feet of snow on the ground along with every power line in sight?


Luckily, the power’s still on and the Internet is still available. So I focus on three main areas: shelter, heat and power. If you can keep those going indefinitely, then worry about food and water becomes much reduced.


To guide my search I turn to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home safety, FEMA and the excellent and very pragmatic Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, as well as a host of other sources. I’ll spare you more narrative now, and cut to the chase (because who knows when our power will be out): To really be able to ride out storms comfortably (very comfortably) plan on spending –gulp—more than $30 grand.


Storm Shutters


About $15,000/$600 per window, installed.

Expensive? Yeah. But heavy-duty aluminum storm shutters are certified to withstand 9-lb object hitting them at about 35 MPH. Tell me you wouldn’t feel safer right now if you had that standing between you and Sandy.


Garage Door/Door & Roof Reinforcements


About $2,000.

Beefing up the most crucial elements of a house in high winds isn’t as expensive as you think. In the garage, a contractor can add additional horizontal bracing, as well as heavy-duty rollers and other hardware. The price runs about $600 a door. In the attic, adding additional structure to the gable ends of a roof will cost you a hundred or so more per end according to FEMA guidelines. Also, changing doors so they open out, not in, will help secure them in a storm.


Natural Gas or Wood Stove


Likely $5,000 installed.

Widely available, insures heat regardless of what the weather brings. Bonus: you can cook on it if need be.


Natural Gas Or Diesel-Powered Backup Generator


Likely $6,000 installed.

This is where we roll in the Rolls and really rack up the costs, but oh, would this be awesome today or what? Made by a variety of well-known vendors, from Briggs and Straton to General Electric, the natural gas version requires a plumber to make the connection to the gas and electrician to patch it into the house’s main breaker box.  But once it’s in, you can live fully disconnected from power lines—until the natural gas stops.


Safe Room


About $5,000.  No, not the kind of thing where Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart hid from bad guys. This is just a very solid section of your house where you can hold out if the weather gets absolutely life threatening. FEMA has ready-made plans available online to build yourself (or get a pro to build) a 64-square-foot shelter of either concrete or reinforced plywood, built to withstand very serious hurricane-force winds.


And More

There is tons of smart, useful information available online. Where to start? FEMA.gov.


Don’t be bashful.  Dan has lit the candle, now it’s up to you to do what’s necessary for your own storm-season comfort.






 

 phillengteam.com

The Phil Leng Team

206-409-6600

philleng1@gmail.com

http://www.ilovekirkland.org

http://www.kirklandhomevalues.com

 
Facebook   Twitter   YouTube   LinkedIn                            kirklandhomevalues.com

 

www.kirklandhomevalues.comwww.kirklandhomevalues.com

 

 

 

 

 

Comment balloon 3 commentsPhil Leng • October 29 2012 05:46PM
Hurricane Sandy and Stormy Seattle Home Weatherproofing Tips
share
What Would It Cost To Make Your House Truly Storm Proof? A Starter Shopping List. Dan Bigman, over at Forbes, has personal experience to share! They say there’s nothing dumber or more pointless than getting mad at… more
Real Estate Market Report on The Effect of Homeownership on Children
share
Often we, as real estate professionals, strive to consider all the possible ramifications of a transaction. And insist on placing our client’s needs and goals primus inter pares - first among everything (equals). Yet how frequently do we think… more
Fixer in Kennydale 5 bedroom 4 bath home for sale Renton
share
an Affordable Fixer in New Renton/Lower Kennydale Bring your family and friends, as there’s room for all to live in this 5 bedrooms and 4 full baths home for sale in Kennydale! Views of Lake Washington are reserved for… more
Kirkland Real Estate Neighborhoods in Harmony Sablewood
share
Seasonally Speaking of Sablewood Look familiar? If you live here, it should! Last Saturday it looked this way before the wind and rain denuded it. Autumn in Sablewood (aka Bridle Trails aka Kirkland aka “lil piece of… more
Real Estate Market Info Buyers Briefs
share
Wonder how to know what house you can REALLY get for your money? BUYER’S CHECKLIST IN BRIEF: Decide how much you can spend. For a convenient worksheet, go to www. themercerteam. com Check your credit… more
On Buying Homes - Planning the Big Move
share
All Real Estate Professionals are eager to help you buy or sell your home. But what to do in preparation for "The Big Move"? Planning the Big Move! Timeline: Two Months In Advance … more
Real Estate Market Report:Task Force after Banks Breaking Lending Laws
share
Key financial institutions suspected of misconduct and fraudulent practices challenged and sued by WG Task Force. The RMBS Working Group, a State-Federal Task Force created by President Obama to go after… more
J D Powers Award for Excellence King County
share
We are proud to announce J D Powers and Associates has recently concluded their survey of Real Estate client satisfaction in King County, and Keller Williams… more
Keller Williams Realty Kirkland Real Estate Market Center MOVED
share
KELLER WILLIAMS REAL ESTATE MARKET CENTER KIRKLAND HAS MOVED! BUSINESS HAS GROWN - SO HAVE WE! MOVED TO LARGER AND MORE CONVENIENT OFFICES TO BETTER ACCOMMODATE OUR AGENTS AND CLIENTS. Our new… more