In the Bahamas, using the correct residential construction methods can have a significant impact on your home’s durability, maintenance costs and even the property’s ability to appreciate in value. Over the past 25 years that I have been involved in property development and residential construction in the Bahamas and South Florida, I have seen beautiful 5,000 square foot and larger homes turn into maintenance nightmares simply because the architect didn’t specify materials that could stand up to a tropical climate or the contractor tried to shave costs by using substandard building practices.
When Windridge Olen Exports takes on a residential construction management project for a client, we ensure the materials used to construct the home are top quality and only proper construction methods are employed. Attention to details is what we do to help protect your substantial, residential investment.
How Strong is that Roof Over Your Head?
In this blog I’d like to discuss the roof of your residential investment. The roof has the greatest direct exposure to the Bahamian climate and is one part of your home that is frequently the victim of shortcuts and substandard materials.
Let’s start with the trusses and work our way up to the roof paper:
- Trusses should be 55 lb roof load engineered and the best place to get them is a factory in South Florida that has extensive experience with tropical climates.
- Once the trusses have been set, all attachment plates should receive a coat of protectant to prevent corrosion caused by the salt air.
- Decking that goes atop the trusses is an area where shortcuts are common. The decking should be constructed from ¾" treated plywood and not 5/8" plywood which is a common practice, and definitely not the ½" plywood that some low end contractors use.
- The plywood deck should be laid using spacers to allow for minor expansion and contraction. The plywood sheets should not abut each other. The sheets should be fastened with 32 screws per 8×4 sheet and further secured with a liquid nail adhesive securing the deck to the rafters.
- Adequately venting the attic and roof is another area that is often overlooked in Bahama residences. You will want to install goose neck vents that will allow for a natural flow of air under the eaves through the roof. On the eaves themselves, use extruded aluminum vents rather than screens that will corrode in a few years.
- Hot tar and 90 pound paper is the most commonly used combination for roof paper but I have found that peel and stick 90 pound paper works just as well and is easier to install.
- Finally, don’t use galvanized metal as your drip edge. Galvanized metal will only last 3 to 5 years before it needs to be replaced. A heavy gauge copper is more expensive but will last a decade longer than galvanized.
In an upcoming post we will discuss roofing tiles and shingles and what works best in the Bahamas.
If you have any questions about the items covered in this post or any other concierge services that we offer, give me a call at Windridge Olen Exports.