Challenges of remodeling and building waterfront homes

Building or remodeling a house near the water presents its own special challenges.  If you’re looking to undertake a project on your waterfront home, you need to make sure you work with a qualified local contractor, experienced in the unique challenges of our North Carolina coastal areas.

C.O.D. Home Services is located right here in Emerald Isle, and has been working in the area since 1994. We have more than 25 years of experience and stand behind all of our work.

There are several factors to consider when building or remodeling a waterfront home.

Is the property suitable for building?

Found that beautiful spot with the dream view? Do your due diligence and talk to a builder to make sure the lot is not only buildable, but buildable where you want it to be. Consider any special issues with the property that may limit where you can construct a new home or addition. Having the right construction partner will be the key to a home that will be there for years to come!

It’s not just about code

Building codes in many areas have not kept up with the increased strength and frequency of natural disasters like hurricanes and floods. So if a builders says they “build to code,” ask what that means. Are they using enhanced methods to protect your home? What type of experience do they have in that area?

So what are some of those special considerations? Mostly it’s about wind and water. Below are just a few of the items you should be considering and discussing with your remodeler or builder, based on recommendations from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety and the Home Innovation Research Labs.

Keep it dry

Raised foundation – Building more than 1 foot above base flood elevations helps protect your home from storm surge. The reality is that in some storms, though, water levels have exceeded those BFEs. Consider reserving the lowest level for storage or parking to minimize damage.

Other actions you can take include flashing and sealing all openings, including using pan flashing around windows to direct water to the outside of the wall. The use of mold and mildew-resistant materials, rainscreen systems and sealants will also help protect your home from damage during and after any storm.


Wind can be a major culprit in damaging your home, especially when it comes to the roof. Whether you’re building a new home or replacing your current roof, there are a number of products on the market to help secure the structure, such as hurricane straps or ties. Strengthening gable ends and limiting roof overhangs will also help reduce the risk of losing the roof and opening the home to additional damage.

Doors and windows, whether new or replacement, are also a factor. If your existing windows don’t have the latest impact resistance technology, consider replacing them to better protect your home.  

Advanced framing techniques and enhanced wall panels that offer stronger resistance than traditional drywall can also help your home manage potential danger. Ready to tackle your next project? Whether it’s a remodel or a new custom home, C.O.D. Home Services, LLC, has the experience to help you manage all the special considerations of coastal construction. Contact us today to discuss your construction needs!

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