When planning to build or purchase a new home, most of us want to focus on the aesthetics, planning where our furniture while go, where we want to add a feature wall, or how the kitchen would look with upgraded appliances. Eventually, we have to assess the structure and safety of the home and, in Florida especially, we have to be confident that our new home will weather any storm that it may face.
So what are “wind zones”?
To ensure that homes are built to responsible safety standards, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) had created policies by which all homes must be built, including specification on the wind load that homes (including manufactured homes) must be able to withstand. These Wind Zones divide the country into three areas based on the severity of windstorms that homes in those areas may face.
Encompassing the majority of the United States, Zone 1 is the most lenient area in which homes can be built. Put simply, Zone 1 accounts for winds up to 70 miles per hour. If you’ve spent any time living in Florida, you are most likely already thinking that building a Zone 1 home in Florida would be a mistake. In fact, there are no Zone 1 areas in the state of Florida.
Although it is significantly smaller than Zone 1, Zone 2 covers most of Florida. Stretching from the southern tip of Texas to most of the East Coast, Zone 2 homes are built to withstand wind speeds up to 100 miles per hour.
At Prestige Homes, we default to building homes to Zone 2 standards. All of our floor plan pricing includes this upgrade since the vast majority of our homes are built for Florida residents.
The smallest of the wind zones, but possible the most important, Zone 3 homes are built the withstand winds up to 110 miles per hour. Zone 3 covers most of the southern coast of Florida, all of Hawaii, and a few other small coastline in the United States.
Because all of Prestige’s homes are built-to-order, we ensure that your home will be built according to the wind zone of the land for which the home is intended.
How accurate are wind zones?
Although modern technology has made weather predictions significantly more accurate that they were a few decades ago, weather can stil be unpredictable. However, in recent years, homes built according to these wind zones have faired significantly better that homes built before them.
Are manufactured home really safe in a storm or hurricane?
In Florida, we see incredibly powerful storms that have destroyed even the sturdiest site built home. This is one of the inherent risks of living in the best state in the country. However, modern manufactured and modular homes are actually built to built to more stringent standards than most site built homes.
If you are looking for a safe, affordable home in Florida, contact your local Prestige Model Center!