Mother Nature can strike with little warning. While you can't control the weather, if you live an area frequented by major storms, you can reduce the risk of damage to your home. The following five weatherproof renovation tips will help you protect yourself from damage and increase the value of your property:
1. Install a Backup Generator
A backup generator is useful any time your power goes out, not just in extreme weather. Hardwired to your home's electrical panel, it can provide heat and light and protect against food spoilage during long-term outages. It can be a good selling feature, too. In fact, the National Association of Realtors reports homeowners have seen double-digit increases in their overall return on investment (ROI) for backup generations since 2011, due in part to major weather events throughout the nation.
While you can find basic models with built-in automatic transfer switches for a few thousand dollars, expensive generators provide nearly 70 percent ROI—money well spent when you don't have to wait for help to arrive to restore power.
2. Upgrade Your Garage Door
According to Popular Mechanics, the garage door is the weakest part of a home during a tornado. If you're considering a replacement garage door, Consumer Reports advises that a windowless garage door that's less than nine feet in width and able to withstand up to 50 pounds of pressure per square foot is your best bet for a weatherproof garage.
If a new door isn't in the cards, or if you're looking for extra value and protection, garage braces may be the solution. These vertical supports are attached to both the floor and the wall above the garage door to create resistance and help prevent the door from blowing out or being sucked in during a storm. At a cost of only a few hundred dollars, this can be money well spent for peace of mind.
3. Retrofit Your Roof
If a home's roof is dislodged during a major storm, the home is vulnerable to major damage or collapse. Fortunately, for several hundred dollars, you can retrofit your existing roof by adding hurricane clips to help keep your home's roof where it belongs.
Designed with the homeowner in mind, these braces are a do-it-yourself solution that typically connect the top of the wall brace to the roof truss via the attic space. A roof brace can provide from 400 up to 1,500 pounds of force protection from hurricane winds, according to Popular Mechanics. Consider your location when determining which type of brace you need to keep your home upright.
4. Add a New Storm Door
A new front door provides the best ROI for homeowners at an average of 98 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. Incorporating this smart upgrade into your weatherproofing plans makes sense from both a selling and safety standpoint.
For maximum protection, install a new storm door. Many companies create storm rated doors that can even withstand tornado-force winds. Prospective home buyers will appreciate the purchase, too.
5. Attach Storm Shutters
A longstanding staple for protecting your home against inclement weather, storm shutters come in myriad options to fit every budget. Although putting up plywood before a storm is the most cost-effective shutter, you may lose valuable time if bad weather hits without warning. A semi-permanent solution may be your best bet for a value-added upgrade.
Automatic rolling shutters can be controlled from inside your home, adding an element of safety. However, accordion, Bahama, or awning shutters, which can be manually and quickly moved into place, are also a good choice. If you're looking for a removable shutter you can store away during fair weather, storm panel shutters are a good weather-resistant upgrade from plywood. The Atlantic Oceanic and Meteorological Laboratory produces a list of the different shutter types available and their benefits.
Before doing any retrofitting or other upgrades to protect your home from inclement weather, be sure to check best practices and building codes for your area. By ensuring you meet or exceed local requirements when making your home as weatherproof as possible, you'll definitely add value when selling your home.