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What to Consider When Buying a Coastal Vacation Home

Thinking of buying a coastal home in Rhode Island or Connecticut? Thankfully, there are many beautiful coastal towns and beachfront properties to choose from. In Rhode Island, the historic towns of Watch Hill, Wickford, and Block Island are just some of the state's most popular areas. Connecticut boasts many other historic towns and boroughs where quintessential New England homes can be found such as Mystic, Stonington, and Niantic.

Before purchasing a coastal home however, there are some important things to consider to ensure your potential home is properly constructed to withstand the surrounding environment. Here at Onega Inspection Services, we've made a quick list of 5 considerations when buying a coastal home in RI or CT.

1. Moisture

Coastal homes are frequently exposed to harsh elements like moisture-laden air, strong winds, and saltwater corrosion. Fortunately, modern construction materials and techniques can help lower the amount of damage caused by moisture. Building materials along the coast should be strong enough to stand up against powerful winds, heavy rain, and built in such a way as to resist saltwater corrosion. According to FEMA, the best building materials for coastal homes typically include concrete and naturally durable wood. Hardie-plank or similar composite siding materials are very durable and commonly used. Also, metal fasteners used to secure siding, decks and other areas around the home should be made from a salt resistance metal, such as hot-dipped galvanized nails.

2. Insulation

As previously mentioned, coastal areas contain more moisture in the overall air; this higher level of humidity can affect a house if not properly insulated and conditioned. In order to protect wood materials such as wood framing and hardwood floors from damage, it’s a good idea to properly insulate the house from moisture. It is recommended that coastal RI and CT homes have closed-cell insulation installed in attics, floors, and walls to create a protective envelope around the interior of the home. What is closed cell insulation? This type of insulation is a spray foam alternative to fiberglass, its dense structure acts as an ideal barrier against humid air and water vapor.

3. Roof Materials

It's common to see many different shingle materials in RI and CT. Some examples of commonly used roofing materials used in this area are asphalt, composite slate, and metal roofing. Although asphalt shingles are by far the most common, metal roofing is being used more commonly, as it is a sturdy material able to resist rot, mildew, and wind. An added benefit of both metal roofs and composite slate is the ability to reflect the sun, which can help lower the cost of cooling your home.

4. Window Durability

When buying a coastal home, the type of windows installed should be an important consideration. A home built with durable impact-rated windows will protect your house from potential wind damage and flying debris during severe coastal storms. If you choose to buy a coastal home without these windows, it’s highly recommended they are installed soon after you move in, and this is particularly important if windows and doors face the ocean. Not only will impact-rated windows protect your home, but they may also lower your insurance costs, improve your home’s energy efficiency, and decrease outside noise.

5. Get a Home Inspection

When buying a coastal home, a professional home inspection is an important way to ensure that the house you're considering is properly constructed to withstand the surrounding environment. At Onega Inspection Services, LLC we realize that each home is unique. In addition to a comprehensive home inspection, we take extra steps to evaluate a home according to these unique needs including the considerations mentioned above. If you're contemplating a coastal, vacation home in RI or CT, Onega Inspection Services is the preferred home inspection company for your home inspection needs.

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Onega Inspection Services, LLC is a full service home inspection company serving Rhode Island and Connecticut.

We are a local and family owned business located in Westerly, Rhode Island.



Rhode Island Licensed Home Inspector #44179

Connecticut Licensed Home Inspector #HOI.0001084

ASHI Certified Home Inspector ACI#257065

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Licensed Pest Inspector #7650

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P.O. Box 431

Westerly, RI 02891

(401) 284-7455

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