Wayne Higson is a senior project manager. He has been a licensed general contractor in North Carolina since 1989. Living in North Carolina, Higson would often vacation at the beach, enjoying the sand, surf, and warm salty breeze. He would often see trawlers trying to catch their bounty of shrimp; it is a wonderful attraction. In 1993, he built a vacation home on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina. At that time, he was unaware of how quickly the coastal environment could damage, deteriorate, and corrode most materials used in the “average” building process. In particular, windows, doors, hardware exterior siding, light fixtures, paint, heating and cooling systems, and roofing were vulnerable to the coastal environment. Through painstaking research, along with trial and error, Higson was able to find solutions, along with products, that could reduce his maintenance and repair costs. The information and products he found also minimized repeat maintenance costs or eliminated them altogether. As a result, he saved time and money and was able to increase his property value and rental income. Of course, it would have been a great benefit for him to have had this information when he began his construction—which is why he decided to write this unique, easy-to-follow photo guidebook for you. Too often, Higson sees coastal homeowners spending excessive amounts of time on expensive repairs and repeat maintenance, just as he did. He is dedicated to making sure that all coastal homeowners benefit from the lessons he has learned.
This photo guidebook was published to show coastal homeowners how to adapt their homes to the everyday challenges presented by a coastal environment. Salt air, salt spray, humidity, corrosion, wind-driven rain, nor’easters, tropical storms, and hurricanes are challenges that do not exist in inland regions. This book does not represent just another do-it-yourself book, although many of the everyday challenges can be tackled with relative ease. Instead, this book is a unique how-to book, helping homeowners eliminate trial and error and do it right the first time, while living in a coastal environment. Best of all, most of the photos in this book were taken on location in coastal areas. As you will see, the coastal environment can easily deteriorate building materials not suitable for coastal elements. Materials and construction practices not designed for those elements will cost you thousands of dollars in repairs and repeat maintenance and will decrease home values. There are also photos showing solutions using products and construction practices that will give you years of worry-free maintenance. The Complete Photo Guide To Coastal Maintenance is divided into thirteen chapters that deal with all aspects of protecting and maintaining the exterior and interior of your home from the coastal elements: including hardware, fasteners, and nails, doors and windows, exterior siding, coastal roofs, lighting and electrical components, heating and cooling, coastal decks, water heaters, exterior surface preparation, and preventative maintenance. There are also chapters addressing concerns about hurricane preparedness and winterizing coastal homes. We place emphasis on protecting your family and your coastal home by illustrating tips, techniques, and solutions and making them practical and accessible to coastal homeowners. The final chapter, “Increasing Rental Income,” is essential reading for those coastal homeowners who are considering or have already purchased or built a home for investment purposes. Millions of vacationers travel to the coastal areas annually and book rental properties. The expectation of today’s guests is very high. The photos and information in this chapter will give you tips and solutions that have been proven to increase rental income. The Coastal Products Directory, located in the Appendix, is a comprehensive and valuable reference guide with more than one hundred companies, marketing many of their products to the coastal homeowner. Their products are resistant to salt air, salt spray, humidity, corrosion, wind-driven rain, and hurricanes. The next time you meet with a contractor or handyman about your next home improvement project or a maintenance issue, the photos and information gathered in this book will help you choose the best low-maintenance products and construction practices and will eliminate many repairs and repeat maintenance problems. The Complete Photo Guide To Coastal Maintenance is a book with more than three hundred full-color photographs that we hope you will find to be practical and useful while living near the beautiful seashores and coastal sounds of this country.