CAMERON TOUR OF HOMES

May 18, 2009 at 2:11 pm Leave a comment

The home of Dave and Debbie Savoie was one of four chosen for display in the Cameron Parish Tour of Homes on Sunday. BY KAREN WINK

The home of Dave and Debbie Savoie was one of four chosen for display in the Cameron Parish Tour of Homes on Sunday. BY KAREN WINK

Higher, stronger, smarter houses survive
*published May 18, 2009

CAMERON — Four Cameron Parish residents on Sunday showed that hurricane preparation can be stylish.

Their homes serve as examples of how houses in the area should be elevated and fortified against hurricanes.

The tour of the homes was sponsored by the LSU AgCenter and the Cameron Parish Police Jury.

They were all built to satisfy residential building code hurricane resistance requirements after the original homes were destroyed by Hurricane Rita. All of the homes survived Hurricane Ike with minimal damage.

 Louisiana State University Extension associate Lilli Arning shows how ties are used throughout the housing framework to Katie, Angie and Butch Burgress of Longville during the Cameron Parish Tour of Homes. BY KAREN WINK

Louisiana State University Extension associate Lilli Arning shows how ties are used throughout the housing framework to Katie, Angie and Butch Burgress of Longville during the Cameron Parish Tour of Homes. BY KAREN WINK


In the first home — owned by Dave and Debbie Savoie — Lilli Arning, an extension associate with the AgCenter, showed off impact-resistant windows on the front of the house.

“This is very important because when the windows are blown out, there is a chance for uplift,” Arning said. “This is when wind comes in and can rip off the entire roof.”

Arning offered paperwork about tax credits, and Savoie talked about grants that helped her pay for part of the elevator she would need because her son, Jeremy, uses a wheelchair.

The Office of Citizens with Developmental Disabilities paid the $17,500 for the elevator.

Lower Cameron Parish resident Stephanie Rodrigue speaks to Helene and Gabbie Massey of Grand Lake during the Cameron Parish Tour of Homes. BY KAREN WINK

Lower Cameron Parish resident Stephanie Rodrigue speaks to Helene and Gabbie Massey of Grand Lake during the Cameron Parish Tour of Homes. BY KAREN WINK


“We want people to know you can live on the coast,” said Cynthia Richard, an extension associate with the AgCenter. She gave a tour of Cecil and Leslie Clark’s home.

“As long as they build their houses stronger and smarter, they won’t have to rebuild from scratch,” Richard said.

Richard and Arning both stressed the need to get insurance.

“The higher you build, the lower your premiums will be,” Arning said while explaining the need to build to certain standards.

Another feature is a strapping system in which the house is heavily bolted to the foundation of the home.

“The house isn’t just nailed down,” Arning said. “There is a continuous loadbearing path connecting each part of the house.”

Arning talked about the importance of having the house elevated and that it be safely connected to the foundation to fight water and winds.

Two other features common on all four houses were heating and air-conditioning systems completely elevated on the back porches, and ondemand water heaters.

The on-demand water heaters are more environmentally friendly and result in lower water bills, according to Debbie Savoie, but they cost more than traditional water heaters.

Nicky and Stephanie Rodrigue displayed pictures of their home after Hurricane Ike. The only damage seen was of the doors on the first floor and the breakaway walls, which the family credits with keeping the second floor from being damaged.

The walls on the first floor are secured with nails that are a half-inch shorter than the ones used on the second floor.

When they are hit with heavy wind or rain, they fall off. If they were connected to the second floor, a heavy wind could pull the entire side of the house down.

Stephanie Rodrigue estimated that about 30 people visited her home on Sunday.

Butch Burgess of Longville took the tour with his wife and daughter, Angie and Katie, simply out of curiosity.

Betty Anderson, who lives in Lake Charles, said she wanted to see the homes and the features that helped them withstand hurricanes.

“There is a lot of outside criticism about people who want to live so close to the coast,” Anderson said. “But this just shows that if you plan ahead and properly, your house will survive.”

article link:http://bit.ly/k0C4b

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