For many people, having a beach house is a total dream. Imagine waking up to the sound of the ocean every day, enjoying your morning coffee watching the waves lap at the shore, feeling the ocean breeze on your skin.
If you’ve decided to make your dream a reality, there are a few things to keep in mind to protect your home and keep it looking its best.
In this post, I’ll break down a few of these essentials to consider, specific to owning a beach house.
1. Outdoor living materials resistant to the elements
In a beach house, the outdoor living space is often one of the most used areas of the house. It’s important to make sure it’s comfortable and utilizes furniture materials capable of withstanding the elements. The sun, humidity, and salty sea air will all take a toll on your outdoor furniture.
Aluminum, teak, wicker, and recycled plastics are all popular materials that can stand up to the salty sea air best. Some materials may need a little more TLC than others. Your budget, needs, and where you live will ultimately decide which is the best choice for you.
Tip: When choosing outdoor furniture and textiles, look for marine-grade certifications, as the materials are tested against environmental factors, assuring they will last.
An outdoor shower is also a good idea to consider installing to keep as much sand out of your home as possible. Having access to an outdoor shower and hose can protect your furniture and textiles from saltwater if you are diligent, while keeping sand from being tracked into the house.
2. Galvanized fixtures
Living close to the ocean puts your home under constant stress of sun, wind, moisture, and salt. This can cause many fixtures to rust and corrode over time. When choosing outdoor lighting or other fixtures for your beach house, it’s important to consider the material that is used, otherwise you will find yourself having to replace them often.
Galvanized materials, which are metals coated with zinc, guard against rusting and increase the longevity of your fixtures. Copper or brass are other materials to look for when choosing fixtures for your beach home, as they won’t rust and will last an extremely long time.
When choosing fixtures, look for marine-grade ones, as they are tested to withstand the elements.
Tip: If you decide to go with brass or copper, choose a “living finish,” or un-lacquered. Lacquered finishes will chip over time, while the former will naturally patina over time, for a beautiful lived-in look.
3. Impact windows to withstand strong winds
Hurricane proofing is crucial for any beach house and will prepare you for any potential environmental damage, especially in severe weather or in hurricane-prone areas. Impact windows are an important consideration if you choose to buy or build a beach house in coastal areas.
Having durable windows will come at a price as they typically cost about $55 per square foot of glass, including the frame but without installation.
Not only do impact windows protect your home from potential storms, they will also lower insurance rates, improve the energy efficiency of your home, block UV light, and decrease noise.
4. Water purification system
A water purification system can be a great investment for your beach house. A whole house water system provides clean, filtered water from every water source in your home which has countless benefits and over time will save you money.
Here are a few of the main benefits:
- Safer water for drinking and cooking by removing heavy metals, chemicals, and bacterias
- Better for the environment by reducing plastic consumption from buying bottled water
- Helps remove irritants in water that could potentially dry out the skin
- Increases the lifespan of plumbing, appliances, and fixtures by removing heavy metals, chemicals, and unwanted minerals which cause damage and buildup.
5. Coastal landscaping
Landscaping is an important element for any home, especially a beach house. Having a beautiful tropical garden can really elevate an outdoor space. When choosing plants and trees, be sure to pick salt-tolerant coastal plants that can survive seaside terrain.
When thinking of a tropical paradise, palm trees are one of the top choices, so it’s a good idea to explore the trees and plants available in your local area, and consult a landscaping company to determine what types are best.
If you have a pool, palm trees are a great option as they have a non-invasive root system. The climate you live in, your budget, and your personal taste will ultimately decide which plants and trees will work best for you.
6. Deck & dock sealants
Whether you have a wooden seaside deck or a boat dock, you’ll want to protect it. Stains are a great way to add a natural color to the wood and sealants add a layer of protection to keep rot and fungal growth at bay, while shielding it from water and sun damage.
The upkeep can seem tedious, but treating your dock every couple of years with stain and sealants protects it from the elements and keep it looking its best, saving you money in the long run.
If you are looking to learn more about which types of sealants to use on your deck, check out this post I wrote here that outlines a few of the best options out there.
Having a home on the coast can make homeowner’s insurance quite expensive and typically costs a lot more than coverage on a primary home. Beach houses are prone to hurricanes, severe storms, flooding, mudslides, and mold damage.
Most homeowner’s insurance excludes flooding so that may be a necessary policy you’ll have to get separately. Location is a huge factor in homeowner’s insurance. Depending on where you live and what environmental risks there are, policy rates can fluctuate, so it’s best to shop around.
Tip: If a beach house is your second home, you could save money by bundling your policies. Hurricane proofing your beach house is crucial to protecting your investment and could also save you money on insurance rates.
Whether your beach house is a primary residence or a vacation home, you’ll want to protect your investment, ensuring you can enjoy it for years to come.
While there are tons of ideas I cover on Waterfront Central for creating your dream beach home, the most important thing you can do is focus on the essentials that will keep your home protected and safe for friends and family.
I hope these tips have been helpful in selecting a few essentials for your beach house! Leave a comment with any other essentials important to keep in mind when owning a home at the coast.