The Best Building Materials For a Coastal Custom Home

Building your dream home by the coast? Buckle up! Crafting the perfect coastal custom home is an exciting journey but requires the right materials to weather the salty breeze and frequent rainstorms.


Factors to Weigh in Your Material Choice

Building materials? They're more than just components; they're the backbone of your coastal sanctuary. Here's what to consider:

  • Climate Compatibility – Hampstead, NC, boasts a unique climate. Choose materials that can dance with humidity and resist corrosion.

  • Availability – The last several years have brought a lot of disruptions to the building material supply chain. Some materials may be hard to come by. Opt for local sources to dodge delays and save on transport costs.

  • Initial budget – You only have so much money to go around. Certain materials may just be out of your range. Remember to factor in the price of materials AND installation costs when creating your materials budget.

  • Long-term costs – Choose materials that age like fine wine—durable, low maintenance, and long-lasting.

  • Energy efficiency – Saving energy equals saving money. Prioritize materials that help you keep your home cozy without guzzling power.

  • Aesthetic preferences – Let your style shine! Want that cedar shake roof? Embrace it, but be ready for some TLC.


Which Building Materials are Best For Coastal Homes?

Beyond your foundation (which will most likely be made of concrete), there are four main components that comprise your home’s basic structure:  

  1. Framing
  2. Exterior walls
  3. Roofing
  4. Flooring

For framing

There are two primary materials builders use for the basic structure of a home: wood and steel.  

  • Wood – Lumber, the classic hero of home building! Affordable, lightweight, and a natural insulator, it’s the go-to choice for many. But, beware: along the North Carolina coast, the warm, wet climate can take a toll on wood, leading to decay over time.

  • Steel – Uniquely known for its durability and strength, steel is the ideal choice for those daring open floor plans and unconventional house shapes. Resistant to fire, pests, mold—you name it! But here's the catch: it’s pricier, offers less insulation, and needs a bit of effort to install.


For exterior walls 

In effect, the “face” of your home, your walls are central to your home’s identity and style. It needs to look good – and stay looking good – for the long haul.

Let’s dive into the top contenders for your home's outer armor:

  • Concrete – The chameleon of construction! From walls to stairs, it's a versatile gem. Bonus points for insulation and being pet and fire-resistant. But beware its challenges: high cost, installation hurdles, and the environmental footprint.

  • Brick – A timeless tale in construction. Sturdy, weather-beater, and low maintenance—a hero in humid climates. Yet, it can dent your wallet, and the art of brick-laying is no swift task.

  • Stone – Similar to brick, stone is durable and beautiful. However, its cost often restricts its full embrace on home exteriors. Instead, sprinkle touches of stone—accent walls, steps, fireplaces—for that touch of elegance.

NOTE: Wood as the primary exterior material? A cautionary tale. While great for structural support, Hampstead’s humidity isn’t kind. Say hello to mold, rot, and termite damage—nightmares for that charming wooden facade.


For roofing

When it comes to safeguarding your coastal haven, choosing the right roof is paramount. Here are the top contenders:

  • Asphalt shingles – The crowd favorite! Asphalt shingles are widely available and budget-friendly. But with affordability comes a decrease in durability. Expect to replace them more often. And although asphalt shingles do protect against mildew and mold, they’re not the energy efficiency champs.

  • Slate – Elegant, waterproof, and sustainable, slate roofing is a definite winner (if you have the budget). It lasts generations with proper care. That being said, it does have a high upfront cost, is more difficult to install, and may require extra structural support. 

  • Clay tiles – Uncommon in Hampstead but oh-so-charming! Think Spanish-style homes. Clay tiles boast a century-long lifespan and boost your home’s energy efficiency. But brace yourself for a hefty initial price and installation hurdles.

  • Metal – Weather warriors, metal roofs endure nature’s fury like no other. With the proper powder coating, say goodbye to rust for decades. The price range of metal roofing depends on the specific type of metal you want. While aluminum can cost as low as $4 per square foot, copper can range up to $30.


For flooring

As we navigate inside your custom home, the next step is to decide on a type of flooring.  

  • Hardwood – Hardwood floors check nearly all the boxes: beauty, durability, longevity. But depending how much you’re willing to spend, those stunning walnut floors you’ve been dreaming of just might not be within your budget.

  • Engineered wood – Hello, humidity-friendly alternative! It’s like having your cake and eating it too—authentic hardwood charm with added resilience.

  • Laminate – The thrifty splurge! Laminate creates the appearance of hardwood, stone, or tile without breaking the bank. It’s durable, waterproof, and noise-resistant—talk about a triple threat!

  • Vinyl – If laminate is durable, then vinyl is invincible! Taking toughness to a new level, vinyl flooring is especially equipped to protect against scratches, wear, stains, and discoloration. 

  • Tile – From ceramic to stone, tile is your moisture-proof knight, guarding bathrooms and kitchens against water woes.


Dreaming of Your Coastal Sanctuary in Hampstead, NC? Let’s Build It Together!

Searching for a rock-solid custom home builder? Look no further! 🛠️ Nestled in the heart of Hampstead, our portfolio boasts a treasure trove of breathtaking coastal homes.

Ready to dive into planning? Reach out today and let’s turn those visions into concrete plans— contact us now! 



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