A house by the sea is the perfect setting for a lifetime of soaking in the sun, listening to the waves hit the shore, and admiring golden sunsets in the evening hours. As idyllic as this scene is, the reality of owning a beach house is that along with all of that sun and surf comes a specific challenge when maintaining or renovating a beach home.

Whether you’ve inherited the family beach house built in the 70s that has seen better days, or you have found the perfect oceanside bungalow that needs a little tender loving care, there are a few things to take into consideration when renovating a beach house.

Raise the Roof

In non-coastal or beachside places, regular ol’ asphalt shingles are fine and dandy and do a great job of protecting the crowning glory (the roof!) of a home from weather and the elements. However, when it comes to beach homes, you’re facing different elements than most of the country including excessive sun, an overload of moisture and water from rain and humidity, and the potential for hurricanes depending on where you live. The best long-term investment for a beach home that needs a new roof is a metal roof. Metal roofing does a wonderful job protecting the home from strong winds and potential flying debris, and is also resistant against mildew, mold, wood rot, and pesky insects like termites. While metal roofs aren’t exactly cheap, they’re a good investment for protecting your home, and could even help you save on your utilities! Metal roofing reflects the sun which helps keep the inside of your home cool and means you don’t have to crank the air conditioning to keep it a comfortable temperature in the hottest of months.

Salt and Siding

Salt-infused winds, extreme sun and buckets of rain can cause wear-and-tear on the exterior of your beach home, and if it’s already looking worse for wear it may be time to do some siding renovation. While brick is the best material for defense against weather and aging and helps insulate the home, if that isn’t a viable option for you, look for a heavy duty siding and avoid cutting costs on the exterior. It will save you money in the long-term not having to replace the cheap vinyl siding on your house every few years!

Watch the Windows

This is an especially important part of renovating a beach home if you live in a hurricane-prone area or have frequent severe storms in the area. The last thing you want is a branch breaking through your sliding glass door, or water leaking in through the kitchen windows! When you’re looking at your options for renovating the windows and glass in your home, look for impact-rated glass that can withstand impact from hurricanes and strong storms like laminated glass that has two or more panes joined together by a layer of special plastic. If you’re going to replace the windows in your home with impact-rated glass, make sure ALL the windows get replaced, including any glass panes on the garage, as well as sliding glass doors. Keep in mind that tempered glass is not the same thing as impact-rated glass, and WILL shatter. If a window shatters during a storm or hurricane, high winds can enter your home and make a mess of things. Plus, with impact-rated glass, it offers an element of sound-proofing and is virtually impossible for any potential intruder to break.

If you don’t want to replace all the windows and glass in your beach home, consider installing storm shutters on the outside of windows that can be securely closed in the event of a hurricane or strong storm. Any protection is better than nothing, but a short-term investment can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the long-run if a hurricane or severe storm impacts your area.

Make the Deck Durable

Most beach homes have a deck or outdoor space to soak in the sun and relax! If you’re looking to either renovate an existing deck or build a brand new one, pay attention to the materials you’re choosing and how they’re going to stand up to the test of time, sun, and excessive moisture. While expensive exotic hardwood looks beautiful, it isn’t always the most durable, isn’t very eco-friendly if you’re building a large deck or outdoor space, and can require a lot of maintenance to keep them functioning and looking their best. Choosing composite decking, or decking made out of recycled plastics, PVC, or sawdust, is a great option because it 1) is great at keeping out moisture, 2) is better for the environment, and 3) requires less maintenance than hardwood. Composite decking materials are also a great option to keep your deck splinter-free! Over time some wood can start to splinter due to aging and sun exposure, and don’t you want to be able to walk on your deck without having to worry about putting on sandals first? Composite decking with a resin cap will keep splinters far, far away from the soles of your feet.

Paint and Priming

While most of the fun of choosing paint for the outside and inside of your coastal home is picking the colors, it’s also important to find a primer and paint combination that will work to protect your home from weather, sun, salt and water. While what kind of paint you should buy depends on the material you’re painting, any wood on the outside of your home should be primed on all sides, even sides that aren’t facing outwards, to help seal the wood and keep moisture, mold, wood rot, and any other not-so-great things from damaging or destroying the hard work you put into your renovations. If you see any peeling or chipping paint on the exterior of you beach house, check the wood to make sure that it hasn’t already started to deteriorate before touching it up with a new color of your choice.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog, and we’re glad to have helped you learn more beach house renovation tips. We specialize in Corpus Christi real estate, and we also inform readers about what is up-and-coming in the Corpus Christi community.