Parade Of Homes To Showcase 17 Homes This Weekend, Offers 5 Tips For Hurricane Season Preparation

NEW ORLEANS – The annual Parade of Homes, presented by the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans (HBAGNO), that is celebrating 75 years of serving the Greater New Orleans area, is the region’s opportunity to tour new homes and see the latest in home construction and design. The Parade, which takes place on June 4, 5, 11 and 12, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., also serves to inspire ideas for those hoping to renovate their existing homes.
         This year’s free event takes place at newly built residences across the metropolitan area.
         The 2016 Parade of Homes features 17 newly-built homes, in total: four homes in Lakeview, including the 2016 St. Jude Dream Home®; nine homes on The Westbank; two homes in Kenner; one in Vista Park; and one in Old Jefferson. It offers homes in popular communities such as The Parks of Plaquemines and Springwood Estates in Belle Chasse, Gabriel and Louisiana Trace in Kenner, Rio Vista in Old Jefferson, Pelican Bay and Lafitte’s Cove in Marrero, The Arbors and The Villas of English Turn in Algiers. These planned subdivisions, some of which are gated communities, remain popular with families looking to build their very own dream home.
         The St. Jude Dream Home®, a four-bedroom, three-bath house located at 232 Stafford Place in Lakeview, will be raffled off to support St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Valued at more than $600,000, tickets for the raffle can be purchased for only $100.
         The Parade of Homes and HBAGNO is encouraging the community to begin preparing their homes for hurricane season which began Wednesday, June 1, and runs through November 30, 2016.
         Whether preparing to build a new home, renovate an existing one or for those who just want to protect the house they call “home,” the following tips should prove helpful.
 
#1 – Secure Exterior Openings – Doors, Windows and Garages
         Doors and windows must be protected either by hurricane shutters or by an impact-resistant glazing such as laminated glass. Shuttering can be done with 5/8" plywood or metal storm panels. To save time before a hurricane, install the anchors or brackets now and store the shutters. Pre-cut plywood pieces should be mounted overlapping windows on all sides by 4" so that the shutters are attached to the frame underneath the exterior surface. Use anchors and wood screws to attach the anchors to siding or lag bolts for masonry. For double doors in which one door is active and the other is fixed, it's a good idea to reinforce the fixed door at the top and bottom. Some door manufacturers provide reinforcing kits. Additionally, check your doors for splits and cracks, and repair them immediately.
         About 80% of residential hurricane damage starts with wind entry through garage doors, according to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. Many garage doors are made of lightweight materials to save on costs, but this makes them more vulnerable to high winds. Look for a sticker on the inside of your garage door that gives you a pressure rating. If you don't see a sticker, chances are you'll need to reinforce your door. Homeowners can replace garage door systems with impact resistance garage doors, which may cost about $1,200, but could prove to be well worth the investment. A more cost-efficient option would be to use plywood or steel to reinforce existing garage doors, installing the bracings horizontally on each panel. It is also recommended that homeowners reinforce the track of the garage door with heavier gauge metal, and secure weak points by installing stronger supports and heavier hinges.
 
#2 – Storm-Proof the Roof
         First, determine what type of roof you have. Homes with gabled roofs are more likely to suffer damage from high winds. A gabled roof can be strengthened by installing additional braces in the trusses and/ or at the gable ends. A qualified builder can also install galvanized metal hurricane straps. For all home types, hurricane straps or clips must be installed by a roofing contractor when the roof is being replaced, since it requires access to the inside of the roof underneath the sheathing. These straps/clips should be placed where the roof truss adjoins the exterior wall.
         When the trusses are exposed, check to make sure they are properly fastened – fasteners include nails and staples. If the fasteners have missed the truss, the roof is weakened. Homeowners may want to add nails if existing fasteners are scarce or if they have missed the top cord of the roof.
 
#3 – Check your Landscape and Lawn Décor
         Every year, falling trees and tree limbs cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damages – and sometimes personal injuries or deaths. Homeowners should regularly check for signs of damage or disease, including cracks in the trunk or major limbs, insect infestations, trees that lean significantly, branches hanging over the house or near the roof, limbs in contact with power lines, or mushrooms growing from the bark, indicating decay.
         Bring in outdoor furniture such as garden decor, garbage cans, patio table, umbrella, chairs, grills, outdoor toys, potted plants, etc. These things can all becoming flying objects in a storm, and can cause additional injury or damage in high winds.
 
#4 – Porches and Fences
         While putting up fencing, leave spaces at the bottom instead of driving every panel into the ground to allow air to go under the fence, rather than knocking it down. Porches have weak roofs. Make sure the roof is bolted to the exterior wall of the house, and that the porch is firmly attached to the house.
 
#5 – Indoor Provisions
         Turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep the doors closed. Just prior to the storm, turn off the utilities and all gas. Get candles, matches, flashlights, batteries, and a battery-operated radio. Store drinking water and water for flushing the toilet and taking baths. Fill the bathtub, pots, and clean pails with water and keep in a secure place.
         “As builders and HBA members, we take great pride in the houses we build for the people of our community,” says Zach Tyson of Tyson Construction and 2016 Parade of Homes Chairman. “By offering these tips, we hope we can help protect their lives and their biggest investment—their home.”
 
         Sponsors of the 2016 Parade of Homes are: New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles magazine and M&M Glass Company, LLC.  Vendor partners include:  LCR-The Plumbing Warehouse; Southland Plumbing Supply, Lighting and Appliances; Lifestyle Appliances; Bevolo Gas & Electric; Door2Door and Cort Furniture.
         A full list of homes and their locations can be found here: www.nolaPOH.org

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