What Are Some of the Best Materials for Building a Home in South Florida?

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The best materials used to build a home in South Florida will vary based on several factors: the size of the home, the home’s location, the height the home sits above sea level, and your budget. Finding the right materials for each home is part of our job at Paterson Development.

The goal is to build a home that can outlast the elements, providing you and your family a safe space no matter what. After all, the materials used to build a home remain one of the most important factors in the whole process. Building materials impact the look, functionality and longevity of your home.

Building to Reduce the Risk of Damage in a Natural Disaster

The two greatest threats to homes in South Florida are hurricanes and termites. That being said, there are certain materials that are far more resistant to wind, flying debris, and wood-hungry insects. You will see a lot of homes in South Florida that are built of wood and placed on pier and beam foundations. Although, the most durable homes have slab foundations, concrete block walls, and a low roof made from prefabricated trusses and concrete tile roofing.

Insulated concrete forms are great for building in Florida, especially in areas where there is a heightened risk of hurricanes and high winds. Originally, ICF was developed for Arctic conditions because it provides so much insulation to a home. So, not only does it provide a great deal of strength to your home, but in addition, it provides solid insulation to help keep summer’s humidity out of your home. In addition, the six to eight-inch layer of reinforced concrete in the walls provides a great deal of resistance when it comes to heavy winds.

Thick walls are ideal for mounting hurricane shutters. In addition, stucco siding on the outside of the home paired with insulated wallboard on the inside will give you a strong home with a Floridian look.

Best Building Materials in South Florida


Metal is one of the best materials for roofing a home in South Florida because it is resistant to just about any weather conditions. In addition, it is durable and energy efficient.

The other popular option is a slate roof, which offers a beautiful appearance and a great deal of durability. In addition, clay tile and western red cedar roofing are often used.


Hardwood floors remain the leading flooring option in South Florida because they are beautiful and durable, offering a classic finish on your home – plus, they come in so many different styles.

Engineered hardwood is great for Florida’s coastal climate because it isn’t negatively influenced by humidity and temperature fluctuations, as solid hardwood is. White oak is another option to consider.

Concrete is gaining popularity as well, both inside and outside. While it has an industrial appearance, it is very durable and provides a modern look.

Porcelain tiles are also popular because they offer a cooling effect and are resistant to water.

Exterior Paint

Acrylic latex paint may cost a little extra, but it is worth it because it is far better at withstanding the heat and moisture in Florida’s climate. With high salinity and moisture, regular exterior paint doesn’t stand a chance.

Looking at History to Find the Best Materials for Building South Florida Homes

We’ve seen how some of the biggest home flaws have played out in hurricanes that have happened throughout history. For instance, during Hurricane Andrew, many homes were destroyed or badly damaged because while the first floor was built in a strong and traditional sense, the second floor was wood framed.

During Hurricane Wilma in 2005, we saw another common building flaw that was relatively new. Newer homes relied on structural foam to hold down roof tiles. On the other hand, older homes relied on mortar to secure concrete roof tiles. As a result, many of these newer homes with foam secured roofs received significant roof damage, with missing tiles and entire sections of roof missing along ridge lines.

In the 1980s, Floridians started using compressed wood fiber siding – but this proved a mistake. Once the wood started to age it was no match for the high moisture levels in the state. Looking back through history offers important lessons on what does and doesn’t work given our local climate and weather.

Around Here, Only the Best Building Materials Will Do

At Paterson Development we work hard to find the best building materials to ensure long lasting homes that’ll look great for years to come. Contact us today to learn more