Florida Condominium Construction

New Florida Condominium Construction: a Solid Investment

Jacksonville Beach Florida Investing can be a difficult decision. In addition to the basics of location, floor plan, amenities and features, it’s important to understand the construction or your new Florida condo.

Starting with the structure itself, new condos are built to a much tougher building code standards than older condos, with wind and storm resistance as the major goal of the updated building codes.

New Florida oceanfront condominiums have special considerations. Living floors are built at a State of Florida specified height above sea level to make them resistant to flood damage.

Foundation systems are built to withstand scouring from wave action during storms. Depending on the Florida condominium’s proximity to the ocean and other design considerations, foundations can be concrete piling, stone columns, traditional spread concrete pads, or deep concrete mats. Each of these foundation types is designed to minimize settlement of the Florida condo structure.

Exterior walls are typically wood studs, metal studs, poured concrete or masonry blocks. Masonry blocks and concrete are nice and rigid, and will best resist movement from the occasional storms that blow against the walls. Ability to resist movement is important in Florida condo design, as even repeated small movement can cause caulk joints to open up and the need for greater maintenance by the condominium association. This is more of a factor in mid rise and high rise buildings than in 2-3 story buildings, which can be easily maintained from the ground.

New codes also affect the type of window designed for a new Florida condominium. Windows are now designed to meet higher wind ratings than older building, and some windows are designed to resist impact from flying debris. The wind rating determines the wind speed that the structure of the window system must withstand. Although windows with very high wind speed ratings can be obtained, wind and water at the same time can come through the window at lower wind speeds. So a window that is designed to withstand 100mph winds will have some water intrusion at lower wind speeds, typically 50mph. This is normal, and manageable by making sure that when a storm is coming basic precautions like towels in sliding door tracks are taken.

Air conditioning systems can vary in their effectiveness on keeping the humidity at constant levels in your condo. For the best humidity control, choose a unit with variable speed air handler, and auto-changeover thermostat and a type thermostat. The humidistat measures the humidity in your Florida condo and turns the air conditioning on at a low speed to lower the humidity even if the thermostat is not calling for air conditioning. The unit comes on and draws moisture out of the air without over-cooling the unit. The auto-changeover thermostat allows the unit to select heating or cooling automatically.

Knowing the construction of your unit should always be taken into account when deciding which Florida condo is the best value.