It’s been a windy November, and this is just a reminder of how much windier it can be in years that we are more affected by tropical storms and hurricanes. It brings up the question of how hurricane-proof our houses are here. Anyone in the market for a house on Anna Maria Island should certainly pay close attention to the quality of the construction, starting with the roof.
Anna Maria Island has been very lucky this 2009 hurricane season, as has the entire Atlantic region of the United States. Unlike some recent years, in which life on the island was interrupted frequently by approaching hurricanes, this year, it has been possible to almost forget these great storms are part of life here. By the middle of November, the only storm that came nearby was Hurricane Ida, which passed by with less interest than we’ve paid to any of the previous storms, such as Hurricane Bill in the Atlantic, earlier in the year.
Continue reading “The Best Roofs for Avoiding Hurricane Damage” »
Even the smallest and oldest of the houses on Anna Maria Island feature certain design and architectural elements that are not only functional, but beautiful. It’s easy to take them for granted (and some people might even take them for granite), but the gray and white marble sills that form the bottom of so many island windows are just such a solid, visually pleasing detail.
It makes a lot of sense to put marble at the base of an island window … especially those of the traditional jalousie design, which are often left open even when showers come through. The angled panes of the opened jalousie window catch and deflect most of the rain away from the sill. But if some of the rain gets through, a marble sill is preferable to wood. The water won’t penetrate, and can be easily wiped away. Damp wood leads to many problems in the Florida climate, including rot, mildew and even termites.
As I’ve visited more and more friends at their homes in Florida, I’ve continued to be surprised by how many of these houses feature marble window trim. I’m not sure which surprise me the most … the humble old houses, or those of brand new construction, that feature marble sills. It seems even the modern luxury building industry has recognized the benefits of the marble that was used in simpler times.
Continue reading “Marble Window Sills: An Architectural Detail Often Overlooked” »