Owning a home by the beach is a dream for many people. Nothing beats waking up to the hypnotic cacophony of waves hitting the shore, seagulls squawking, and the merry noise of beachgoers. The energy could switch between dynamic and calming, making it a great place to live. Plus, the million-dollar views and breezes basically come free.
But having your own coastal slice of paradise is not always ideal. After all, you’re still dealing with the elements, which can cause a lot of problems for homeowners.
Whether you’re living by the beach permanently or during holidays, there are steps you need to take to ensure your stay is comfortable and relaxing at all times. Here are some tips for hassle-free, year-round coastal living.
Build with resiliency in mind
Whether you’re building a quaint beachfront cottage or a posh and modern escape overlooking the sea, it’s important to take seaside architectural principles in mind. The main challenges of coastal design are salt and wind, which can pretty much influence the structural integrity of your home.
You’d want to use corrosion- and moisture-resistant materials like brick, composite, treated metals, impact-rated glass windows and doors, and waterproof paint. The closer you are to the water, the harder it will be to build as your foundation will have to be built on sand. In this case, building on stilts would be ideal. You should also consider building shoreline structures to reflect wave energy and protect your home from waves, currents, and sand movement.
Take pest control seriously
If you have a home in sought-after locations, a pest exterminator will be your best friend. The most common pests that infect coastal homes are termites, roof rats, cockroaches, and ants. To prevent pests from making serious damage to your property, schedule regular pest control and take preventive measures like keeping your house clean and addressing moisture-related damage.
Insects may also be a problem. Depending on your location, you might deal with mosquitoes, sand fleas, and horse-flies. House moths could also be an issue, especially at night. So be sure to research ways on how you can protect yourself from these bugs.
Make use of shade and window treatments
People come to the beach to soak up the sun, but too much of it can be harmful to your skin and health. Plus, too much sun could make beach living less comfortable and relaxing. To make sure you’re protected from the heat and harmful UV rays, be smart about your window treatments and shade structures.
Permanent solutions include deep roof overhangs, especially in your walkways and outdoor spaces. For rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, it would be good to have window treatments like shades, curtains, awnings, and drapes. This way, your indoor furniture can also be protected from sun exposure.
Add greenery both indoors and outdoors
In most beachside homes, foliage is pretty limited. The best you’ll get naturally would be bushes, tall grass, and creeping plants. But there are tall shrubs and trees you can plant on your coastal property to provide the necessary shade and add an interesting color variation throughout the year.
The best trees that grow well near the shore include the following:
- Cabbage palmetto
- Live oak
- American holly
- Italian cypress
- Canary Island date palm
- Manna asha
- Crape myrtle
- Little-leaf linden
- Cockspur hawthorn
- Beach plum
Some succulents can also grow in dense sand, as well as salt-tolerant groundcover and bush plants like sea kale, variable-leaved sea holly, fleabane, thrift, beach aster, flowering jasmine, thyme, lavender, and rosemary.
Use a breezy, open layout
To make the most out of the view, most beach homes would have an open layout with cross-breeze ventilation and floor-to-ceiling windows that blur the indoor-outdoor boundary. The main room would usually have a seamless flow from the kitchen, to the dining area, down to the living room. This room would partly open up to the outdoor space with a view of the ocean.
This type of layout works because it allows occupants to have a sweeping view of the sea and sky, whether they’re having breakfast, cooking a grand meal, or lounging on the sofa. But this open layout also encourages bonding, which can make beach living even more idyllic. It also has many practical benefits, such as keeping the main space breezy and bright throughout the day, which can lower energy costs.
Owning a beach house is a luxury most people can’t afford. Make the most of your slice of paradise and live your coastal dreams comfortably with these tips.