Innovative solutions for creating healthy, efficient, eco-friendly homes

Eight is Enough

The destructive hurricanes and tornadoes that swept across the country last year alerted many homeowners to the need to build sturdier, weather-resistant homes. The good news is, that's getting easier to do. One alternative is to build with a concrete system, such as insulating concrete forms (ICFs). Another is to consider a steel-framed home.

Topsider Homes of Clemmons, N.C., takes a different approach. The company offers a line of eight-sided factory-built homes that have proven their ability to stand up to the best Mother Nature has to offer. Last year, Topsider homes in Mississippi and Texas weathered Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, respectively, with little damage. Homeowners in those areas are taking notice, especially when a Topsider home remained standing when others in the area did not.

Each Topsider home is built in the company's North Carolina factory and features a post-and-beam building system with no interior load-bearing walls. This provides a structurally sound house as well as almost unlimited floor plan flexibility. But what really makes a Topsider home unique is its octagonal design. Hurricane-force winds can move around the structure more easily than moving around a traditional home, making a Topsider home difficult to knock down.

The homes are available in one- and two-story models in a number of configurations that can be customized by the homeowner. Options include upgraded energy-efficient roofs and insulation, high-wind-load and seismic packages, and treated lumber packages for coastal environments. Once the home is completed in the factory, it's shipped to your site for assembly by a local builder. For more information: http://www.topsider.com or 800-941-9801.