New study shares that building homes resistant to wildfire does not cost more

Blog Post created by faithberry Employee on Oct 3, 2019

With 1/3 of all US homes located in areas considered wildland urban interface (WUI) and more than 35,000 homes lost in the US to wildfire over the past 10-years, it is more important than ever that home design and construction ensure that they are safer from wildfire.  While some people have been concerned that building stronger using wildfire resistant materials might cost more, a new study released by Headwaters Economics, Building a Wildfire-Resistant Home: Codes and Costs, dispels this myth.  

The study shows that building homes using wildfire resistant materials and design features really does not cost much more.  In some cases, new home construction following these guidelines according to the study can even cost less to build.

It further stresses the importance of using national building codes and standards to design and construct new homes.  These are based on decades of good research about what types of roofs, eaves, windows, exterior walls and more will provide better protection to the home when a wildfire event occurs.  The study references NFPA Standard 1144 for Reducing Structure Ignition Hazards from Wildfire as one local communities can utilize to insure new homes and communities are safer from wildfire.

This study was completed in partnership with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) and was prepared at the request of Park County, Montana, as part of the Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire (CPAW) program.  To learn more from the study, the full report, an executive summary, and a detailed appendix (Excel) are available.

Photo Credit: IBHS