New 2012 State of Florida Wind and Wind-Borne Debris Building Code Requirements

This illustration shows Florida’s New Wind Load and Wind-Borne Debris Zones.

Florida’s residential wind and wind-borne debris regions are changing significantly in 2012.  The new requirements will be officially adopted on January 1, 2012, and effective March 15, 2012 – and these changes will cause new home construction costs to increase.  Plans submitted for permitting prior to March 15, 2012 may be “grandfathered” into the old requirements, so if you intend to build in Florida in 2012, getting started early could result in savings.  Many other coastal states and Caribbean countries who follow Florida’s lead on building codes will soon be implementing similar changes.


The map at right shows the new wind and windborne-debris regions.  The dark areas are those requiring high impact missile-resistant glass.  Most noteworthy of the changes is that the previous maximum windload requirement in Florida was 150 mph in The Keys.  The new code raises that to 180 mph and increases wind loads for many counties below mid-state from 100 mph to 140 mph and up. Additionally, areas now requiring much more expensive high impact, missile resistant windows have nearly doubled and are no longer primarily in coastal areas.

Topsider Homes has been building its post & beam panelized homes in coastal areas of Florida and throughout the eastern seaboard and Gulf for more than 40 years with homes that have withstood the worst hurricanes in history.  Our technical staff is well versed in these building code requirements and in dealing with local building departments and authorities throughout Florida and the surrounding states.  For more information contact Topsider Homes.

Topsider Kit Homes – Since 1968

These photos from 1968 depict the earliest days of Topsider Homes' unique kit house concept.

Topsider Homes was one of the earliest kit home makers in the US, dating back to 1968.  Its unique octagonal home designs and pedestal home foundations were [and still are] ideal for difficult building sites and locations with panoramic views. The earliest Topsider kit homes included everything down to appliances, carpeting and the finishing touches.  Today, clients pick and choose what they want Topsider to provide.  Some only want the “weather tight” shell components and panels, while others, particularly in remote areas like the Caribbean and South Pacific, want all materials and finishes supplied – often even to include interior furnishings and accessories.


No other kit home or package home company offers the extensive services that Topsider Homes does.  These services range from free in-house design and house plans, builder recruitment [when requested], assistance with all aspects of seeking building approvals, and logistical assistance and general coordination during the construction phase.

Topsider Homes’ house kits go together quickly and easily in “erector set” fashion. And unlike “stick built” and other building component companies, many of Topsider’s designs can be assembled to a “weather tight” state in just days, depending on the size and complexity.

Topsider Homes Shipped Worldwide For More Than Forty Years

Topsider Homes has been exporting homes throughout the world since the late-1960s. We have shipped to every imaginable climate from the Arctic Circle to the South Pacific. We are experience in remote site shipping and logistics, and the realities of designing and specifying structures that withstand severe climates – and most importantly, structures that can be built to consistent high quality standards quickly and easily by local labor.

Topsider home components being unloaded from a small vessel at a remote tropical island port.

These hurricane-resistant pedestal homes from Topsider were built at Treasure Cay, Great Abaco, Bahamas.

Our export experience, particularly in tropical, hurricane, typhoon and cyclone-prone regions like the South Pacific, Bahamas, Caribbean and Indian Ocean is extensive. Our homes are engineered and designed to withstand these devastating natural forces as well as earthquakes in areas like California, Japan and Alaska.

We specialize in designing, prefabricating and shipping individual homes to remote destinations, private islands and otherwise unbuildable locations. Our designs range from small cottages of 500 sq. ft. up to grand houses that approach 20,000 sq. ft. And we also have extensive experience with resort development projects and true commercial structures such as restaurants, hotels, marinas, nursing homes and various resort facilities.