How to Design a Tornado-Proof House

How to Design a Tornado-Proof House

A smart waterfront home design can be strong against the fiercest storms.

What are the elements of a tornado-proof house? If you live on the coast in Maryland, it is a good question to ask. Some parts of Maryland experience more severe weather patterns than others; you might have noticed the rain always comes through from the same direction or that storms (even tornadoes) pass through some locations but not others. If you plan to build near or on the Maryland waterfront, here are a few tips on how to design a tornado-proof house.

An Aerodynamic Roof

The first step is to make your home as aerodynamic as possible. One can take this scheme in highly creative directions, but the simplest way to start is to have an aerodynamic roof. The hip roof, which is pyramidal in nature, is less prone to wind damage than the gable roof, which has only two slanted sides. Building a house that incorporates a hip roof is a good place to start.

A Roof Secured with Hurricane Clips

The roof shape is not enough. It is common for tornadoes to rip roofs completely off of homes due to upwinds. The pressure lifts the roof right off the house. Hurricanes can be this powerful, too, and Maryland is far more susceptible to yearly hurricanes than tornadoes. When building your custom home, check that the builders use hurricane clips to further secure the roof to the house.

Impact-Resistant Windows

Never open windows or doors during a powerful storm. The wind will surge into the house and pressurize it. That is another reason why roofs fly off of buildings in a storm. 

Flying debris can break windows, causing a house to unravel quickly. Look for impact-resistant windows or hurricane windows. They may cost more than regular ones, but on the coast, where the house is subject to waterway winds, they are worth it.

Sturdy Doors

Doors alike should be sturdy enough to take on high winds. In fact, Floridian homes’ doors open outward so that they can better withstand high winds pushing against them. In Maryland, it is less common due to the lower severity. 

At the very least, select exterior doors that have three hinges and deadbolt locks. Storm doors give added protection.

A Well-Stocked Bunker

Have somewhere safe to go during a tornado or hurricane. You can complete your tornado-proof house by planning a storm shelter spot. Inside the house, it would be the basement or the middle of the home’s ground floor, such as a hallway or utility room. 

Keep your storm shelter well-stocked with long-life foods, water, extra cash, batteries, a radio, a flashlight, and some emergency blankets. 

Your home should be a place of refuge in both good times and bad. If you are thinking of building a custom home on Maryland’s waterfront, contact Shore-Line Construction to learn more.


At Shore-Line Construction, we know that your home is a reflection of you. That’s why we strive to make each home we build as beautiful as the family who will live there. We work with each of our clients to design a home that fits their needs. The end result is a durable, energy-efficient custom home that the family will enjoy for generations to come. Shore-Line Construction has been serving our customers for over 25 years, and we look forward to the opportunity to help you!

If you’re interested in learning more about what Shore-Line Construction can do for you, check out our website or give us a call at 410-574-6623. Keep up with all of the latest news by following our blog and social media pages on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Houzz!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 15th, 2023 at 2:34 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.