So You Live By The Sea….

If you look out at the ocean it’s a constant reminder of the great power of nature and how impermanent we are. If you look back at your beachside house or hotel you can learn the same thing.
Salt water, carried on the strong sea breeze, completely destroys human constructions. The steady sun also fades everything it touches. Many beachside hotels simply factor in replacing everything every few years, but there are some tips if you want to build something that lasts.

What The Sea Destroys

The first thing that the sea destroys is metal. Anything metal corrodes rapidly in salt water or in the salty, humid sea breeze. That means that ACs, hinges, railings – they will all begin to fall apart, especially if they are directly exposed.  

Some metals, however, are more corrosion resistant. You could, for example, make all your ACs and hinges out of gold. If that’s not possible then there’s always stainless steel. Also, ask if the materials have been coated for salt-air resistance.

For doors and windows and surfaces, aluminium can be effective, but you have to make sure that it’s powder-coated or at least painted. As with everything else by the ocean, you also have to keep an eye on these materials and check if there are any cracks or scratches in this protective layer.

Finally, you also have to be conscious of how you use metals. Big sliding doors may be elegant, but the railings and wheels will surely corrode and become unusable very quickly. It may be better to go with simple doors which have corrosion resistant hinges. Even these parts will eventually corrode, but they’re far cheaper to replace than a hanging door system.

If you’re mounting an AC, consider getting it as far out of the direct line of fire as possible. That is, don’t have the outer unit directly facing the ocean, have it on the landside, or at least tucked behind some protection.

What You Need To Be Careful About

Wood, stone and other more natural materials seem to survive the seaside better. However, these are expensive and wood especially has to be regularly treated, especially if it’s directly exposed to rain.

With wood furniture in the house, you also need to be mindful of the hinges and moving parts. Basically the seaside isn’t the place for complicated kitchen cabinets or dressing rooms. Even within the house, they can corrode.

The Sun

The other element that dominates the beach is the sun. The power of the sun is incredible. I have seen it completely bleach a poster exposed to direct light and it changes the color of fabrics like curtains, bedspreads, etc, so keep that in mind.

Some protective elements you can use are sandblasted stickers and of course, blinds. Stickers reduce the amount of light and therefore radiation entering the space, and blinds let you choose when to let the sun in. Be especially mindful of placing appliances (like fridges) in direct sunlight as this can heat and damage them.

Enjoying Life By The Sea

None of this is to suggest that you shouldn’t build by the sea. If you keep these few tips in mind you can just avoid a lot of headaches, and you should also talk to a professional about the details. The Concept Store has most of the supplies we’ve talked about – from hinges to stickers to custom cupboards and furniture. Read a bit about the physics, talk to an expert, and you can have a peaceful coexistence with the elements by the sea. 

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