Fire-resistant siding, windows, more house materials become popular as Northwest home builders adapt to persistent wildfires
No one wants to live in a concrete bunker, “a compound,” as Salem builder Kelly Webb’s client calls the ultimate firesafe shelter. Instead, Webb is constructing a handsome, fire-hardened house with a contemporary metal shed roof along the Santiam River to replace a 1950s wood dwelling that burned down last year in a wildfire.
Webb of AK Webb Remodeling & Construction is employing design, technology and high fire-rated materials, developed based on hard-earned fire science, to slow down a blaze, granting his client peace of mind for now, and, in case of another inferno, precious extra time to escape.
Oregon’s dry, hot summer and concern about another devastating wildfire season are motivating many people to focus on fire preparedness to reduce the vulnerability of their homes and community. Coexisting with the fear of fire means making compromises when building a new house, or extensively retrofitting an existing one.