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Rebuilding Breezy Point N.Y.

woodenhead's picture

I am looking for answers on how we can rebuild and redesign my community of Breezy Point N.Y. 11697 after loosing over one hundred and ten homes to fire and hunderds more that suffered structual damaged by Sandy. The community is located on a peninsula with the Atantic Ocean on one side and Jamaica Bay on the other. If you are a architech or builder with some ideas this would be a challenging project.

Yours truly,Walter Connolly cell 718- 406-6191 

Walter, welcome to Breaktime (post #207216, reply #1 of 16)

First of all, hopes and prayers go out to your community and all those affected by Sandy.

Next would be what avenues have you and Breezy Point pursued already in this pretty darn overwhelming venture?

Are there already set up help organizations to lead in the rebuilding?  Not familiar with many, but Habitat comes to mind as well as various church orgs that have and continue to do good works resulting from their involvement after Katrina?

Flesh out this thread a bit so we get a better handle on your communities thoughts.


A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Rebuilding Breezy Point N.Y. (post #207216, reply #2 of 16)

Thank you Calvin,

I guess what I am searching for is information and ideas about how to redesign and build the community that is safer from fire and storms. The homes that were destroyed by the fire sit on plots approx. 20' W x 50' L some were summer bungalows that were built in the late ninteen twenties others were newer two story homes. What do you think about concrete homes?

Cheers Woodenhead 

The typical house in Florida (post #207216, reply #3 of 16)

The typical house in Florida is built above the FEMA elevation, concrete block with #5 rebar and grouted cells. Roof trusses are strapped to a solid concrete tie beam across the top of the block wall. That also is your door and window header..

The rebar in the foundation is continuous to the repar in the tie beam through the grouted cells. They use HETA-20 truss straps embedded in the tie beam


When I was down in Biloxi (post #207216, reply #5 of 16)

When I was down in Biloxi several years back I saw a couple of ICF homes right on the coast that survived Katrina quite well (while just a half mile away Jeff Davis's home Beauvoir, built in 1848, was reduced to firewood).

However, I also saw one ICF home nearby that had much of the foam stripped off by the wind -- it probably depends a lot on the integrity of the stucco/"polymer"  coating.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

wood (post #207216, reply #4 of 16)

I think of concrete houses as cold in the winter, hard to run wire.........things like that.

But, there's ICF's.


One thing to consider if you get the walls in tune with fire resistance-do some concentration on the roofs as well.


On the positive note, the once in a million (or whatever) hurricane and however the first fire started, might be a while till it returns.

But, I understand the need for planning in the event a repeat of these horrible things.


What's the make up of the town council or whatever governing body is in "charge"?  Are they leading this pre-planning?

If there were guidelines to follow, would the rest of the community support it and would the insurance companies be offering any incentive?

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Electric in concrete (post #207216, reply #6 of 16)

The answer to electrical in concrete is Smurf tube (ENT). Run this in the wall before you pour the concrete and don't be stingy with the number of boxes you set. I did a home run with all of mine to central points in an accessible attic so the actual point to point wiring could easily be changed.

Large pictures, note the truss straps in the second one.


One thing I learned in Puerto (post #207216, reply #8 of 16)

One thing I learned in Puerto Rico (hurricane Georges) was that it's critically important to keep the roof on and the windows and walls in place.  The weak link in a conventional home, from a wind standpoint, is usually the roof, plus when a window or wall blows out it creates much more pressure on the roof.

And not only does keeping the roof on protect that house, it also prevents the roof from destroying another house when it eventually lands somewhere -- a substantial amount of the damage is due to stuff flying off of other structures.  Good code enforcement (which includes codes for "sheds" and "gazebos" and the like) provides double protection.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Walter, I spent several (post #207216, reply #7 of 16)


I spent several days both in Breezy Point and Belle Harbor volunteering in demo / clean-up crews. As a former builder and trained architect, I have been giving this some thought since the storm. Many of the people that I helped had plans to restore their basements back to how they were pre-storm. I definitely don't think this is the answer as many people agree that this disaster may occur again in the not too distant future. Breezy Point and Roxbury are slightly different from the rest of the Rockaways, given that whole houses are collapsed, shifted, etc. I'd be glad to speak to you at some point. I will probably be back in the Rockaways after the holidays.



Rebuilding Breezy Point N.Y. (post #207216, reply #10 of 16)

Thank you Toni for all your help, I am truly greatful and humbled by all those individuals and organizations that gave of their time, money and energy.That is the other story that must be told and remembered for generations,I will do all I can to keep that spirit alive.I and my wife are living with my sister in law in Brooklyn N.Y. it will be about one year before we will able to return to our home. Everything I have learned about building a house has come from reading Fine Homebuilding magazine. Please give me a call when time permits.

Tel. (718-406-6191) (718-331-2936)

Cheers, Walter Connolly 

Walter   Are you in (post #207216, reply #9 of 16)



Are you in charge of rebuilding all the damaged homes or do you have a design committee that is doing so? Are there going to be new zoning rules that will force people to rebuild to new standards decided by you or your committee?  Designing homes to withstand a 100 year storm is quite expensive and time consuming. Will the residents be able to afford to rebuild to these standards?  While rebuilding an entire community at once to a single standard may be time consuming the techniques used are well known and used every day here in Florida. I'd suggest finding an engineering firm  who has designed homes for coastal exposure and let them do the structural work and have an architect do design.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

Rebuilding Breezy Point N.Y. (post #207216, reply #11 of 16)

I am not in charge of rebuilding or designing my community but I am a home owner and stock holder who is concerned about the safety of my family and my neighbors.  Fine Home Building Website is a great way to contact experts like yourself from around the country who have built and designed challenging projects.


I will be forwarding any information or proposals that are sent to me to the Board of Directors.  I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to write to me about their suggestions.  


Yours truely and a Very Merry Christmas,


Walter T. Connolly

IMG_1145.JPG1.79 MB

Walter (post #207216, reply #12 of 16)

Do you have any relatives in Toledo?

A good painter (retired) named Bill?

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Walter, (post #207216, reply #14 of 16)

A good resource for building on the coast is Coastal Contracter. There is more info there than I could ever type.



Rebuilding Breezy Point (post #207216, reply #13 of 16)


I am so glad you are inquiring to find the answer to the difficult task you all have at hand there, during any tragedies such as this and the earthquakes in Haiti I tried to contact persons  such as yourselt to help them find an answer. I believe that I have that in a product that I discovered 12 years ago when we were trying to find a cheap, easy to use but hurricane proof product to build our beachfront home.

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Please go to this link and watch the video for further explanation and I will try to call you in case you have any further ????s


Thoughts and prayers for you all.......


Dalene, Tile Art

This would be the best page (post #207216, reply #15 of 16)

This would be the best page on this product to look at:


While this product may be super awesome for desert climates, what makes it so super awesome for cold swamps like New York/Jersey?

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!


Rebuilding Breezy Point N.Y. (post #207216, reply #16 of 16)

Please give me a call when you have the time.  cell 718-406-6191 home 347-578-7173