Wink News Feature: Modular Homes Helping People Rebuild Quickly on Fort Myers Beach

Affinity Building Systems was recently featured in the 6 Month Anniversary Special of Hurricane Ian on how residents are finding a glimmer of hope by rebuilding after Hurricane Ian destroyed their homes.

See the entire article here.

“Destruction, pain, and disappointment are all things we have all felt since Hurricane Ian washed away the lives of many. A new, safer, easier-to-build home is coming to Fort Myers Beach to prepare them for the future.

Those new homes are modular. They are built using systems similar to an assembly line.

Life is lived on the beach for Laurie Carroll and Kim Staehle, and now they are getting a modular home to continue the beach lifestyle.

“We fell in love with the community and the people and have amazing friends,” said Carroll.

Five years ago, they moved into a fixer-upper, 1968 ranch-style home steps away from the Gulf.

home before hurricane ian

Laurie Carroll and Kim Staehle’s Fort Myers Beach home before Ian. (credit: Shared with WINK News)

“We totally renovated it. We were just finishing before the storm. The garage was our last piece to renovate,” Carroll said.

Hurricane Ian had other ideas. The storm surge went up to the ceilings, destroying their years of hard work and hope of a finished home.

“That was pretty, pretty tough to go through that storm,” said Staehle.

Now, a glimmer of hope is floating to the surface because home doesn’t seem so far away.

“We could be in our house by Christmas,” said Carroll.

“We turn to modular because it helps get people in faster,” said Mark Raudenbush, president of Idyll Construction.

Raudenbush works with Affinity Modular Homes, which are built in a factory in Georgia.

“It’s still built the same way we would build it locally. It’s built to the same building codes as we would build it locally. But we get to take a large part of that build, put it inside of an assembly line, much like Henry Ford did with the automobile,” Raudenbush said.

affinity home after hurricane ian

A couple of these modular homes survived Hurricane Ian. They can withstand winds up to 180 miles per hour. The home models can also be elevated to meet the current hurricane code.

“You could make the argument that quality is better because instead of them doing a roof up three stories in the wind and the weather, they’re doing these things in a controlled environment,” said Raudenbush.

On average, it takes about six to eight months from conception to a move-in for a modular home. When you hear modular, don’t think these homes aren’t safe in a storm.

“We only really have to build to the Florida building code like every other conventionally built home. But we get to do that in a different environment,” said Raudenbush. “They actually have to make them a little stronger, to be able to manage the transport process and being flown up in onto their foundations. And so you can make an argument they’re even stronger.”

Raudenbush is the one making Carroll and Staehle’s dream possible of turning their dirt back into a home again.

“It’s been a tough six months. But we feel hope,” said Staehle.”

News Story Credit: WINK News; Reporters Gail Levy and Nicole Gabe

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Immediate Absorption:
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4-5 Minutes:
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30 Minutes (Or doesn’t absorb):
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