A Modern, Prefab Home on South Carolina’s Coastal Barrier Island
Survives Hurricane Florence Three Days After a Family of Five Moves In

Husband and wife physicians, Tim and Jenn Beatty, knew they wanted a modern home that could withstand the elements when they began building along a South Carolina coastal barrier island. But they didn’t expect their modern, prefabricated home to be put to the test so soon. Three days after moving in, Hurricane Florence hit the Charleston coastline, wreaking havoc on many of the local coastal communities. The couple — along with their three young children — chose to shelter in place. Their home stood up to the torrential rain and storm-force winds, coming through completely unscathed.

Minimalist Living
After returning from a tour of duty in Iraq as an active duty Naval officer (Jenn completed her education through the Armed Forces Health Professional Scholarship Program), Jenn and husband Tim made the decision to downsize their lives. “When you come back from war, your priorities change tremendously,” she says. The couple sold everything but a small, 800-square-foot villa on Seabrook and began looking for river-front property to purchase. They found an 8-1/2 acre parcel on Johns Island that combined river-front and marsh land. Instead of opting for the typical big, southern plantation home, they wanted steel, but couldn’t find a local architect who would work with them. “We really wanted a steel and glass house in a hurricane area and that’s unheard of,” says Jenn. “We are also in an earthquake zone, but our house was built to withstand both and its already passed the first test.”

While searching online, Tim found EcoSteel, a California-based supplier of modern, prefabricated and preinsulated steel building materials that are eco-friendly, durable and economical. The Beatty’s worked with EcoSteel’s design team and engineers via webex to get the design right. They also employed architect Carter Woollen of Woollen Studio in Seattle, Wash. to flesh out the architectural details. “This was a very client-driven project,” says Woollen. “Tim and Jenn had a pretty good sense of how they wanted things to be organized and what the look of the project should be.” The 1900-square-foot, 4-bedroom, 3-1/2 bath main house is almost 70 percent impact windows and is built on concrete pilings to elevate it above the water. A plant-based natural ionization system automatically sprays under the house three times a day to help eliminate no-see-ums. An outdoor shower on the north side of the property is enclosed with a semi-private perforated screen, offering 180-degree views of the marsh. White high-gloss, floor-to-ceiling cabinetry that reflects the afternoon light is featured in the kitchen, along with a 17-foot island that provides convenient seating. Built-in maple wood furniture is included in each of the bedrooms. All cabinetry was custom designed and installed by Shannon Horning Woodworks in Charleston. The 12-foot-high ceilings and exposed steel beams support the wind beam glass loads without interruption An oversized 15-foot Euro-wall door welcomes the family and guests at the home’s entrance. “Our main idea was to make sure that what we created was something that made you feel like you were outside, when you were inside,” says Jenn. “We designed it so there never was a point when you were standing in the house that you weren’t looking at the surroundings around you.” The site also includes a 680-square-foot guest house and a 900-square-foot shop/garage.

Beatty Home Highlights:

• 1,900-square-feet, 4-bedroom, 3-1/2 baths (Main home)

• 680-square-feet, 1-bedroom, 1 full bath, kitchenette (Guest home)

• 900-square-feet (shop/garage)

• Material choices: EcoSteel prefabricated and preinsulated steel wall and roof panels, Fleetwood floor to ceiling glass windows, concrete floors, white, high-gloss cabinetry, white, high-gloss tile, built-in maple furniture, 15-foot Euro-wall door

• Owners – Tim Beatty (emergency physician) and Jenn Beatty (breast physician)

• Completed in Sept. 2018

• Built in approx. 18 months for $1.6 million

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Modern home with Exterior, Green Roof Material, Mid-Century Building Type, Prefab Building Type, Green Siding Material, Flat RoofLine, Wood Siding Material, Metal Roof Material, and Metal Siding Material. Front facade - Main house, guest house Photo  of The Beatty Home

Front facade - Main house, guest house

Modern home with Exterior, Green Siding Material, Metal Siding Material, Prefab Building Type, Flat RoofLine, Wood Siding Material, Tile Roof Material, Mid-Century Building Type, and Green Roof Material. Sunset shot Photo 2 of The Beatty Home

Sunset shot

Modern home with Kitchen, Concrete Floor, Dishwasher, Range Hood, Wall Oven, Refrigerator, Cooktops, Ice Maker, Ceiling Lighting, White Cabinet, Engineered Quartz Counter, and Undermount Sink. Kitchen Photo 3 of The Beatty Home


Modern home with Exterior, Green Roof Material, Prefab Building Type, Metal Roof Material, Flat RoofLine, Green Siding Material, Metal Siding Material, and Wood Siding Material. Aerial View Photo 4 of The Beatty Home

Aerial View

Modern home with Living Room, Sofa, Ceiling Lighting, Coffee Tables, Chair, End Tables, and Concrete Floor. Living room Photo 5 of The Beatty Home

Living room

Modern home with Hallway and Concrete Floor. Hallway Photo 6 of The Beatty Home


Modern home with Bedroom, Storage, Night Stands, Wardrobe, Dresser, Ceiling Lighting, Bed, Shelves, and Concrete Floor. Master bedroom Photo 7 of The Beatty Home

Master bedroom

Modern home with Bath Room, One Piece Toilet, Engineered Quartz Counter, Concrete Floor, Porcelain Tile Wall, Ceiling Lighting, Open Shower, and Wall Mount Sink. Master Bathroom Photo 8 of The Beatty Home

Master Bathroom

Modern home with Kids Room, Living Room Room Type, Girl Gender, Concrete Floor, and Chair. Beatty family Photo 9 of The Beatty Home

Beatty family

Modern home with Outdoor, Concrete Patio, Porch, Deck, Wire Fences, Wall, Stone Patio, Porch, Deck, Large Patio, Porch, Deck, Grass, Decking Patio, Porch, Deck, Side Yard, Hanging Lighting, Horizontal Fences, Wall, Trees, and Wood Patio, Porch, Deck. Outdoor patio Photo 10 of The Beatty Home

Outdoor patio

Euro-wall door Photo 11 of The Beatty Home modern home

Euro-wall door

Modern home with Exterior, Wood Siding Material, Green Roof Material, Prefab Building Type, Flat RoofLine, Green Siding Material, Metal Siding Material, Metal Roof Material, and Mid-Century Building Type. Rear facade - main house, guest house Photo 12 of The Beatty Home

Rear facade - main house, guest house


Posted By
  • Woollen Studio
Interior Design
  • Shannon Horning Woodworks
  • EcoSteel
  • Tripp Smith Photography
  • 4
  • Full Baths
  • 3
  • Partial Baths
  • 1
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2018
  • Square Feet
  • 1900