How to Renovate Your Florida Home If You Are in a Floodplain

Author: James Adkins

Leaving near the water is the dream for most homeowners. A beautiful lake, river, or ocean adds lovely scenery and a great place for recreation. Especially in Florida where you can waterski, surf, paddleboard, living near a body of water is ideal. However, if you live near a body of water, you likely live in a flood plain. This means you have to have flood insurance and are subject to special requirements when renovating your home. Did you know that you cannot perform any renovation that costs more than 50% of your home’s value? With that in mind, this is how you can still carry out a stylish renovation. 

If you do not want to be limited by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), the first renovation you can do is raise your home. If your home is raised above the BFE (base flood elevation), then you are free to make any renovations you would like. A homeowner is no longer subjected to the 50% value rule. Plus, if you raise your home, you no longer have to pay for flood insurance. Raising your home is a smart investment in the long run. 

If you do not want to raise your home, there are some steps you are going to have to go through if your home is on a floodplain and below the BFE. First, every homeowner should get an evaluation of whether or not the base of their home actually falls below the BFE. You should do this when you first buy the house or right before you renovate. If all the liveable areas of your home are above the BFE already, then you are clear to renovate any way you like. However, if you are not above the BFE reach out to a construction company. A good construction company will likely have a team dedicated to FEMA floodplain renovations. The construction company can guide you through the entire legal process and perform the renovation. 

Living near a body of water is a dream, but it comes with a price. There is always going to be the risk of floods, no matter how small the risk is. That is what FEMA has strict regulations on home renovations that take place on floodplains. If you are looking to renovate your home and you live on a flood plain, you need to get in contact with a construction company to determine whether or not your home sits above the base flood elevation. If your home does not sit above the BFE, a construction company can help guide you legally through what renovations you can perform. 


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