Homeowner renovation, remodeling, and construction are on the rise today. But remodeling or building a home in Florida is different from construction in the rest of the country. Heat and humidity, frequent rain (and hurricanes), termites, mold, and other factors must be taken into consideration.
With this in mind, here are five construction tips on remodeling or building your home in Florida:
- Is your home in a flood zone?
This is a big one. Do your research before you start any construction project on your home. FEMA has specific regulations on homes that are in a floodplain zone. There are a few requirements to consider here:
- Limited renovations. If your home is below the base flood elevation, you are only allowed to do renovations up to 50% of your home’s current value. In addition, each municipality states how long you are required to wait before you do more renovation, some requiring between 1-5 years.
- Elevating new construction. If you are building a new home and your plot of land is in a floodplain, you must elevate your home above the floodplain. You’ll need to work with an engineer and contractor who understand how to do this and the regulations around it.
- Insurance. Even if your home is in an area considered a floodplain, the home itself may not be below the base flood elevation. The only way to confirm this is by having an elevation survey done. If not, you may be paying for flood insurance when you don’t need to, which could add up to thousands of dollars a year.
- Hurricane-resistant exterior materials
Be sure to only buy home exterior materials that have a Florida product approval number. The materials have been rated to withstand punishing hurricane conditions. A Florida product approval number on roofing, siding, windows, and doors means these components have been subjected to low-missile impact testing to confirm they can survive up to Category 5 winds and flying debris driven by hurricanes.
- Use Timbor for termite protection
Timbor is a non-toxic salt insecticide used to treat wood. It prevents infiltration by termites, powder post beetles, and wood decay fungus. It is applied to both indoor and outdoor wood surfaces and can also protect from water damage. It does not stain, is odorless, and poses very little danger to humans and pets, as its toxicity is very low. However, it must be applied when the wood is still exposed, so it’s best to apply it during a renovation or new home build.
- Energy efficiency
In a region with extreme sun, humidity, and high temperatures, it’s important to consider the energy efficiency of your home. This includes proper insulation, HVAC equipment, and other features like air ducts that fit both functionally and aesthetically within your home’s structure and décor. A newer product to consider is mini split systems that consist of an indoor unit mounted on an interior wall or ceiling and an outdoor unit that houses the compressor and condenser. A mini split lets each room have its own temperature setting.
- Use only licensed and insured contractors
As stated above, Florida has heavy regulations on the construction industry. Even painting your home or changing your front door requires a license, with heavy penalties and fines for non-compliance if caught. To avoid being caught by surprise, use only contractors who are licensed and insured and who will be knowledgeable about the construction regulations so you don’t have to know all the details.
As you can see, renovation or construction in Florida poses its own unique challenges, each of which must be considered before starting your project. Are you starting a remodeling project or a new home build? Contact R3 Renovations today and we’ll use our expertise to work with you to ensure that your construction project will run smoothly from start to finish so you’ll be delighted with the results.