Building any new property can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be a stressful one if you are not prepared for the process. Construction in Florida presents some unique challenges and there are special considerations to to think about when building. We have been building in Florida for over 30 years and understand what it takes to design and construct a new property. Below are 4 things to consider when thinking about building in Florida.
Florida is a lowelevation state that is hit with frequent storms, and no place within the state is more than 60 miles from the ocean. All these factors make flooding a risk when building in Florida. Before purchasing the property, confirm what flood zone the space is in (9ft, 10ft, etc.). In order to receive a building permit and flood insurance, the first floor of the property must be AT LEAST at sea level.
Before building, a licensed geotechnical firm will come out to determine your soil bearing capacity. The borings are relatively shallow (about 20 ft) and contain information that determines whether or not you can build on a conventional shallow foundation. This process is very important because if the soil doesn’t make the grade the builder must put down pilings as a foundation, which can cost $50,000 to $100,000 more!
Zoning is established by the city or county your property is located in. Different zones have different rules for construction which need to be considered. One example of these differences is the length of a property’s setbacks ‒or the distance between it and the street and adjacent properties. Common lengths are 25 ft for a front setback, 10 ft for the sides and 20 ft for the rear setback, but these distances are subject to change based on location.
HOA guidelines often have additional requirements and restrictions than that of your particular zone. F or example, which way your garage door might be facing, the colors of home, the style and type of roof, siding, driveway, etc. Homeowners Associations can sometimes make construction a headache for the buyer, so make sure to review a copy of these guidelines carefully before closing on your property.
It is important to consider all of these aspects before building in Florida, as it can be a timeconsuming and costly investment. Get the best out of your time and money and work with a builder that is willing to give you quality results at a fair price.
If you are considering building in Northeast Florida, contact us online or call (904) 471-5800.