Natural disasters are unpredictable, and their consequences can be devastating.
If you live in Florida, you must insure your property and vehicle against tropical storms. Of course, we all love the Florida weather, but nobody likes hurricanes.
Unfortunately, hurricanes are common in Florida. A hurricane season lasts six months, and the month with the highest number of storms in August.
After the storm, we must return to our homes, and the process should be more straightforward if we have insurance. But, first, we must make a photographic record for our insurer and thus have the steps to reconstruct our house.
In addition to contacting the insurance company and checking what things need to be repaired or changed, we have to do something fundamental: apply for building permits.
Building permits are required to make repairs over USD 1,500, including materials and labor.
A budget of USD 1,500 is very little money to make necessary repairs after a natural disaster. That’s why we wrote this article for you: find out when you need to apply for building permits and how much, on average, other homeowners spend on repairs.
5 Most Common house repairs and permits you need after a hurricane
Building Permits FAQs
What is a building permit?
The State of Florida grants property owners a building permit to modify their property.
What requires a building permit in Florida?
Every time we modify the structure of our property, we need a building permit. A modification is understood as building, expanding, repairing, moving, modifying, demolishing, or changing the function of the property.
Who is responsible for applying for a building permit?
The homeowner must apply for the building permit. The contractor can advise the owner as to what permit is required.
How big can you build without a permit in Florida?
It depends on the height of the building. For example, suppose the building is less than 47″ inches in height. In that case, you only need a Zoning review. If the building is greater than 48″ inches in height, then engineering drawings are necessary and must be submitted to apply for a building permit.
What do I need to get a building permit?
You must first apply, create a construction plan, schedule a time for plan evaluation, obtain the permit and schedule inspections, and finally complete the construction project and obtain approval from the city.
How long does it take to get a building permit in Florida?
On average, residential owners need 14 business days to approve a building permit. In addition, you must submit other permit applications if the building plan needs additional approvals from other departments. For commercial owners, it takes about 28 business days on average.
What is the penalty for building without a license in Florida?
The consequence of building without a permit is that this construction is unsafe. Remember that construction permits aid the owner, so this construction is safe and lasts over time. The second thing is that insurance companies will only take care of repairs if the building or the contractor has approved permits.
What can a property owner do without a permit in Florida?
Many things. From minor repairs such as painting, wiring the telephone, internet, or television, removing the carpet, etc. They are minor repairs that do not alter the property’s structure so that you can change the door’s Glass for another design, but you cannot change the door’s frame, or the door’s location, for example.
Your house: how much and how long
Our house constantly needs repairs. We have to do minor maintenance and significant repairs, sometimes in the structure, especially if they are old houses.
Florida’s most modern apartments are away from the line with the most frequent hurricanes. However, construction companies have taken note of the hurricane line and which parts of our property tend to be affected.
Some modifications in new buildings in Florida are window and door frames.
How are houses in Florida different from the rest of the US?
If you are new to the State of Florida, you will be surprised that the houses do not have basements or gutters; This happens because there is a lot of humidity under the places, so it is not convenient to have a basement.
Also, in the case of drains, the soil in Florida is sandy, and water dissolves very quickly, so most Florida homeowners don’t get to see water accumulate, so they don’t have gutters.
Other curiosities of the houses in Florida are that since there is a lot of humidity and the climate is tropical, there are many insects. In addition, a common headache in properties is termites, which is why many people build homes in Florida with concrete blocks instead of wood.
Although natural disasters are frequent in the region, your home in Florida can last 80 years.
What areas are most likely to be impacted by a hurricane?
After a hurricane, the houses are devastated, and there is no way to control the storm’s impact. We can only take forecasts with better construction materials and apply for insurance, but it is impossible to measure the consequences of the effects of a hurricane on our houses.
Typically these are the areas of your home that are affected by a hurricane, and yes, you do need a building permit in most of them:
The roof of your property is the most expensive part of the property. Unfortunately, it can be affected by a hurricane. However, you can take steps to protect your roof from a storm, such as reinforcing it with metal.
Metal roofing is the best material for roofs. It is resistant to hurricanes with winds up to 160 mph. They are more expensive roofs, but they have outstanding durability.
Now, even if you have insurance for your roof and high endurance, materials on your top, like metal, a tree, or another object, can still fall and cause havoc. In addition, the damage caused to the roof causes leaks, and humidity affects the structure of your house, so fixing the top is always a priority.
Pipes and Plumbing
A hurricane can damage water and sewage lines. You might need to replace your pipes in one section or entirely. If water pipes break, they can cause structural damage to your property, and, like sewage pipes, they can spread waste through your home, attracting pests and diseases.
Windows and Siding
The doors and windows of your house are the first to fly in a hurricane. Glass will break, entries can come off their frames, and even wood can splinter.
Like the roof, it is a fundamental piece of your house, and for safety, when you get home, you should isolate pieces of Glass or wood from common areas to avoid accidents. You need a building permit to replace and repair them. Only in case of minor repairs, such as window glass, that you only have to buy, you do not need a permit, now for the installation of windows or doors if you need a building permit.
Although it is difficult for a hurricane to affect your floor, it can be affected by collateral damage. For example, if the cyclone damages your doors, windows, or roof, your foundation may be impacted by blunt or heavy objects, or moisture may cause damage.
If there is a flood, it is terrible if you have carpeted floors. The carpet rots and becomes weak with excessive moisture. In the case of wooden floors, they become soft and lose durability. Concrete floors, while they absorb water, distribute it through your walls, making it worse.
In turn, humidity causes mold on your walls, a danger to the people in the house.
Tropical storms, directly or indirectly, can damage your gas lines. A heavy and blunt object can fall on your gas lines, or minor damage can cause gas leaks. Gas leaks endanger your home, making it prone to fires, explosions, and poisoning of the people who live there.
Once you return home, check the gas pipes, the heating system, and the hot water boilers. Contact a plumber or specialized gas piping service for an evaluation. They must be certified and must have a permit. Modifications and repairs to gas lines require a building permit.