Renovating in a Floodplain: The right Construction Tools & Decisions to Save you Money | Engineer Supply - EngineerSupply

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How to Renovate a Home in a Floodplain

How to renovate a home in a floodplain

How to Renovate a Home in a Floodplain

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has specific regulations about homes that are on a floodplain. This can affect you in a variety of ways, especially if you don’t know how they work. You could be paying a lot more for your home insurance than you need to, or you may run into some surprises when you need to do some renovations. FEMA won’t allow you to do work that costs more than 50% of your home’s value. This is an important part of the planning process, and it should be one of the first things to consider.

If you’re planning to build your home on a floodplain, here are some things you should do.

#1: Check Your Address

Check Your Address

FEMA has put together a set of guidelines for homes that are built below what’s called the “hundred-year flood plan,” which is a map that shows areas with a strong chance of flooding in the next 100 years. This is called the “base flood elevation” (also referred to as the BFE). This is measured by using the finished floor elevation, which is where the surface of your floor lies. Even if your home is in a neighborhood that’s considered to be a designated flood zone, it may not fall below the BFE. The only way to find out is to use survey equipment to analyze the elevation. This is a smart investment, because it could save you a great deal on home insurance.

#2: Check Special Requirements in Your Area

Check Special Requirements in Your Area

If your home is below the base flood elevation, you will only be allowed to do renovations that are worth up to 50% of its depreciated value. And every municipality has its own rules on how long you must wait before doing additional improvements. If you plan to use construction tools to install a new roof, replace your flooring, as well to redo your kitchen and bathroom (which is all worth 49% of your home’s value), some areas will make you wait 1-5 years before you can do any more upgrades. If you plan to build a home that’s located below the BFE, you will have to make sure it’s raised above the floodplain. It’s important to work with an engineer and contractor who understand all the FEMA guidelines and building codes, so they can use drafting supplies to make sure your home is built according to their standards.

#3: Floodproof Your Home Design

Check Your Address

While you want to use drafting supplies to design a home that will meet certain performance standards, you also don’t want to forget about any surrounding views, the orientation of the sun, and even the wind direction. The neighborhood may also have certain design guidelines. You can raise the lowest floor, or you can design the lower level of house to be non-inhabitable and build the habitable home above it.

#4: Get an Appraisal

Get an Appraisal

Building or renovating a home located on a floodplain can be complicated, but it doesn’t mean you have to settle for a disappointing compromise. Your home should be your own personal sanctuary that will capture all of the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, while also giving you the functionality you need to enjoy your home on a daily basis. Working closely with engineers, architects, and contractors will help you get the results you need while also making sure the home is safe for habitation.

#5: List Out Expenses

List Out Expenses

If you’re building a brand-new home on piece of land that’s below the BFE, you will have to raise it above the floodplain. That’s why you need to work with an experienced engineer and contractor – someone who understands FEMA guidelines and building codes. You will also need to list out the exact costs of every part of the project – from finishes and fixtures to trad work.

#6: Request a Permit

Request a Permit

Once you have designed a home that meets your aesthetic needs and complies with current standards, you will need to get the proper permits before you can use construction tools to build it. Getting a permit in a flood zone can be complicated, so it will require a certain level of experience and patience. In fact, any property located around a body of water (even if it’s not on a floodplain) will come with an extra layer of complexity with regard to permits. Because every property is different, there’s no standard process for getting a permit. But there are certain agencies that may be involved in the process. This can include your HOA, as well as any county or city offices.

#7: Get the Right Tools

Get the Right Tools

Building a home on a floodplain can come with a number of challenges. The process can be both complicated and confusing, but a knowledgeable design-build partner can help you to realize your dreams. Having the right tools will make the process easier, because you shouldn’t have to give up on having that waterfront property of which you have always dreamed.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most common tool used in surveying?

Surveying has been around for centuries, and some of the equipment of today was used back then. While the technology behind them has improved, they’re still the same instruments. Some of the common types of survey equipment being used today include:
  • Theodolites— While they’re rarely used, they’re considered predecessors to modern survey equipment. They measure angles along the horizontal and vertical planes, and they can be quite accurate.
  • Total Stations— These are more comprehensive versions of theodolites by combining them with the technology behind electronic distance meters. They also have microprocessors that can store data for future processing.
  • Survey Drones— These tools are being used more and more to survey large pieces of land, roofs, and other areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. They can also give you photographic records and point cloud information, which can be complemented by laser scanning.
  • Transit Levels— These are the simplest of all the different types of survey equipment, but it can still be useful. They can be used in both surveying and building, which is a testament to their versatility.
Be sure to look at the broad selection we have at Engineer Supply.

How should I take care of my survey equipment?

How to renovate a home in a floodplain
The product manual will give you more specific information about how to take care a particular unit, here are some general guidelines on how you can take care of your survey equipment:
  • Keep your equipment as clean and dry as possible.
  • Regularly inspect your equipment for cracks or dents.
  • Clean your equipment as frequently as possible.
  • Cover your equipment when it’s being left unused for long periods of time.
It’s important to know exactly what you have to do to take care your equipment, because it will not only ensure accuracy but will also improve its longevity.

What is the most important tool used in construction?

There is a variety of construction tools that can be used in a number of projects. Carpentry tools will be used on most construction projects, but you also want to have things you can use for measuring, cutting, mixing, and laying out foundation materials. As the construction job moves forward, you may need to use more specialized tools for tasks that need to be completed as the building goes up.

What kind of materials are required to make a technical drawing?

Here are some of the drafting supplies you’ll need to make a technical drawing:
  • Mechanical Pencil— This tool has a cylindrical tube where the lead is placed. Make sure it has a non-slip rubber grip on its shaft, because it will allow you to make more precise sketches.
  • Technical Pen— This high-precision drawing device is a must-have when it comes to technical drawing and can be refilled with cartridges. You can find technical pens in different width, so be sure to pick one that will meet your specific needs.
  • Ruler— This tool is essential for any technical drawing and are typically made of aluminum, plastic, or Plexiglass. This type of ruler will have what’s called an “inking edge,” which is a small gap between the template edge and paper. It will also keep any ink coming from the pen off the paper and the ruler, which will keep the drawing from getting smudged.
  • Compass— A professional-grade compass used for technical drawing will be made of solid metal and can be used to draw precise circles or arcs.
  • Drawing Board— This type of drafting tool is made of an impact-resistant and unbreakable plastic, which can resist repeated jabs with a compass. You can also find one in a variety of dimensions.
  • Eraser— This is the perfect tool for correcting mistakes. You can also find one in a variety of sizes and designs.
  • Sharpener— You can find one in a variety of different configurations. The blades can be set to different sharpening angles, depending on which type of pencil it’s made for. But you won’t need one if you have a mechanical pencil.
If you want to find the best selection of drafting supplies, be sure to look at the broad selection we have at Engineer Supply.

What kind of drafting supplies have straight edges?

There are several drafting tools that use straight edges, including your standard ruler. Drafting tables will often have a parallel rule that can not only be used to align the drawing paper but can also give you a horizontal or vertical guide for drawing straight lines. The T-square is also a tool that can be used for a straight-line reference and can work on any square, flat surface.
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