Start by reading this entire FAQ page. If you understand everything on this page, it will help you ask the right questions. From buying the right property, hiring an Architect or a General Contractor – knowing everything on the page will help streamline that process.
Assuming you are ready to start the design/build process, you will need to get a boundary, tree and elevation survey, and then schedule a soil test with peculation test (we can help with both). This information must be provided to your Architect of choice (We can recommend some to you).
The survey lets the Architect know exactly what you have. For new home builds in Fort Lauderdale, the min finish floor elevation needs to be 1’ higher than FEMA’s requirements. Most other cities require us to just be at FEMA’s min requirements, but it varies from City to City across the Tri-County area we work. If the land is very low, we will need to raise the building pad to comply with FEMA (6’ to 7’ NAVD) and Ft. Lauderdale add 1’, (7’ to 8’ NAVD) flood plain requirements. All new construction, including additions to existing homes, must comply with this FEMA and City regulations.
We typically want to build Seawalls between 4’ and 5.5’ NAVD but can be higher depending on the City and the property’s elevation. But never less than 4’ NAVD.
The soil test will let the Architect and Engineers know what kind of Foundation system and Civil Drainage system to design.