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Old 04-05-2017, 10:37 AM
 
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Thanks everyone for your responses!

Just a bump here to see if anyone has experience with finishing a lower level on a canal or ICW home.
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:54 AM
 
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From what I can tell, it's all going to depend on what your which zone your property falls in (AE, V etc..) and what your BFE is within that zone. You may be able to finish it out but some insurance companies may decline to give you insurance for that part of the home and since it's built out that may also in turn increase the overall cost of insurance for your entire home because those walls will end up putting additional pressure on the pilings should water end up under your home.

I am currently trying to find facts on simply enclosing more than 300 sq. feet for storage space, totally unfinished. You are allowed to finish up to 300 sq. ft. for entry access, elevator and stairs. No electrical (beyond code), plumbing or any types of appliance (hot water heaters, HVAC units etc.) are allowed to be housed within that 300 feet.

I see enclosed areas below homes all over the place. Some are garage/storage, some are full-on living spaces. Not sure how they got it done or what the insurance implications are. Best thing to do is to call an insurance firm and ask them their opinion - have all your flood zone information (or at least an address they can look up) on hand. You may not be able to get accurate information without having the Elevation Certificate though.
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:38 AM
 
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If you are on the canal, you are more than likely in the AE or V flood zone. You can go to NCFloodmaps.com and type in the address to be sure. In the past, permitting authorities allowed construction of habitable space to take place at or below the 100 yr flood plane (AE Zone). Not really the case anymore. Assuming that you were allowed to finish a lower level below the base flood elevation, your insurance would go through the roof. It could easily go from $1,000 per year to over $10,000 per year or more.
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