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Old 05-07-2014, 09:52 AM
 
Location: North Port
695 posts, read 954,354 times
Reputation: 167

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ICF or structured panels are the way to go...if you can afford the added expense..and get past the builders who make comments on it and know very little about it.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:37 PM
 
15,311 posts, read 17,507,733 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by born01930 View Post
what is the benefit to doing the house on stilts vs stem wall? Other than a nice covered parking that is...That flight of stairs is not something I would look fwd to.
Assuming we aren't talking an 8' stem wall of course...I am just thinking if you were at the point where you could go either way
Storage area/exercise area could be used on the lower floor of an elevated home. It doesnt have to be stilt. It could be solid exterior block walls with normal windows. You could have electric outlets/lights/ceiling fans and AC on the lower floor as long as all electrical/plumbing/mechanicals are above the BFE.
Garage/car parking on lower floor.
Could install an elevator from lower floor to upper floor and wouldn't need to use stairs at all. With stemwall, you will need some stairs.

They don't even allow stemwalls in V zones(aka beachfront), but they allow elevated homes on pilings with break out walls.

An elevated home is designed to allow flood waters to pass through the lower level. That's why it has to be waterproof below BFE and that's why electric/mechanicals have to be above BFE.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:02 PM
 
747 posts, read 753,903 times
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With an elevated home in PGI or BSI, does anyone know if you have to drill down for reinforced pilings (and a lot of 'em)?

I've heard you have to do this in Pirate Harbor (which is a cool area by the way, def. off the beaten path).
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:25 PM
 
15,311 posts, read 17,507,733 times
Reputation: 13405
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJNE17 View Post
With an elevated home in PGI or BSI, does anyone know if you have to drill down for reinforced pilings (and a lot of 'em)?

I've heard you have to do this in Pirate Harbor (which is a cool area by the way, def. off the beaten path).
I think you only need to drill down if the property is in a V-Zone flood zone. If in an A flood zone, you can basically build a 2 story with normal block walls and normal slab and normal footings. But the lower floor would need "flood vents" and lower floor portion that is below BFE would need to be waterproof(no carpet, untreated wood, drywall, electrical or mechanicals below BFE). Your areas below BFE can have PT wood, concrete, even concrete wallboard (cannot tell difference from drywall when it's painted). You can have regular doors and windows as long as the doors are waterproof below BFE (fiberglass with PT trim).

Google flood vents for more info on the small homes in the exterior walls that are required. Can also put them in the garage doors.

You can also do a combination stemwall/elevated if you choose. For example, if you want to lower the risk of your lower level flooding, you can raise it a foot or two with a stemwall. But maybe you still are below BFE at that point, but want to have the lower level anyway instead of a 6 ft stemwall. So you have a 2 ft stemwall and then the lower 4 ft in the bottom level are still below BFE. But you feel better having that 2 ft of extra protection before your lower level gets flooded.
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:42 AM
 
Location: Lemon Bay, Englewood, FL
3,113 posts, read 4,535,240 times
Reputation: 1083
Waiting for Sunshine's input....
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Punta Gorda and Maryland
6,102 posts, read 13,061,970 times
Reputation: 1220
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyChief View Post
ICF or structured panels are the way to go...if you can afford the added expense..and get past the builders who make comments on it and know very little about it.
There is nothing wrong with either of these systems. I studied them both as viable construction alternatives and found that they both just price themselves out of the market. The other problem with them is that they take a longer time to design and build because there are very few contractors out here that are knowledgeable about the systems, and therefore (if they are able to build because they are not a franchised representative) are not familiar with them and charge more, make more mistakes and can't deal with changes during the progress of the project very well. If these systems (down here) are controlled by a few franchised representatives you have limited competition and that drives the price up.

There are a number of good structural alternatives, many have blown or foamed in insulating capabilities if that is you main goal. You nailed it when you said "if you can afford the added expense" (that expense can be an insurmountable figure), and / but / can possibly be offset by lower utility costs down the road - hopefully. There are many newer "Green" alternatives that have other benefits as well.

Building a new home can be pretty daunting, especially for the inexperienced. Everyone that builds, new, existing, renovations, alterations, you name it goes through a "Discovery" process each time they build - including the builders and Architects. Working through those discoveries, making choices, can be fun, rewarding, traumatizing, horrifying, expensive, and positive all a the same time - expect it, then enjoy the fact that you have (hopefully) built your dream home.

Or, let MRSunshine build it for ya.
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Maine
89 posts, read 181,560 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by TamRE View Post
Some issues that you will need to consider when purchasing land or a lot are:

Zoning and local restrictions - Is it zoned for what your needs are?

Scrub Jay - If the lot has scrub jays, then it may or may not be buildable or you would have to pay to have a scrub jay review done.

Flood zone - Do you want to be in or out of a flood zone? You will pay higher insurance premiums in a flood zone.

Utilities - Does the lot have utilities nearby and what costs would be involved to bring them to the home?
This includes cable, water, sewer, telephone and Internet.

Title - Does the lot have a clear title? You should pay for title insurance or ask the seller to pay.

Survey – If the seller does not provide a survey, you would need to pay to have a survey completed if you are going to build right away.

Land Locked - Is the property accessible to a public road?

Impact Fees - Charlotte County charges impact fees. A local builder or the county can give you the current fees.


Stem wall - A stem wall foundation is most often needed in Charlotte County in flood zones.


Permitting can take up to 3 months. Most builders are doing 8-10 months to build right now.

Get connected with a few different builders to review plans and costs. You might be surprised at the differences in costs as well as quality. Ask for references and call them.

Charlotte County is the worst in the area for permitting. The City of Punta Gorda is much easier. But they are very helpful if you call Zoning or the Building Dept for questions. They always get back to me if they can't answer my question right away.
When someone chooses a lot to build on within an established HOA community versus just a lot somewhere in the city/town, do they still have to worry about all these issues before building begins, or are those things already in place and ironed out?
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Old 12-27-2014, 04:35 AM
 
Location: sittin happy in the sun :-)
3,575 posts, read 5,805,241 times
Reputation: 1757
The HOA will have guidelines. They generally veer towards the cosmetic rather than structure, although there will be minimum sizes of home/garage etc.

You can get copies of the guidelines off the HOA website or by calling them. A decent realtor will know them or be able to get them and guide you, any self respecting builder will know them if he builds in the area.

Rotonda west for example has the above, you have to submit an application with details and plans for approval BEFORE you start building.
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Old 12-27-2014, 04:49 AM
 
Location: sittin happy in the sun :-)
3,575 posts, read 5,805,241 times
Reputation: 1757
Incidentally, I had missed some of this thread, so thanks to Big House for the recommendation and HH, my 2c.............

as Army Chief says some people don't want to go out of their comfort zone and just say 'no'....my leaning is towards always trying to be careful with my clients money, and the key words were , as BH pointed out, 'the added expense'.............and that is often the problem with newer or green products, they can cost a whole lot of $$$$ and be of little benefit ......for example , you go to buy a car....lets say the HUUUGE model.....the dealer says ok the standards model the Huge GX is $15000 BUT we have the green huge which is $25000 but does better mpg so you will get your money back in 8 years............which do you choose ? The MAJORITY will go for the cheaper one.

ICFs....I have no feeling for/against but you can find some interesting info here........ Polyurethane Structural Insulated Panels | Energy Efficient Eco Panel SIPs - Thoughts on ICFs (insulated concrete forms)

Would I uses them on a spec home ? No.....

If a client asked for them, more research then an informed unbiased opinion.....
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Old 12-27-2014, 06:07 AM
 
Location: Reading, PA
37 posts, read 36,592 times
Reputation: 30
To the OP, we are in the same boat. Looking to build but the additional costs associated with building and the year wait is definitely not appealing. Also having a hard time finding a lot where we want to be at a reasonable price.
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