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The Importance of Complying with Local Regulations for Foundation Repairs in Florida

The importance of choosing home service contractors who comply with the Florida Building Code.

The Florida Building Code is a set of standards designed and enforced by the Florida Building Commission (FBC) to govern the design, construction, modification, and repair of both private and public buildings in the state of Florida. Currently on its 8th edition as of the time of this writing, the Florida Building Code is regularly updated every three years by the FBC by members appointed by the Governor and may be amended once a year to implement up-to-date standards and interpretations.

When it comes to foundation repairs, adherence to the guidelines and regulations outlined in the Florida Building Code is imperative and must be carried out appropriately. Following the Code ensures that all foundational work meets the necessary standards for maintaining a structure's ability to withstand Florida's unique weather challenges.

However, these regulations weren't always so well-defined, and it took a catastrophic event for Florida legislators to develop these comprehensive standards.

The History of the Florida Building Code

WSI radar composite of Hurricane Andrew making landfall in South Florida on August 24th, 1992. Image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Hurricane Andrew made landfall in South Florida on August 24th, 1992.

 

In August 1992, Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. With reported total damages amounting to $25.3 billion, Hurricane Andrew became the costliest hurricane to ever strike Florida at the time, until Hurricane Ian in 2022.

In addition to the catastrophic damage caused by the storm, the disaster brought to light the inefficiency of the previous system of locally directed building codes and compliances.

Entire communities of homes and buildings were completely flattened, exposing their poor construction and inability to withstand the destructive force of a deadly hurricane.

The record-breaking insurance losses caused by Hurricane Andrew created a state-wide crisis that impacted more than just South Florida. To avoid bankruptcy, many insurance companies either increased their rates to unprecedented levels or simply left Florida altogether.

Florida faced a major problem, and lawmakers knew they needed to create a new solution for this exposed issue.

Damage from Hurricane Andrew to Lakes by the Bay neighborhood in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Damage brought on by Hurricane Andrew to the Lakes by the Bay community.


Crafting a New Statewide Solution

Beginning in 1996, many inquiries were raised regarding the old building code and compliance systems by the Florida Building Code Study Commission.

During an investigation that spanned well over a year, the commission uncovered a confusing and unorganized system of codes and regulations that were administered separately by over 400 individual local jurisdictions. The complexity of the antiquated system was not so much in the strength of the codes but in their lack of compliance and enforcement.

To avoid encountering the same problems exposed by Hurricane Andrew, it became obvious that a new uniform statewide system was needed. The commission called for a single, streamlined building code system for all jurisdictions in the state to follow and called for greater enforcement of their compliance and accountability.

In 1998 lawmakers took the recommendations made by the Florida Building Code Study Commission and authorized the Florida Building Code. These statewide building standards, applicable to all state agencies and local governments, provide clear guidelines to follow. The code also accommodates variations for areas with clear physical conditions that are the exception to the norm. Local governments have the opportunity to propose amendments that are more restrictive than the statewide Code but are subject to strict criteria and must be reviewed by the FBC for approval.

However, the code has clear procedures at every level that prevent unwarranted modifications or construction from taking place, with enforced regulations for the safety of building occupants and emergency responders.

Following The Code with Foundation Repairs

When it comes to repairing your foundation in Florida, it is imperative to understand the importance of doing things right.
To conduct any repair or alteration to a building, the Florida Building Code requires a Building Permit in order to enforce the standards and guidelines put in place by the FBC. All contractors must adhere to and acquire the proper permitting before commencing foundation repairs, and failure to do so can result in costly penalties.

Here are some potential consequences for failing to comply with the FBC:

  • Heavy penalty fees. As authorized in Florida Statutes 553.80, Section 109 of the Florida Building Code, failure to adhere to acquiring a permit can result in a fee that amounts to double or triple the price of the permit. Multiple violations will likely draw an investigation by state or local governments, leading to delays in the project and legal action.

  • Homeowner accountability for permitting. Aside from the consequences for the contractor, home and property owners may be the ones held responsible if the contractor does not properly file for a permit. If you plan to sell your home or building one day, unpermitted work may cause an inspection to fail. If you do end up selling your home without proper permits, you can be sued by the new homeowner for not providing an accurate representation of the property.

  • Insurance issues. Complications with insurance can also be a real possibility if your home has had foundation repairs without permitting. If you plan on switching to a different insurance company or changing your policy in any way, you may be asked for a Certificate of Occupancy. If the repairs are not properly documented on the certificate, a decline in coverage for the home is very likely as it no longer complies with the Florida Building Code.

Trustworthy Foundation Professionals with Proven Results

Now that we’ve recognized the historical significance and importance of adhering to regulations and standards for foundation repairs in Florida, the significance of selecting the right contractor can not be overstated.

With a proven track record spanning 35 years, LRE Foundation Repair takes great pride in adhering to the correct procedures for repairing foundations in Florida. This commitment is not solely for legal compliance but also to ensure the highest quality standard and uphold the safety of home and property owners.

Count on Florida’s most trustworthy foundation professionals and schedule a free inspection of your foundation today.

Proudly Serving Florida

We serve the following areas

  • Alachua
  • Atlantic Beach
  • Bostwick
  • Branford
  • Brooker
  • Bryceville
  • Bunnell
  • Callahan
  • Day
  • Doctors Inlet
  • Earleton
  • East Palatka
  • Elkton
  • Fernandina Beach
  • Flagler Beach
  • Fleming Island
  • Florahome
  • Fort White
  • Glen Saint Mary
  • Graham
  • Grandin
  • Green Cove Springs
  • Greenville
  • Hampton
  • Hastings
  • Havana
  • High Springs
  • Hilliard
  • Hollister
  • Interlachen
  • Jacksonville
  • Jacksonville Beach
  • Jasper
  • Jennings
  • Keystone Heights
  • La Crosse
  • Lake Butler
  • Lake City
  • Lake Como
  • Lake Geneva
  • Lawtey
  • Lee
  • Live Oak
  • Lloyd
  • Lulu
  • Macclenny
  • Madison
  • Mc Alpin
  • Melrose
  • Middleburg
  • Monticello
  • Neptune Beach
  • O Brien
  • Orange Park
  • Palatka
  • Palm Coast
  • Penney Farms
  • Pinetta
  • Pomona Park
  • Ponte Vedra
  • Ponte Vedra Beach
  • Putnam Hall
  • Raiford
  • Saint Augustine
  • Saint Johns
  • San Mateo
  • Sanderson
  • Satsuma
  • Shady Grove
  • Starke
  • Waldo
  • Wellborn
  • White Springs
  • Worthington Springs
  • Yulee
Our Locations:

LRE Foundation Repair
1115 South Main Street
Suite 101
Brooksville, FL 34601
1-352-325-4686


LRE Foundation Repair
2150 34th Way N
Largo, FL 33771
1-727-337-7878


LRE Foundation Repair
277 Power Ct
Sanford, FL 32771
1-321-204-7872


LRE Foundation Repair
702 NW 9th Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
1-954-280-2627
LRE Foundation Repair serves Florida, including [major cities1]