All plans conform to one the the nationally recognized set of building codes. Plans are not engineered.

Your building department may require that your plans be reviewed and stamped by a licensed structural engineer. This is almost always the case if your lot is located in a flood zone. We highly recommend that you work with your builder and his/her engineer to navigate this process.  They will take into account local building codes, soil conditions, base flood elevation and wind load requirements.

Here’s a little more info about each of the site/location specific areas that typically need to be addressed:

1) Soil Conditions (which will dictate how far pilings must be sunk and what type of bracing may be needed)
2) Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Your property has a BFE certificate that indicates how high off the ground the lowest floor member must be. Your engineer can adjust the height of the ground level to make sure this is met.
3) Wind Load Requirements. The engineer will make notations for hurricane straps, rods and tie downs as well as nailing patterns to meet this requirement
4) VE or AE Zone – related to wind load, but V zone must also address tide and wave action. The engineer will dictate if breakaway walls, hydrostatic vents and bracing are needed for your foundation.

Want to take a deep dive into coastal construction? Go to:

FEMA – Coastal Construction Manual

Bottom-line is your builder will help you navigate this process. Spend time choosing an experienced and knowledgeable builder and they will work with their “go to” engineers to prepare your plans and then build your home properly.

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