What is the 50% rule?

The flood maps for Key West first became effective December 31, 1974.  Buildings constructed after that date must be at specific minimal elevations above sea level.  Existing buildings within regulated flood zones were grandfathered into the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) at their current elevations.  However, that grandfathered status ceases once the building has been renovated by half its market value.  Once that threshold is reached, renovation plans must include elevating the home to current flood levels.

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1. What is the 50% rule?
2. Understanding How the 50% Rule Affects the Determination of Your Building's Market Value
3. What is a regulated flood zone?
4. I think my house is valued higher than the Adjusted Property Appraiser's estimate. How can I verify this to set a higher 50% threshold?
5. How is the value of improvements determined?
6. Instead of elevating my home, can I dry floodproof it?
7. Does the substantial improvement cumulative period change with ownership?
8. May I dry-floodproof my commercial building instead of elevation?
9. How high does my building need to be elevated?
10. The Elevation Certificate indicates my first floor is only 1/4 inch below the required elevation. Is this considered acceptable?
11. My building has been officially designated a Historically Contributing Structure. Am I still required to elevate it?
12. What is a Substantially Damaged Structure?
13. What the difference between Substantial Improvement and Substantial Damage?
14. In terms of the National Flood Insurance Program regulations, if a structure is determined to be substantially damaged, what must happen to that structure?
15. I have a shed (or garage) in the back yard, that I want to convert to a bedroom (or other living space). Does it have to be elevated?
16. Is the repair of the second floor, which is well above the flood level, included in the Substantial Improvement calculations for my building?
17. Does solar equipment count toward the 50%?