The value of improvements is based upon a total of costs of improvements made to a building within the past five years. Non-building related work for site improvements such a patios, driveways/pavers, pools/spas, irrigation, fences etc. aren’t included. For a list of costs that are included or exempt from Substantial Improvement calculations, please review the Substantial Improvement Brochure (PDF).
Cost of Renovation / New Construction
The cost of renovations or new construction is estimated as follows:
- $185 square feet without foundation modifications
- $200 square feet with foundation modifications (includes second-story vertical additions).
Rate Is the Same for All
This rate is the same for owner-builders, volunteer labor or discounted materials, because the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires the City apply the value of the work, rather than any discounted actual costs. For example, if a volunteer organization offered to construct a home at no cost it would still have the same value as new construction.
Final Inspection Period
In some instances, permitted work that never received final inspections may be considered within the current five-year period; unless it can be determined - to the Inspector’s satisfaction - that the work had been completed more than five years ago. If work to a building wasn’t finished during any five-year period, this five-year window is extended until final inspections have been approved. In other words, this five-year clock doesn’t reset upon uncompleted projects, simply because it took longer than five years to finish the work.
If decks are attached to a building then these costs are included. If the deck is separated from the building - by a little as a fraction of an inch - then these costs are excluded from these calculations. During flood conditions, attached decks may toque loads upon a building; yet decks that will break-away on their own when not so attached don’t stress the building.
The City will still seek to determine reasonable cost estimates for these type improvements, as opposed to applying the square-foot costs:
- Detached decks