Generally, structures are substantially improved in one of five ways:
- Adding another inhabitable building on the same lot, can trigger requirements that the existing building be elevated as well. Unless, the new building is a legal Independent Living Unit
- Additions: improvements that increase the square footage of a structure. Commonly this includes the structural attachment of a bedroom, kitchen, den, recreational room, or other type of addition to an existing structure
- Reconstructions: cases where an entire structure is destroyed by damage or is purposefully demolished or razed and a new structure is built on the old foundation or slab
- Rehabilitations: improvements made to an existing structure which do not affect the external dimensions of the structure
- Substantial Damage: structures are considered substantial improvements when they incur substantial damage, meaning repairs will cost 50% or more of the building’s value. Substantial improvement more commonly occurs in non-disaster everyday situations through the rehabilitation of, or addition to structures. Substantial damage usually occurs during storm events, a fire or severe neglect/deterioration.