Residential Design and Drafting Specialists!

 Custom Home Designs and Permit Drawings
for You, your Contractor and the Building Department

St Pete Beach Waterfront Homes
Face Challenges with FEMA

When considering remodeling or doing reparations in St Pete Beach, be aware your home most likely falls under FEMA guidelines. But first . . .


Don't Be City Confused

The City of St Pete Beach has a different Planning & Zoning Department, Building Services and Permit Division from the City of St. Petersburg. So, be sure to follow the correct city's guidelines when planning your next remodel, addition or new construction.

Your property's setbacks were the topic on the St. Petersburg page. However, for St. Pete Beach and other waterfront communities throughout Florida, it's an additional matter of flood zones and the FEMA 50% Rule--very important for budgetary considerations and determining the scope of work for your home remodeling project.

The Purpose of the FEMA 50% Rule

Briefly, FEMA has set a threshold for remodel/repair costs in the flood zones. They would prefer that you rebuild your home above the flood level to reduce water damage during a major storm. However, current regulations allow you to remodel/repair your home up to 50% of your building's value. This does not include the value of your land.

Minor Work
If your home remodel/repair project is small, you can calculate your home's appraised value by visiting your county appraiser's office or website. Even though the appraised value from the county is established for tax purposes (and not building replacement), many building departments will be satisfied with this dollar value.

Click here for Pinellas County Appraiser 

Major Work
However, if your project is going to be substantial, it is recommended that you obtain a property appraisal. Be sure when speaking with the appraiser you request a building replacement appraisal. This kind of appraisal will give a higher value than the county's.

Why Hire An Appraiser?

Because if your project calculates over the 50% Rule, your whole house is required to be brought up to FEMA Flood requirements which means your house will have to be raised above flood level.

Help Is On The Way

A worksheet is provided to help home owners with their material and labor costs in determining the threshold set in place by FEMA for substantial improvement or damage.

The Building Services webpage for the City of St Pete Beach has these links and others to guide you through the process.

Or if you prefer to call, their number is 727-363-9241

To get the correct property setbacks in St. Pete Beach, call their Planning & Zoning Department at 727-367-2735.

FEMA Flood Maps

If you're feeling adventurous, you can see what flood zone your property is in by going directly to the Flood Maps at the FEMA site. 


WARNING: to navigate this map it is a bit clunky and cumbersome but worth the effort.

For detailed instructions and pictures to guide you through the process, visit our Flood Map page. We'll see you on the other side :)

Custom Waterfront Home Designs & Drafting | St. Pete Beach, FL