Florida Oceanfront & Waterfront Home Building
Many people dream of living in a luxurious oceanfront or waterfront home and the beauty and tranquility that come with that lifestyle. Whether as a permanent home, a weekend getaway or a winter home, oceanfront and waterfront living is a truly extraordinary lifestyle.
Having a custom oceanfront or waterfront home built is an exciting chance to finally have the dream home you've always wanted to have, built exactly the way you want it. But when it comes to the construction process, waterfront homes present an entirely different set of construction techniques and requirements than a typical non-waterfront construction.
Since 1975, Charles Boyd Construction Inc. has built or remodeled over 1,000 homes in the Brevard County area. Because of its unique geography, this area consists of a large percentage of primarily oceanfront and waterfront properties, and a large number of the home building and remodeling projects we have done have been waterfront properties. You really can say we are experts in oceanfront and waterfront home construction!
Planning Your Florida Oceanfront or Waterfront Home
There are several important major steps involved in planning out your new home on the water. We will be glad to take you through all these steps as we plan out your home.
Your Lot - Everything starts with the lot. If you have selected a lot with a view, the house needs to be designed to take full advantage of the view from as many rooms as possible. Our design process always starts with the assumption that the house will stretch out across the rear to as far as the setbacks will allow us to go on a normal sized lot.
Setbacks on the water will vary from city to city and can be critical when deciding which lot to choose from. River front setbacks can be as much as 50' (in Brevard County) to as little as 25' (in Cocoa Beach). Ocean front setbacks are completely different and are partially set by the State of Florida. There are two different coastal control setback lines on all ocean lots and a state permit is generally required when building.
There are many other issues that can affect the suitability of a lot for your new Florida home. Some of these are:
Soil Conditions: Soil conditions can dramatically affect the cost of building on your waterfront lot. Lots along the banks of the river or canal often have loose soil or muck just under the surface of the lot. We always have soil testing done on these lots and analyze the cost, if any, to prepare the lot for building. Ocean lots are almost always required to have pilings under the foundation. The design and cost of these pilings are based on soil tests. We always recommend that these be done before the purchase of the lot. We will help you order all necessary soil reports for the lot, analyze them and advise you on their contents and what it means to your ability to build on the lot.
Environmental Conditions: In addition to the soil conditions, there are many environmental issues that can have a big effect on your ability to build on the lot. Some of these are: wetlands, protected plant species and protected animal species. If any of these conditions are encountered, you will need permits from certain federal and state agencies in order to build on the lot. We have a lot of experience in this area and can help you evaluate the environmental conditions on the lot and work with you to get the necessary permits to mitigate them.
Topographical Conditions: Too much or too little fill on a lot can have a big cost effect on your new home. We can calculate this cost for you and help determine the true cost to make your lot buildable and drain properly.
Designing Your New Home: Most of the homes built by Charles Boyd Construction, Inc. over the years have also been designed by them. Charles Boyd Construction, Inc. has won numerous 1st place awards for new homes presented in the County Home Builders Annual Parade of Homes. Designing the ideal home to fit your needs and desires is probably the most important part of the building process and certainly the most exciting. When designing a custom home on a lot with a view it is important to expose as many rooms as possible to the view and we go to great lengths to do this. Charles Boyd Construction, Inc. is well known for their creative ideas and custom designs. They carefully work with each customer to create the home of their dreams. This usually starts with a wish list of all the details and features the customer is looking for in a home and is often accompanied with lots of pictures. We incorporate the wish list with the characteristics of the lot and create a preliminary sketch of your new dream home. The preliminary sketch is followed by additional sketches until we have created a floor plan and outside look that meets all of your expectations. Along with the sketches we also create a detailed specification sheet of all the features and building details to be contained in your new home. Once we know exactly what you are looking for we will proceed and get sealed architectural drawings for your home. We have gone down this road over 1,000 times and are well versed in getting plans approved by the local building department and the house started as soon as possible.
Oceanfront Building Codes
Ocean front property is very unique in that it not only has to comply with the local Building Codes but also state codes. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) requires their approval for any new ocean front home construction that is located west of the new coastal construction control line. This applies to almost all ocean front properties. To get this approval, the house will have to be within certain setback guidelines and have pilings or a seawall constructed to meet their guidelines. In addition to these FDEP requirements, the local building departments have codes that are stricter when building on the ocean. The house will have to be designed for higher wind loading requirements when built on the ocean than anywhere else. Charles Boyd Construction, Inc. has built almost 100 residential units directly on the ocean and is well versed is the design, permitting and construction of ocean front homes. If you decide to build on the ocean, it is vitally important to pick a contractor with knowledge and experience in direct ocean front building.
We are very familiar with all the Building Codes in Cocoa Beach, Melbourne and Central Florida and how to determine what codes need to be satisfied in any given location. This is another area where having an expert there to help you is vitally important. Here are some of the main code considerations.
Base Flood Elevation - Every municipality will assign what is known as a Base Flood Elevation requirement within any designated flood zone. This will set the minimum height the structure must be elevated above Mean Sea Level. This BFE number will vary depending upon the type of flood zone your lot is located in. This is a number that you really should know before buying your lot, as it will determine what type of plan you may use as well as determine the final cost of your foundation. This is because the higher the BFE number, the more expensive your foundation will end up being.
Height Restriction -This is another number you really should know before buying your lot and picking out a plan or having one designed. Many communities have height restrictions along coastal roads to avoid the darkness caused by long rows of tall structures along the street. Certain communities use different methods to measure the height of a home but it typically ranges from a 28 to 35 feet maximum height and will obviously have a big impact on what you can build, so make sure you know this number.
Materials Used Below The BFE - All materials used below the BFE must be Class 4 or 5 flood-resistant materials. This is only part of what adds to the cost of building in a flood zone.
Building Code Materials Requirements - As we mentioned, there are different types of flood zones and different requirements for ocean front building and your final cost will be determined by the materials required to build in your designated area. Requirements such as windows with higher wind ratings, elevating the home and any additional hold-downs, ties, straps and anchors that may be needed can all affect the cost of building your new home.
These are just some of the things to consider when planning out the cost and the design of your new oceanfront home. Charles Boyd Construction Inc. is an expert oceanfront, coastal builder and we are here to work for you through every step of the planning and building process. Give us a call and we will be glad to discuss your new oceanfront dream home today!