The City of Key West and its partners are collaborating to help homeowners elevate their homes out of the floodplain. With funding assistance from a Sea Grant from NOAA the City, Monroe County, UF Monroe County Extension Services and FIRM aim to bring together the details involved in elevating to help homeowners understand their options.

Through interviews with architects, contractors, and homeowners, the team is researching aspects of home elevation including cost, return on investment, methods, barriers, permitting, duration and financing. In the end, interested homeowners will have the chance to band together to request discounts for “bundling” labor and mobilization costs.

Step 1: Home Elevation Summaries. The first step involves interviewing owners, contractors and architects involved in prior home elevation projects. Twelve projects will be selected as featured summaries covering a variety of foundation types, construction types, elevation methods, and sizes in order to paint a picture of what a homeowner could expect.

Step 2: Virtual Outreach. FIRM will work with the County and municipalities to host 4 virtual workshops showcasing the elevation summaries, and providing floodproofing tips and next steps. The workshops will occur at different times and days to increase the availability to the public, and will also be recorded and posted on the FIRM website for viewing at any time.

Step 3: Technical and Financial Advice. We’re working with the Florida Keys Contractors Association on bringing Home Raising Academy to the Keys. And we’ll have financial experts at our workshops to explain the types of funding available to homeowners.

Step 4: Elevation Cooperative Bidding. FIRM will organize a request for estimates from vetted home elevation companies. The request will involve as many willing local homeowners who wish to get a final estimate for home elevation. Homeowner groups (by geography) will choose the company that best fits their needs and financial abilities. No one is obligated to have their home elevated. In the end it is an individual choice whether or not to proceed.

Sign up now! If you are interested in learning more and receiving updates as the project progresses, please sign up using the form below. If you’ve considered elevating but didn’t because of too many obstacles, we want to hear from you too. One of the goals is to eliminate those stumbling blocks.

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