When Running a Remodeling Company, Prepare for Unexpected Remodeling Problems

Remodeling a house is a major undertaking. When it comes to home and condo remodeling, it’s safe to say that there are always going to be unexpected hurdles and surprises. It’s important that when unexpected disruptions do occur, there are systems in place that can handle this.

During remodeling there are many challenges & unforeseen conditions that our company rectifies on a daily basis. At one of our remodels on Sanibel Island we were thrown a major curve ball. The building envelope of this home constructed in 2005 has started to fail due to the following:

  • Poorly executed waterproofing
  • Inferior products utilized
  • Products improperly installed

The builder of this home fell short on hiring quality subcontractors & inspecting their work. Taking pride, inspecting the job and spending a few extra dollars during construction could have mitigated catastrophic damage at this home. Contractors in the past have put temporary band aids but never addressed the root of the problem.

We were originally hired by the homeowners for this project to remodel the kitchen, living room, entertainment center, powder bath, laundry room & staircase. Upon discovering the extent of the damage, we immediately brought in local experts to determine why the envelope has failed on this 15-year-old house. After many hours of investigation, meetings & planning we have resumed this remodel with the hopes of completing this project in time for this family to enjoy holiday dinners in their Florida vacation home. Stay tuned for the progess!

Hiring the right contractor is critical. Our organization, process & team enables us to efficiently attack any problem that is thrown our way regardless of the challenge. If you’re looking to remodel your home or condo in southwest Florida make sure to give O’Neil Industries inc. a call – Phone: (239) 360-1000.

Remodel Your Kitchen For Maximum Storage

Does your current kitchen leave you starved for storage and counter space? 

Having designed and remodeled kitchens, more storage has always been a popular request. Getting creative in adding kitchen storage solutions for my clients’ remodel projects has never been an issue. The O’Neil Industries team always finds the best way to maximize kitchen storage space on any kitchen remodel project.

Good news, there are many ways you can increase storage in your kitchen. Kitchen storage space is essential for any individual or family. It’s vital to use every square inch of your kitchen so that it’s fully functional for you and your guests. 

Let our team help with your kitchen remodel to ensure you get the most storage space out of your kitchen. The following kitchen storage solutions will show you how to use every square inch of your kitchen more efficiently. 

Smart Storage Tricks to use in Your Next Kitchen Remodel

Create a storage-packed kitchen with our three clever solutions for making the most of your kitchen cabinets and drawers. From unique cabinetry solutions to little storage tricks, these three ideas will help you make the most of the space you do have.

1. Install Pull-out Trash Bins

(Source:Driven by Décor

Let’s be honest, a trash can in the middle of your kitchen is rather unsightly. Make room inside your kitchen cabinets for double waste cans. Out of sight, out of mind! 

2. Install Modern Lift Up Cabinetry

If you have a pint-sized kitchen with minimal work-space, consider lift up cabinetry versus standard wall cabinetry. Lift up cabinetry is a great option to consider if you are looking to save space. Another bonus, lift up cabinets require minimal effort to open and close! 

The type of cabinets you choose should be determined by your usage, needs, and of course taste. Check out the images below to see a great example of modern, sleek  lift up cabinetry: 

(Source:Driven by Décor

3. Install Drawer Organizers

(Source:Driven by Décor

An organized drawer for cutlery, baking trays, and spices is an easy, inexpensive solution for storing and organizing in both large and small kitchens. Here are just a few things that you can store inside a cabinet:

  • Cutlery
  • Spice organizers
  • Pull out spice racks
  • Pull out cookie sheet bases

The kitchen Design & Build Experts in Southwest Florida 

When it comes to discovering the best kitchen storage ideas and solutions, O’Neil Industries is the partner you want. 

O’Neil Industries is a design and build firm that specializes in luxurious home and condo kitchen remodeling projects. We are led by Rob O’Neil who has had a passion for remodeling since growing up in the construction industry.

We are here to help you with all your kitchen remodeling needs at (239) 360-1000. 

Understanding the FEMA 50% Rule in Lee County

Understanding the 50% rule in the aftermath of a hurricane

Hurricane season is upon us, are you aware of the FEMA 50% rule? 

Many of our clients at O’Neil Industries have asked us about the FEMA 50% rule, and we believe it’s important to fully understand it as a Lee County property owner. Since we are in the midst of storm season in Southwest Florida, we think it’s appropriate to explain the FEMA 50% rule to keep ALL property owners informed and aware. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] has established specific damage assessment guidelines to all structures located in Special Flood Hazard Areas. All States and local governments are responsible for regulating all development in mapped flood hazard areas, issuing permits, and enforcing requirements for improvements and the repairs of buildings when disaster strikes. 

The 50% rule is a federally mandated regulation that local municipalities must adhere to when repairing or rebuilding structures that are located in designated floodplains. This rule was established to reduce future flood damage and to ensure property owners have the right flood insurance programs in place.

If a building is “substantially damaged” or “substantially improved” it must be brought into compliance with your local flood damage prevention regulations (always check your county regulations)

Substantial improvement versus substantial damage

SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE – means damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before damage condition would equal or exceed 50% of the market value. (Note: The cost of the repairs must include all costs necessary to fully repair the structure to its “before damage” condition.)

SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT – means any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure before the “start of construction” of the improvement.


FAQ’s regarding substantial improvement and substantial damage 

  1. Substantial improvement or substantial damage? To determine if your structure falls under substantial improvement of substantial damage, Lee County will use the assessed value of your structure (excluding the land) recorded by the Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office.
  2. What paperwork must property owners submit? Lee County requires a detailed and complete cost estimate for the addition, remodeling, reconstruction or for repair of all damages sustained by your home, prepared and signed by a licensed general contractor. 
  3. What paperwork must contractors submit? The licensed general contractor must sign an affidavit indicating that the cost estimate submitted includes all damages or all improvements to your home, not just structural. 
  4. What if the owner decides to do the repair/remodel work? If you decide to do the work yourself, you must submit the cost estimate, provide proper documentation, including sub-contractor bids, to document the cost estimate. 
  5. How do you determine if the cost estimate is fair/reasonable? Lee County will evaluate the cost of improvements or repairs and determine if they are fair and reasonable. Typically, for damage repairs, pre-storm prices and rates will be utilized. Keep in mind the cost of improvements or repairs does not include items not considered a permanent part of the structure. 
  6. What is NOT considered a permanent part of a structure? Plans, surveys, permits, sidewalks, pools, screens, sheds, gazebos, fences, etc. 
  7. What happens if my home is determined to have “substantial damage” or is proposed to be “substantially improved”? Lee County requires property owners to submit an elevation certificate to determine the lowest floor elevation. Keep in mind garages and carports are not considered to be the “lowest floor”. 

Important points regarding substantial improvement and substantial damage 

  • If the lowest floor is below the 100-year flood elevation, the building must be elevated to, or above, that level. The only thing allowed below the flood level is parking, building access, and limited, incidental storage. 
  • If the lowest floor of the structure is already above the 100-year flood elevation, the building can be repaired and reconstructed without having to comply with the 50% percent rule. 
  • All building plans submitted MUST be prepared to show how the building/structure is to be elevated. If the structure is located in a V-zone or if the structure is to be flood proofed, these plans must be prepared and certified by a registered professional engineer or architect. You can find these certificates from the Building and Zoning Department. 

Finding a Licensed Contractor in the aftermath of a hurricane

Understanding the FEMA 50% Rule as interpreted by the jurisdiction where you own property is critical to undertaking renovations and/or post-storm repairs of your property. Being informed and aware of all national and local regulations is the best way to protect your property and to fall into compliance.

For more information about the FEMA 50% Rule in the aftermath of a disaster, please contact Rob O’Neil with O’Neil Industries in Cape Coral, Florida.

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