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Permits Needed Before Rebuilding

Published on Nov 18, 2022

Bartow, Fla. (November 1, 2022) - If your home was damaged by Hurricane Ian, you need to obtain a permit before rebuilding. Every part of a building – from roofs, walls and siding to plumbing, septic systems and heating/air conditioning systems – may require a permit before you start to rebuild. A permit may also be needed for demolition.

You can begin the permitting process at

“Permits protect owners, residents, communities and buildings,” said Benjamin Dunn, the Polk County Building Director.  “The permitting process ensures that any repairs and/or construction meet the current building codes, standards, floodplain ordinances and construction techniques.”

Permits also provide a permanent record of compliance with elevation and/or retrofitting requirements, which is valuable information when selling the structure or obtaining flood insurance coverage.

Additionally, obtaining a development/building permit is required for those whose homes or businesses are located within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Building permits are based on current local codes, floodplain management ordinances, and the Florida Building Code that are enforced locally, not by FEMA.

“This is all about keeping our community safe, “said Brian Corcoran, Polk County’s Flood Plain Manager. “We want to keep homes and buildings safe while also minimizing any environmental impact.”

If proper permits are not obtained, residents may be subject to stop-work orders, fines or penalties. Residents with permitting questions can call (863) 534-6080 or email for assistance.