Substantial Improvement / Damage Requirements

Should you wish to make improvements to your existing house or buildings, you may have to follow the County standards for substantial improvements or substantial repair to the structure.

Substantial Improvement

Substantial improvement is any combination of repairs, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, taking place during any one year period whereby the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement. This term includes structures, which have incurred substantial damage, regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either any correction of existing violations of State or Orange County health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which have been identified by the Orange County code enforcement official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions, or any alteration of a historic structure provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure.

Substantial Damage

Substantial damage is damage of any origin sustained by a structure during any one year period whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred. Substantial damage also means flood-related damage sustained by a structure on two separate occasions during a 10-year period for which the cost of repairs at the time of each such flood event, on the average, equals or exceeds 25% of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.

Additional Information

For additional assistance or questions, please feel free to contact the local Floodplain Manager in the Orange County Planning and Inspections Department by telephone at 919-245-2577, by email, or in person any time from Monday to Friday during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), at:
131 W Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, North Carolina 27278