The Florida Keys Need Contractors, But Where Will They Stay?


Duval Street in Key West, taken in January ’17.

The Florida Keys sustained major damage caused by Hurricane Irma in September. A Category 4, the 130 mph winds destroyed more than 600 buildings, and that is a preliminary assessment, according to the Miami Herald. The report stated that 583 buildings sustained major damage. There was minor damage to 2,739 buildings, and more than 10,000 buildings were affected. Contractors and construction crews are needed to make repairs on many of these buildings. However, the question is, with so much damage in the area, where will these workers be housed?

Finding ways to work around housing shortages for workers is important. So is finding ways for a contractor to complete the continuing education requirements for relicensing. A preapproved contractors license school with affordable online and correspondence courses can be a handy solution.

Can FEMA Housing Help?

Some construction workers have been living in their vehicles, and some construction workers have left, while others are coming to the area to look for jobs. However, it may be months before trailers promised by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have been delivered, and those would go to local residents first.

Steel Containers as Portable Housing

A number of companies offer temporary portable housing solutions that are geared toward meeting the need for construction workers in the Keys. Some are available as steel containers as large as 8’ by 40’ and contain bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. They are solar powered, requiring no foundation for setup.


A number of options are available for housing for construction workers, including placement on or near the job site.

Rental Travel Trailers

Rental trailers have been in use for some time to supplement housing and provide extra teaching space for schools, businesses and in remote areas. They can come with space for a number of persons and are turnkey. The flexibility of rental trailers means that employees can be housed near or on the project site. In areas that have been struck by natural disasters, kitchen trailers are also available and can be used to prepare food for workers.

Mobile Homes

Rental sites are also around to provide mobile home rentals that can be relocated to house workers. This may be a viable option for housing a number of employees in the same building on site or near the worksite.

Modular Work Camps

Modular housing is also an option for housing work crews in construction. Single or multiple rooms can be made available to house crews and can also include bathrooms. Kitchen facilities can be housed in a separate building to provide food and drink for employees who have limited access to food options in hurricane-devastated areas. When it comes to installing modular housing or any other type of housing for workers, it is important to check local ordinances first so that placement meets the regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.


Finding remodeling or new construction jobs in the Florida Keys is aided by the color-coded system located on properties.

Homes Needing Repairs

Once a contractor has assembled a crew of workers, locating homes that need repair or rebuilding in the Keys should not be difficult. Damaged homes in the Keys are marked with colored placards to indicate whether repairs are possible or whether the building must be destroyed because it is no longer inhabitable. Orange placards indicate that the structure requires a licensed contractor to make repairs before the home can be inhabited once again. A red placard indicates that the home is beyond repair and must be torn down.

Contractors License Schools

PDH Contractor Academy can help a contractor fill his or her continuing education requirements through convenient and reasonably priced correspondence and online classes designed to meet your state’s requirements. The contractor can choose from individual courses in some states or take a bundled course that meets all the state’s requirements and at substantial savings. One the course is completed successfully, PDH will send a copy of the notice of completion to the appropriate licensing board. In addition, we send the contractor a copy for his own records. This type of study course allows a contractor to fulfill the state’s requirements anytime and anyplace it is most convenient. Browse courses by state to learn more. Start a course by clicking here.

Comments are closed.