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House lifting is necessary to protect your home from flooding and wave damage. When the structure is lifted beyond the base flood elevation (BFE), your entire living floor space will be above estimated water levels. Base flood elevation refers to a level that has a 1% probability of being equivalent to or surpassed by floodwaters in a year.
Hurricane Sandy was an important lesson for homeowners. Most homeowners were caught unawares by the hurricane and they had to deal with displacement and costly rebuilding. To avoid this kind of frustration, it is necessary to lift your house above the BFE.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released new BFE for various zones. The new levels are designed to ensure that homeowners have adequate foundation depending on their zone. Your zone is determined by the risk you are exposed to in case of a flood.
Why Lift your House?
Lifting your house gives you peace of mind. Once you raise your house, you can relax because you know the risk of future flooding has been reduced. Elevation will protect your family and property in case of a hurricane.
Elevating your house also lowers your homeowners insurance rates. Once you comply with the new FEMA regulations, you will pay less for your flood policy.
If you live close to an ocean or bay, not only does raising your house make it safer to live there, it gives you a better view of your surroundings.
Space is also created below your house after elevation and this offers additional storage space. You can also use the space to protect your car from the elements. But this area cannot be used as a living space.
Preparing for House Lifting
Once you realize that house lifting is a smart move, contact local housing inspectors or zoning offices in Manasquan to determine if your home can be elevated. There are certain restrictions in regard to house lifting. Contact a the Manasquan House Raising Pros, professional contractors and engineers with decades of elevation experience. New supporting foundations are typically required. Your house also needs to be inspected. The inspection is carried out to determine if the structure is strong enough to endure the elevation.
It is advisable to speak to your insurance provider to establish how the process will impact your insurance rates. Elevation can reduce the premiums you pay but this depends on the level the house is raised to.
Get in touch with the Emergency Management Agency in your county will offer valuable information on the National Flood Program and the requirements you are supposed to meet.
House Lifting Process
The house structure is secured before it is elevated. This reduces structural damage. The structure has to be separated from utilities and its foundation. Once the structure is secure, the house is slowly lifted upward. A temporary framework is used to hold the house.
A new foundation is made using pilings, columns, piers, or cases. The type of foundation that is made varies depending on your zone. Pilings are used in Zone V. Some zones are allowed to have foundation walls. Concrete blocks and poured concrete foundations are permitted in Zone A.
This short video explains the house lifting process:
However, these foundation walls are required to have some openings. The openings allow floodwater to enter below the house and recede. The presence of openings is also essential to make sure the walls can withstand pressure forces from the flood waters.
Manasquan house lifting costs from $30,000 to more than $100,000. The cost depends on the actual work that goes into the elevation process. A professional engineer can give you an accurate estimate depending on your zone and FEMA elevation. These two factors influence the kind of foundation that your house will need to be safe from floodwaters.
A block foundation does not work in all zones and if the contractors have to use piling, the cost usually goes up. If your house is on a slab, the cost is higher compared to other structures. The cost of elevating the house may be higher than demolishing and constructing a new one. This is why it is important to determine whether elevation is the best option to reduce flood damage.
It is important to hire a professional Manasquan house lifting company for the elevation. The company should have qualified architects and engineers who can advise them on the best way to secure your structure and protect it from flood damage.