If you’re thinking about raising your home but need help deciding if it’s the right choice for you, consider the following reasons you should lift your house.
- If you were a hurricane victim
If your house was flooded by Hurricane Sandy or Irene and you’d like to prevent it from happening again, you should raise your house above the Base Flood Elevation. The BFE is the computed elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during a base flood and is a regulatory requirement for the elevation or floodproofing of structures. Once a structure is raised, only the foundation remains exposed to flooding while the living area is safe from damage.
- If your home is in a flood zone
Whether or not you were a victim of the storm, if your home is in a flood zone, you should raise your house to protect it from future flooding Services. These zones are shown on flood maps. Moderate to low risk areas are zones that begin with the letters “B,” “C” or “X” and high-risk zones start with the letters “A” or “V.” To read the definition for each zone, click here.
The most vulnerable homes are in the “V” zones, which are waterfront areas that are at highest risk for flooding and subject to 3-foot breaking waves. But houses still need to be raised in the coastal “A” zones, which isn’t as vulnerable as the “V” zone but is still subject to major damage.
Even houses in “B,” “C,” or “X” zones should consider lifting their homes. Roughly 25% of all flood insurance claims are filed in low to moderate flood-risk areas.
To see if your home is in a flood zone and which flood zone, click here.
- To lower your flood insurance
Raising your home will also lower your flood insurance in the long-run. Under the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, you could save more than $90,000 over 10 years if you raise your house 3 feet above the Base Flood Elevation.
- To add more space
Raising your home also adds more usable space under your home. It’s the perfect alternative if you’re looking to add more square footage, but you don’t want to build an extension that, for example, takes away backyard space. This added space could be used for storage, a garage, or a nice basement.
If you have a small yard to begin with or you’d like a covered area outside to hosts guests, lifting your house is a great option for that too. Instead of building continuous walls after the lift, you could build separate piers, posts, columns, or pilings to create an open space.
- To strengthen, repair or replace a foundation
The most effective way to repair or replace a foundation is by first lifting or house lifting new jersey and moving your house off of the existing one.
If a foundation needs to be strengthened or repaired, it may go through a process called underpinning, it may need helical piles or it may need both. Underpinning, to put it simply, is when a foundation is installed under the existing one. A lot of foundation issues occur due to poor soil. If this is the case for your home, a type of steel called helical piles is drilled into the foundation and far below the surface into bedrock. This is considered a long term or permanent fix to foundation issues caused by ground or soil movement.
If the damage to your foundation is serious and widespread enough, then it will have to be replaced. The current foundation is excavated to create room for demolition and construction. After the debris have been cleared, new footings are poured, forms are set for pouring foundation walls, the concrete is cured and helical piles are installed if necessary.
Once the foundation has been strengthened, repaired or replaced, the house is then lowered or moved back and lowered to attached it to the new, stable and sturdy foundation.
- To increase the value of your home
Raising a house increases its value and potential resale by an estimated 15% to 25%. Adding square footage alone increases its value, the more space, the more it’s worth. As for potential resale: houses in flood zones that aren’t raised are nearly impossible to sell because flood insurance rates are so high.
Buyers would have to purchase additional flood insurance on top of buying your house, which would cost them thousands of dollars a year as seen above in figure 3. This may discourage them from buying your home and encourage them to buy one that is already lifted. Elevating a home may be expensive, but it would be worth the cost if you are having trouble selling it.
The range for the cost to raise a house is so broad that it is almost impossible to give an estimate without looking at the structure first. To read about what what determines the cost to raise a house, click here.
W.A. Building Movers & Contractors Inc. has been lifting/raising/elevating and moving houses and fixing foundations for over four decades. To read more about us, click here. To see a portfolio of our work, click here.
To request a quote for your lift or move, please feel free to contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 908-654-8227. We look forward to hearing from you.