This is the story about my home in the suburbs of New York City. It floods. I don’t think I need to convince anybody about the downside to flooding. Ever used a garden hose to wash the mud off the interior walls of your family room?

We’ve decided to fight back against Mother Nature by elevating our house.

Flood Savvy
My husband and our boys –

This site will take you through the steps of our lift as well as offer other options for homeowners impacted by recurrent flooding, or in insurance speak “severe repetitive flooding.” Although I never set out to become an “expert” on this topic, through the years I’ve learned an extensive amount. Hopefully you will find some of it useful to your situation.

For those of you stopping by out of curiosity – enjoy! For those flood weary homeowners looking for some solutions of their own, I hope this helps.

Feel free to look around, post a comment, or pose a question to us at:




Before Leonardo DiCaprio started sending me letters about saving the polar bear habitat and before Al Gore won his Nobel Peace Prize for his erudition on climate change, we bought a house whose mortgage was contingent upon securing flood insurance.

At the time we had two little boys, a new home with my sought after fenced in backyard and no idea why we needed to have flood insurance. Yes, there was a little brook across the street from us, behind my neighbor’s house, but our realtor assured us that there hadn’t been any flooding in years.

We even took the time to ask around the neighborhood about their memory of flooding. We learned that it had not flooded in our area in close to 30 years AND that the flooding had been mitigated  – so it was no longer an issue. All the same, the bank still insisted that we purchase the flood insurance. As it was relatively inexpensive, we didn’t think much more about it. At least I didn’t.


FLOOD #1: The first time we flooded, September 2004, was a flash flood incident. I remember a police officer knocking on my front door suggesting I move our cars from the driveway before the street flooded. Really? We were amazed at how high the idyllic looking brook across the street could rise.

Our flooding was relatively minimal, but we learned about submitting flood insurance claims and had all of our basement mechanicals replaced.

FLOOD #2: The second time we flooded, March 2007, we were caught off guard. It was late winter and the ground was frozen, so the heavy rains had no pervious ground to absorb it.

This flood invaded our mudroom. The basement mechanicals were replaced, again.

Flood damaged mudroom: walls and floors. You can see the flood debris line on against the white headboard. 
Replacing walls and insulation to prevent mold

FLOOD #3: Six weeks later, April 2007, Mother Nature served up a drenching Nor’easter and we suffered extensive flooding. This flood poured into our family room as well as hitting the mudroom again while the remaining first floor was impacted from the floodwater seeping through the floor registers.

Just starting to rain …

A few hours later … House across the street is deluged with flood water.

LAST STRAW: In August 2011, we endured Hurricane Irene followed nine days later by her punk-ass little brother, Tropical Depression Lee. Lee did not get us, but did get the neighbors across the street living closest to the aforementioned wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing brook.

This back-to-back event was the definitive moment for me. Tap me out – I’m done.

Family room: walls, floors, fireplace mantle and insulation removed

Family Room: New subfloor installed, entire fireplace torn down.

Family Room: Back together again.

We’ve had numerous close calls, too many reverse 9-1-1 calls to count, and have occasionally gone to bed with a Minuteman outfit ready to go – just in case there’s  a pounding on the door at 2:00 am followed by a yell of, “Move your cars!”

Suffice it to say that the flooding issue has definitely NOT been mitigated. Along with a healthy respect for Mother Nature and the exact amount of drywall it takes to rebuild my mudroom (my lowest lying room), I’ve learned more than I ever thought I’d know or ever wanted to learn about floods, flood insurance, flood preparation, flood recovery, and flood proofing options.

After considering the obvious option – moving to a new house – for various reasons we’ve decided to stay. The only viable option remaining for our circumstance was to lift our house. This option is not for everyone. It’s not easy. It’s certainly not cheap. But it is effective. So here it is – the ins and outs, the ups and downs – The Art of the Lift.

*We began our planning phase in July 2012. Super Storm Sandy hit that October. In our neighborhood this was more of a wind event than rain so were spared additional flooding – this time. However, it was a pretty impressive motivator.

14 thoughts on “ABOUT

  1. A friend of mine bought a new house and complained in mid winter that her backyard was all mud – what did she expect when the house was on the river mudflats? Of course it hadn’t flooded there in years either because we’d had a 20 year dry spell. Will be watching the rest of your blog with interest.

    1. Thanks for stopping by to take a look. I sympathize with your friend in the mudflat region of a river. A river brings it’s own special twist to a flood, like when it stops raining but the river doesn’t crest for two more days.

  2. I understand exactly how this feels. My house has recently flooded and I called a water damage restoration company to check out the damages. Turns out the flood left my basement with a dangerous amount of mold. I can’t stress how important it is to remove mold from you’re property, it can endanger the health of your family. In regards to floods and water damage, time is of the essence, these are the type of emergencies that have to be dealt with right away.

  3. What a great blog! We are on Long Island and flooded badly during Sandy and lifted afterwards. We’re still working on the landscaping! Your house came out beautiful!

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for the great feedback. As you know, it is a long process. We are just starting to see a few cracks here and there again in the paint job as the house continues to settle. Nothing bad or that needs to be addressed right away, but after pristine walls post lift, I see them. Probably no one else would notice.

      Good luck with the landscaping. It can make a huge difference in the appearance and help blend in the new height with your neighbors. Anyone else on your street lift, too?


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