Tag Archives: elevation

More than One Way to Skin a Cat

CAN’T HELP BUT NOTICE: As fate would have it, next door to our temporary apartment, the house is also being lifted. It too suffers from the occasional rising whims of the little brook near our house, about 2 miles down stream. With my new knowledge base on this subject, I’ve noticed a few things about this elevation that the casual observer would more than likely miss:

Flood Savvy

Another house elevation under way

When you look a little closer, you can see some strings. It makes perfect sense that you would want to make certain the foundation was going to match up with the house. This technique was not utilized in our project and they had great difficulty matching up the pieces. Would it have mattered? Who knows. A spool of yarn could have come in handy is all I’m saying.

Flood Savvy

A little piece of string ties it all together

Another area where this project deviates from ours is they are building the foundation up to meet the house, unlike our scenario where the house was lowered back down onto the foundation:

Flood Savvy

Rising up to meet the house –

Flood savvy

Foundation meets the house – steel beams still in place

Although this technique makes it more challenging for the lifting company to remove the steel beams, logically if makes sense. When I asked my builder about this different technique, he said either way works. Ok – but I’m guessing one house will suffer more than the other. When a mega ton house is lowered, no matter how gingerly it is accomplished, there is bound to be some collateral damage. I don’t know the end result for this house, but our house suffered numerous cracks in the walls (minor) and a permanent slight shift in a bank of kitchen cabinets where a shim of wood was left in place atop the foundation while the house was being lowered.

You know how to remove a block of wood stuck between a hefty house and it’s foundation? Neither does my builder.

WEEK 12 of House Elevation Project: Once upon a time we had an ordinary house in the suburbs of New York City. Seasons passed, our children flourished, and all seemed well with the world. Then our house suffered through extraordinary amounts of rainfall, on several occasions. With nowhere else to go, the water rose up and up and up. We grew to appreciate our flood insurance more and more. Until one day when we decided enough was enough. Let’s  fix it so that our house no longer floods. Elevating it above the base flood elevation for our location was the remedy.

Before the House Elevation

Before the House Elevation

RISE ABOVE: As documented all over this website, we did just that. Our house is now elevated well above the litmus test  – the FEMA flood map. But while the rest of the house is elevated with a brand new foundation underneath it, we still need to utilize the garage at ground level. As illustrated in the picture below, the garage in it’s current state is large enough to park a sailboat inside.

Garage space after elevation of house

Garage space after elevation of house

PICTURE ABOVE: Sandwiched between the garage and an upstairs bedroom sits an airy attic. In the picture above, the ceiling of the garage is the floor of an attic (as well as a mechanical room toward the back of the garage). This fortunate placement of the attic will allow for the building of an additional interior room. Work has already begun on this project:

Capturing a new room

Capturing a new room

After weeks of spending time on the foundation, meticulously placing each cinder block and enduring weeks of painstaking efforts to shore up the last few inches between the new foundation and the house – finally, we have some progress. Progress that we can see. Progress that feels like we are getting somewhere closer to being ready to move back home.

New front face of house

New front face of house

SIDE VIEW: Note the sides of the house above. You can see where the holes that were created to accommodate the steel beams have been closed. There are still many, many items on the “to-do” list prior to my family residing here again, but this week at least it feels like there has been a big step in that direction.