House Elevation: Lighting Up $100.00 Bills

WEEK 18: Finally, something to cheer about – we passed the electrical inspection today. Not that we ever questioned if we would pass it – but another hurdle has been cleared. Did I mention that the wires from the basement, the new room atop the garage and the mechanical room all had to be rewired? Add that to the new foundation, the new gas line, the … Continue reading House Elevation: Lighting Up $100.00 Bills

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House Elevation Blues

There’s No Place Like Home. Where’s My Ruby Slippers?  WEEK 17: It’s true what they say: There’s no place like home. And much like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, our children are yearning to return home. Too bad they don’t have any snazzy red shoes to click together three times and make that happen. (Although we do have three boys, so donning red high … Continue reading House Elevation Blues

The Gas Man Cometh

WEEK 16: aka The Continuing Saga of the Gas Service. When I last left off this topic, we had remedied many of the gas line installation woes with our utility company. They had correctly repositioned our project as a “flood recovery” one and therefore were much more receptive to our needs. They agreed to install the new gas line, at their expense. We dig a trench, … Continue reading The Gas Man Cometh

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House Elevation and an Above Grade Basement: The Devil’s in the Details

I think it’s important to find the little things in everyday life that make you happy. Paula Cole MORNING PLEASURE: It may be just a little thing, but the addition of the windows in our new ‘basement’ was an unexpected pleasure this morning. Why? Because they are the start of making this side of our house look finished. Yes, they still need to be framed out … Continue reading House Elevation and an Above Grade Basement: The Devil’s in the Details

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Perks to Flooding … the Rainbow after the Storm

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” Robert Frost In the days after a flood event, it can be very overwhelming. Take a deep breath and a shot of courage, then put your big boy/girl pants on, chuck aside the useless self-pity and get to work. Be patient, work diligently, help your neighbors and look for the rainbow. … Continue reading Perks to Flooding … the Rainbow after the Storm

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David Vs. Goliath: The Gas Meter Revisited

DRAMATIC TURN OF EVENTS An old house. Extensive flooding. One family. A behemoth-sized utility company. What do all these things have in common? A house elevation project. What originally began as a Stalin-esque shake down from conEdison, our utility company, making us question if we had somehow woken up in a post WWII Eastern Bloc country, has rounded the bend dramatically this week. Once told … Continue reading David Vs. Goliath: The Gas Meter Revisited

Top 7 Reasons Why an Elevation Project Drags On and on and on …

WEEK 14: There’s a chill to the air, my children are back in school, and I’m starting to see Halloween candy for sale in the grocery store, yet too little progress on my house. When we moved into our temporary apartment in June, we had hoped to move home by the end of September. Our builder, who had experience with these types of projects, felt that … Continue reading Top 7 Reasons Why an Elevation Project Drags On and on and on …

The Lord has Spoken: Giving Away Millions of Dollars

WEEK 13:  Earlier this week I spoke with Rick Lord, Chief of Mitigation Programs & Agency Preservation Officer for the New York State Office of Emergency Management. I had contacted him in hopes of securing some of the $230 million dollars FEMA had given to the state of New York for flood mitigation. Lord is the head of the program in charge of distributing the money statewide. … Continue reading The Lord has Spoken: Giving Away Millions of Dollars

More Flood Proofing Options

NEW FLOOD TECHNOLOGY In a recent post I commented on the flood prevention technology being utilized in the subway stations of Nagoya, Japan. The floodgates are designed to protect the subway system from suffering extensive damages during a flood event. However, my contention is that any preventative measure that requires human activation and /or electricity to operate, suffers a potentially fatal flaw.  What if the … Continue reading More Flood Proofing Options

Feel the Burn: Gas Lines & Meters

GAS METER UPDATE: In a previous post I lamented about the excruciatingly long process to have a new gas meter and a new gas line installed. Con Edison, our local utility company, first visited our site  on August 20, 2013. At that time, we were under the impression that getting new service was the only option we had; it was the required protocol during a … Continue reading Feel the Burn: Gas Lines & Meters

House Elevation: Capturing a New Room Post Lift

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 … Continue reading House Elevation: Capturing a New Room Post Lift

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Gas Meter Location for Elevated House

WEEK 11 OF HOUSE ELEVATION PROJECT:  This week began with a visit from our local utility company (conEd) in effort to determine the new placement for our gas meter. As the old gas meter was previously located in our basement and said basement is scheduled to disappear, the meter must be relocated. By ‘disappear’ I mean that the former basement will be back-filled then covered … Continue reading Gas Meter Location for Elevated House

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Elevated House Lowered onto Newly Built Foundation

Week 10 The much anticipated, but considerably less dramatic act of lowering the house back down onto the new foundation took place yesterday. Our lift company, Payne, was able to swing into town for two days to complete the job. When lowering the house they have to make certain that the house will sit atop the foundation, flush and square. Ideally they would be able … Continue reading Elevated House Lowered onto Newly Built Foundation

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House Elevation Project Runs Amok

WEEK NINE  A big disappointment  – that sums up week nine of our house elevation project. The lifting company, Payne, was ready to return to the site, but the construction crew did not have the site sufficiently prepped. As Payne is jamming with business, they did not have the luxury of time to sit around and wait. They moved on to their next job in … Continue reading House Elevation Project Runs Amok

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Staircase: When a House Elevation Starts to Hurt

Week 8 When does a house elevation project begin to hurt? When your contractor is working under the premise that your fixed-price contract is a cost-plus contract, with free reign on your wallet. As week 8 of construction came to a close, it’s safe to say it has been the least pleasant so far. But then again, no one promised that retrofitting a house to … Continue reading Staircase: When a House Elevation Starts to Hurt

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House Elevation: Can You Still Have A Basement in a Floodplain?

WEEK 8 Most of the work occurring on our house elevation project this week are of the unseen nitty-gritty sort. The construction crew is preparing for the return of Payne, our lifting company, by completing the last few foundation projects: aligning the proper height all walls, erecting support beams under the crawl space in the rear of our house, fortifying the cinder blocks, and beginning … Continue reading House Elevation: Can You Still Have A Basement in a Floodplain?