Watch this incredible video footage that condenses 100 days of a house lift elevation project into a tidy three minute video. The house is in Seguin, Texas just outside of San Antonio. Unlike our house lift experience, this house sat on a concrete slab. There were a few other significant differences between this video and our house lift project. First, this house was all one … Continue reading House Lift Video: 17 Feet in 3 Minutes
At long last the rain has let up and the storm has passed, yet many will feel the ramifications of the recent flooding in Boulder, Colorado for months to come. Numerous homes endured total destruction while others suffered comparatively minor damage with flooding restricted to their basement. Unfortunately for those without flood insurance, they will have to rebuild on their own. Flooding is about as … Continue reading 18 Inches of Rain Brings Pain to Boulder, Colorado
FORMIDABLE FOUNDATION Usually a house built upon a solid foundation is meant to be a permanent situation, complete with lots of cement to seal the deal. A foundation serves as the starting point for all that is to follow, whether you’re talking about an education, a relationship, or a house. It’s designed to have enduring qualities, and ideally built to last. RIPPED AT THE SEAMS … Continue reading Interior Damage Minimal After Elevating House
Along with the east coast states of New Jersey and New York, Connecticut communities are actively elevating their flood prone homes. Many of the properties procuring this flood prevention tactic sit right on the coast line of the Long Island Sound. Beautiful front row views of the water, right up until the weather goes haywire and the Sound ends up sloshing around in their living … Continue reading FEMA Maps: House Elevation Along the Long Island Sound
CHANGES TO FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM We paid our first revised flood insurance premium today – a 20% increase from what we paid last year for the same level of coverage. Our premiums will continue to rise for the next four years, up to 25% at a time. Why? The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federal program under FEMA, is broke. With a debt of … Continue reading Big Changes to Flood Insurance Rates
SEWER LINE CLEAN-OUT Yesterday we had a team of drain specialists come by to effectively power wash our sewer line. Although this service call does not directly have any relationship to our elevation project, it was paramount that we determined the integrity of our sewer line prior to burying it under 4 feet of cement. The only reason we are investigating it now is because … Continue reading House Elevation: Sewer Line to be Buried 4 Feet Under
WE’VE HIT A SNAG The biggest snafu we’ve encountered with our project to date is with the design of the new front staircase. The number of steps required is dictated by building codes based on the height of the house, but the design aspect allows for some creativity. This process is usually a collaboration between the homeowner and their architect. But what happens when your architect turns … Continue reading Staircase Design on Elevated House: Architectural Pitfalls
After stopping by my construction site this morning and learning that we had several serious snags and disconnections between our architect, the builders, and the local building department, I needed a little levity. Does lifting a house really need to be so complicated? Not according to the Movato Real Estate Blog. They’ve actually figured out the exact number of helium balloons (the sort you can … Continue reading How Many Balloons Would it Take to Lift a House?
WEEK 5 After spending more than a week preparing the house, it was ready for the big lift. Ever so slowly, one wooden beam (about 6 inches) at a time, the house was lifted. A wooden beam (also known as cribbing) was inserted at every pressure point, then lifted another 6 inches, etc., until the predetermined height was reached. Total time: about 5 hours for … Continue reading House Elevation: House Lifted from Foundation
WEEK FOUR Lift process continues: holes were cut into the foundation to secure room for the steel beams. The project is still new and exciting, with high hopes that all will continue to run smoothly. Our boys found the construction process endlessly interesting and enjoyed seeing the development up close and personally. Above you can see the front door and where the stairs have been jackhammered off the … Continue reading House Elevation: First Steps for the House Lift
Several necessary first steps had to be completed prior to the initiation of the construction phase. Here sits our house before any lift has occurred. The white picket fence in front, grass on the lawn, a visible chimney on the roof. All of these things will disappear before the house project can even begin. Above the fence has been removed as well as all of … Continue reading Preparing the Property for a Lift
The high-water mark is the mark indicating the highest level water has reached on a particular structure or home. In our case, it was about 56 inches. In the picture above, our son is standing on his tip-toes to point to the height of the water during one of our worst flooding episodes. “Know Your Line: Be Flood Aware” FEMA, along with 7 other federal … Continue reading Flooding: High-Water Mark
Moving from a house to an apartment has a few unforeseen advantages: #1 Downsizing to an apartment required me to bring only the essentials. Not that much really. I realized how much extra stuff we’ve accumulated over the years. For example, those boxes collecting dust in my attic for the past 10 years are mostly just taking up space. If I haven’t had a need … Continue reading Upside to Downsizing: Why Temporary Housing Isn’t All Bad
Ordinarily, a move is a one-way transaction: A to B. But, in this case, to flood-proof our house, we are only moving out for a few months. So our goal was to keep it as simple as possible. Walking through the house with the movers, I pointed out what pieces I wanted them to load into the truck. For example, we took mattresses, but no bed … Continue reading Flood Proofing Day One: Movers, Builders and Plumbers – oh, my!