Elevating Your Home Above Flood Risks: Costs Associated with Lifting vs. Flood Insurance

| Expert House Movers

For over 70 years, Expert House Movers has provided professional structural elevation and house lifting services, building a strong reputation as a leader in house lifting to mitigate the risk of flood damage for homes in Virginia. 

For hundreds of property owners along Virginia’s coastlines, elevation may be the key to preventing flood damage.

The House Lifting Process

There are several elevation techniques available that involve lifting the house and building a new foundation, extending the existing foundation, or leaving the house in place and either building an elevated floor inside or adding a new upper story.

During the home elevation process, houses are separated from their foundations, raised on hydraulic jacks, and suspended by temporary supports while a new or extended foundation is constructed underneath. 

During the elevation process, most frames, masonry veneers, and masonry houses are separated from their foundations, raised on hydraulic jacks, and held by temporary supports while a new or extended foundation is constructed below. The living area is raised and only the foundation remains exposed to flooding. This technique works well for houses originally built on a basement, crawlspace, and open foundations. When houses are lifted with this technique, the new or extended foundation can consist of either continuous walls or separate piers, posts, columns, or pilings.

Why Elevate Your Home?

There are many reasons to elevate a home, the most prevalent of which is to reduce the risk of flooding and flood insurance policy rates. It also helps to maintain the community as it preserves property tax revenues which support schools and government operations, infrastructure, and public safety. 

Elevating rather than destroying historic buildings helps to preserve the history and educational elements of the city. 

And finally, elevating a home or historical building is far more environmentally friendly than tearing it down. Every 1,000 sq ft of wood framing uses approximately 250 trees and every $1 invested in elevation saves $7 in recovery expenditures.

The Cost of House Lifting

Raising a home is an extreme form of repair in which the house is lifted, the old foundation is removed, and a new foundation is built. The typical cost range for raising a foundation is between $2,983 and $9,110 – just to raise the home. The removal of the existing foundation and replacement with a new one brings the cost of the entire process up to between $25,000 and $100,000. The wide range is due to a myriad of factors that affect the final cost. Some of those factors include:

  • Size of the home: This is one of the largest cost factors because the larger the home, the more it weighs and the more complicated the process will be to raise and transport it. Most house lifting companies will charge by the square footage of the home. 
  • Labor: The cost of labor can be tough to nail down as it’ll vary from company to company. The best way to get a firm estimate would be to call Expert House Movers and have one of our contractors come out for a consultation to give you an estimate. 
  • Age/condition of the house: Older homes require more care and reinforcement than newer homes because older homes were built with heavier materials. This will require more equipment and time so it may require that your contractors to possibly move at a slower pace.
  • Condition of the foundation: Repairs that need to be made to stabilize the home can add significant cost.

Other factors: plumbing and electrical, excavation, permits, insurance, architect and/or structural engineer.

How to Pay Less for Flood Insurance

Your insurance premium is based on several different factors but there are a few actions you can take to pay less for flood insurance: 

Lower Your Flood Risk

The amount you pay for flood insurance is based upon how much flood risk is associated with your property. Mitigating your flood risk not only helps to lower your insurance costs but it also protects your property against flood damage. You can do this by:

  • Raising your house
  • Filling in your basement
  • Relocating your house or business
  • Elevating your utilities
  • Installing flood openings

Choose a Higher Deductible

Another way to lower your insurance premium is to pay a higher deductible meaning you will have to cover more of the cost to rebuild out of pocket.

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