Elevating a house means raising the lowest floors of the house so that they rest above a floodwater point. This is an important consideration for those who reside in areas that are prone to floods. Although the process of doing this may seem costly, in the long run the effort is worthwhile. Flood waters can ruin household properties; elevation can save money that would otherwise be used to replace them. The technique used to raise a house depends on the build of the house.
Raise the level of the house by increasing the height of the foundation. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency of the U.S Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., it is easier to raise the foundation of frame and masonry-veneer houses than masonry ones. This is attributed to the design and weight that masonry houses have.
Dig holes around the foundation on regular intervals to put in a network of steel I-beams that run perpendicular to each other. Use hydraulic jacks to raise the house. The number of jacks to be used is determined by the size and shape of the house. Extend the walls of the foundation to the predetermined length. At one foot above the ground, install wall openings on the wall that will allow flood waters to enter to equalize pressure when there are floods. Lower the house to the extended foundation walls and fill in the spaces occupied by the beams. This method is ideal for houses that have basement or crawlspace foundations.
Elevate a building of this kind by lifting the whole house together with the slab which acts as a foundation to the house. The same procedure as described above is followed. Take care not to damage the mesh in the slab as this would compromise the safety of the building. Ensure you get a skilled contractor for this kind of work.
Retain the original foundation of a house. This is ideal for masonry houses, which are hard to lift and are resistant to flood waters. Remove the roof and extend the walls of the house upward. Put back the roof and build a new living area inside the house. Alternatively abandon the slab floor area by moving the living area to a higher floor that already exists. The old living area is then used for parking and provides access to the house.
Get all necessary permits required for house elevation.
Consult a design professional to verify that the original foundation can hold up any extra loads from raising walls upwards.
Build new staircases or ramps to access the house if the doors were moved from the original floor.
Disconnect all utility lines before elevating the house. Protect any of these lines that enter the house from below from flooding and freezing temperatures by insulating them and anchoring them to vertical foundation supports.