Elevating Your Home

Elevating your home involves lifting your structure above the height of the projected flooding and placing it on a new or extended foundation.

Overview

Usually this is accomplished by lifting your home on temporary supports above its current foundation, then building onto or creating a new foundation that is higher, then lowering the home onto the new foundation. Elevation is expensive and requires that you temporarily relocate, but it will dramatically reduce both your risk of flood damage and your flood insurance premium.

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How it would affect your flood insurance rate

Elevation is the most effective way to dramatically reduce your flood insurance rate and keep it low into the future. If your home is in a special flood hazard area, the primary factor in determining your flood insurance rate is the difference between your home’s lowest floor elevation and the Base Flood Elevation. If you elevate your home above the BFE, you reduce your risk, which minimizes your premium. If you want to qualify for the low rate after an elevation, the space beneath your home can only be used for storage, parking and access.

How it works

If your home is elevated above the BFE, your living space and utilities will likely be above water in the event of a flood, keeping your property and your valuables safe from flood damage. If you choose to elevate, you must raise your home at least two feet above the BFE in order to account for uncertainties in the flood maps and anticipated sea level rise. This extra two feet of elevation is known as “freeboard” and is part of the NYC building code. The new height of the home, including freeboard, would be at Design Flood Elevation.

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Effort

A home elevation can take up to three months, depending on the contractor and the structure. During that time, you will need to relocate and remove your valuables from your home. Your home will be disconnected from utilities like water, sewer and electricity during construction.