Adding fill around one side of the house to raise LAG
My name is Doug and my wife and I bought a house in a flood zone AE although there has never been any flood on the area. House never had any water issue. However there is a small creek not far from the house across the street behind some of our neighbors house down on a slope. We knew about the insurance which is 2k per year but what's stressing us the most is the whole 50% rule on renovations. We had a CE done and it showed that our LAG is about 8'' below the BFE. We are literally freaking out as to what we should do. We have been searching online for people that have added fill on those low areas to raise the LAG to meet the BFE which is a very small area. Thing is we dont know whats involved in the process. We have been told that the town is a bit restrictive when it comes to flood zones. Any feedback from you knowledgeable folks would help us tremendously.
Doug and Kelly
Through DM I have been advised to share the EC so it would be easier for you guys to chime in. So here it is along with a property flood loss report from FEMA and some pics.
Also on the pictures of the house you will see that its been staked to where we need to raise. Now i just need to know where to take from here. I know most people want to get away from paying insurance, my case if I could get out of the insurance great, but the real reason is to do what we want in terms of renovations and not have to go by the 50% rule as the house is old and 50% of the market value of the structure will not go far. This is a house for me and my family not a flip. Hopefully you guys can shine a light on it for me.
Thanks for the tips Dan B. Robinson
Step number one would be to permanently fill and seal the basement and move that machinery to be level with the main floor or higher. Then, re-landscape your entire yard to be a tad bit higher than BFE for the first 20 feet out from all sides of the perimeter of the house. Re-sod. Wait two years. Have a new insurance company contract with a different surveyor to do an EC while you are out of town.
P.S. You didn't hear this from me.
You should be the only one the surveyor provided with copies of the EC.
I prepared an EC for a fellow in Zone A. Frame dwelling on a rubble masonry cellar about 5.5' deep. Furnace & water heater in the cellar. In determining the BFE from the FIS and then measuring the various elevations around/in the structure, it happened that the LAG was a solid 0.10 feet above the BFE.
So, I submitted a LOMA request to FEMA and it was granted, coming back that FEMA had determined that the BFE was actually 0.2 below the LAG, so my client got the LOMA. Furnace & water heater 5+ feet below BFE.
What are you going to do about the basement windows?
Sorry for the alphabet soup.
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If you haven't already, take a look at FEMA P-758 (2010) "Substantial Improvement/ Substantial Damage Desk Reference".
This is probably what your local Floodplain Administrators are going by.
"Sudden fits of inadvertence will surprise vigilance, slight avocations will seduce attention, and casual eclipses of the mind will darken learning." – Dr. Samuel Johnson
Based on the info I've seen, I would raise the LAG with fill, and go for the LOMR-F. I am not, however, there. It seems that the LOCAL surveyor who's helped you so far should be the guy advising you now. Good luck!
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