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Adding fill around one side of the house to raise LAG  

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Hi Folks, 

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.

 

Thanks

Doug and Kelly 

Hi Doug and Kelly,

First, I'd like to welcome you to RPLS Today, and thank you for your post! 🙂

Secondly, I just wanted to let you know that Saturdays are typically our slowest day. So you might not get much response until tomorrow and/or Monday.

Hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

Thanks Wendell, 

Appreciate the warm welcome. I look forward to engaging in a nice and productive discussions here. Thanks once again

 

Doug

Wendell (in my not so humble opinion) is a little bit too shy to ask for your financial gratitude if you are ultimately able to find valuable help here.  So I will do so on his behalf.  See the link in my signature line.  Best of luck with your project.

Hi Brad, 

 

Thanks for the link. I just donated, whether I find the right info i am looking for or not i did my part to help the community going. 

 

Doug

Doug, your contribution is greatly appreciated. I don't think guests should feel obligated to contribute in any way, nothing shy about it. I'm glad you found us and I hope you find the answers you are looking for. 🙂

iGage IG8

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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.

IMG 8773
IMG 8774
IMG 8775

 

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

 

Doug

 
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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. 

Having an unfinished basement is out of the equation even with the machines relocated to the first floor? Also who has access to the CE the surveyor did? Just me and him? He does not submit it anywhere correct?

 

Doug

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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.

Zwei weitere Biere, bitte

Interesting he got LOMA even though machinery was way below BFE but I am attaching a screenshot from what I found on FEMA website about flood insurance coverage for basement contents. I was planning on adding cinder block to meet the height i need around the two windows I need and install those clear covers. All other basement windows are above BFE. Also attached pics of the two windows that I am planning to add some height to the surrounding concrete. 

 

Doug

 

 

 

IMG 8770
IMG 8771

 

 

 

2018 05 13 (1)

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Doug,

If you haven't already, take a look at FEMA P-758 (2010) "Substantial Improvement/ Substantial Damage Desk Reference".

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1734-25045-2915/p_758_complete_r3.pdf

This is probably what your local Floodplain Administrators are going by.

DDSM

"Sudden fits of inadvertence will surprise vigilance, slight avocations will seduce attention, and casual eclipses of the mind will darken learning." – Dr. Samuel Johnson

Will read it. Thank you. 

 

Its good to note that the main reason of this whole thing while it would be good to not have to pay $2500 a year in flood insurance but its the 50% rule is what I am trying to avoid. There has never been any water issue in my property or the neighbors properties. If I only know about this prior to purchase. Too late now I must move forward 🙂

 

Doug

Javad GNSS

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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!

Zwei weitere Biere, bitte

That is most likely what we will do. Can the floodplain administrators have a say perhaps not allow fill to be placed in order to apply for the   LOMR-F? I dont know what kind of authority they have. I have been told the town of Fairfield CT is pretty tough on flood zones. I will go there tomorrow to bring my house appraisal to at least increase my spending power as far as the 50% rule goes. Thanks for the great advice @sergeant-schultz

 

Doug

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