Owning a piece of property has always been an essential part of the American Dream. On the downside, we cannot deny the costs of homeownership. In addition to property taxes, a homeowner needs to purchase homeowners insurance, as well as supplemental disaster insurance, if applicable, and cover the cost of maintaining, repairing, and upgrading the home as required. The good news is that lifting your Houston home above the minimum BFE can help you save a lot of money on insurance as well as maintenance and repairs.
How Lifting Your Home Can Lower Insurance Costs
The overall cost of a home elevation project can vary greatly depending on specific factors, such as the size, design, and overall condition of the home being lifted. However, jacking up a home typically involves separating it from its foundation and raising it with the help of specialized equipment. Because home elevation work requires experienced workers and specialized equipment, the cost of raising a house in Houston can be significant. For this reason, many Houston homeowners continue to postpone elevating their homes. But what most of them don’t know is that flood insurance policies for non-elevated homes in a flood-prone area can cost much more than the policies for the homes that have been lifted above the BFE.
According to insurance professionals, you can lower the cost of homeowners and flood insurance policies by increasing the deductible or by making changes that reduce the risk of damage to your home. Remember, however, that a higher deductible translates not only into lower premiums but also into lower claim payments. Because this means that you’ll need to cover the difference out of pocket in the event of a flood, reducing your home’s risk is definitely a much better way to lower your insurance costs.
Because how much you pay for flood and homeowners’ insurance has a lot to do with the flood risk associated with your property, lifting your home above the BFE recommended for your community is one of the fastest ways to reduce your insurance premium and save hundreds of dollars each year.
After you elevate your home, you can also obtain an Elevation Certificate (EC), which not only attests that your home is compliant with your community floodplain management ordinances but also provides a more accurate picture of your home’s flood risk. Although this certificate is required particularly when flood insurance policies are provided through the National Flood Insurance Program, it also helps private carriers determine proper insurance premiums. If you don’t have an EC, an insurance agent may assume that your home is at high risk for flooding and offer you a higher premium. What’s more, a home located in a flood-prone area may not even qualify for private coverage without this certificate.
Besides lifting your home, moving structural utilities, such as the electrical panel, water supply valve, and gas meters, as well as appliances, like the water heater and HVAC system, to your attic or an extra closet located above the BFE could help you lower your insurance premiums even more.
How Home Elevation Can Reduce Your Home Maintenance and Repair Costs
In addition to lowering your insurance premiums, elevating your living space above the BFE can help you protect your home from flood damage. Although there are different things you can do to reduce the repair costs associated with the potential damage that your home could sustain during a flood, such as replacing carpeting with tiles, floodproofing your crawlspace and foundation, and installing sewer backflow valves to prevent sewer backup, jacking up your home is the most efficient way to prevent completely or at least mitigate the damage due to rising waters and the repair costs that typically result from flood-related damage.
But elevating your living space won’t just prevent floodwaters from entering and damaging your home. House lifting projects also involve a foundation inspection performed by a licensed professional, who will check the structural integrity of each home. If the inspection reveals any structural problems within a home, the contractor will make all the repairs required before raising it. Because fixing structural problems makes your home structurally sound again, house lifting projects often translate into much lower maintenance and repair costs for at least a few years after the elevation. Lower home maintenance and repair costs in addition to lower insurance premiums can save you a great deal of money in the long run.
If your Houston home was affected by a flood in the past, you know what a flood can do. To avoid all the hassle and costs of getting your home back in shape after a flood, get in touch with Allied Foundation today! Our friendly professionals can quickly and accurately estimate the cost of lifting your home based on some basic information and give you all the details you need in order to understand the house lifting process and make an informed decision.