Key Highlights

  • House lifting for waterfront real estate coming into its own due to climate change
  • Lifting  a house higher is one strategy to combat rising flood waters

House Lifting or House Moving to Higher Ground?

Basically, housing experts are looking at one of two strategies to help mitigate increasing flood risks.  One strategy is to move waterfront houses intact to higher ground. The other strategy is to move the waterfront house higher on its existing lot.

House “lifting,” or making the house higher has been around for a long time but now, according to Mike Brovont with Wolf House and Building Movers, “The more that things flood, the more there’s going to be a need for (house lifting).”

More Than 240,000 Homes At Risk of Flooding by 2050

According to Climate Central, considered to be a one-stop shop for the latest scientific research and coverage of climate change, more than 240,000 homes are expected to be at risk of major flooding by 2050.

States most at risk of seeing at least one major flood per year by 2050 include:

  • New Jersey – 74,000 homes
  • Florida – 57,865
  • California – 36,845
  • Louisiana – 33,372
  • North Carolina – 33,334

Flooding Hot Spots

Brovont points to areas such as Houston, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi as recurring flooding hot spots.  Brovont said, “Of course, New Jersey and Connecticut shorelines are always susceptible to that as well.  And then you get those high tides, what they call king tides in some areas.  You get that combined with a storm coming in, and that can just do tremendous damage.”

Water Damage Increasing in Frequency and Intensity

In 2020, there were 22 billion-dollar weather/climate disasters nationwide, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, that included a record 30 named hurricanes of which a record 12 made landfall.  These 22 billion-dollar climate disasters cost the country a combined $95B in damages.

Costs and Risks of House Lifting

The cost of lifting a house can run anywhere from $10,000 for a small house to +$1M for a large, historic building.

The risk of house lifting has come down dramatically over the years.  Today, lifting a house is a slow, careful, almost delicate process.  Brovont said, “Now, really, most houses can be lifted without any expectation of damage. A lot of times we can even lift them without any cracks in the drywall.”

Of course, homeowners assume the carrying costs of either a cargo or a rigger’s insurance that the house lifting company has.  That insurance covers the house for any damages that might be incurred by the house lifting company.

 

Thanks to CNBC.

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