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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    St. Augustine, Fl.
    Posts
    323

    Default Building a home in flood zone

    I would like to pick a few brains on a foundation for building myself a new home in a AE flood zone. Lot I'm buying is on Anastasia Island, which is just off St. Augustine, Fl. Right now I'm just in the getting ready to lay out a plan view, and figururing out the best and economical way to do the foundation.
    Thoughts so far are to go with a stem wall ( to about 14- 16" above grade ), w/ top course of hollow header block w/ solid pour fillled and then back fill, tamp, then concrete floor w/ some #4 and 6x6. Then block up the rest of first floor. With studed walls for the second floor ( which will be about half size of first floor.
    Any thoughts on this or better idea would be of help.Built my last 2 homes, but they were on high ground and conventional, and for last 30 years it's been trim and stairs.

    Roger
    The main idea is to be smarter than a piece of wood

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas 76109
    Posts
    303

    Default Re: Building a home in flood zone

    I can't help with your foundation. I don't know anything about your local conditions. The only thing that I have done on the coast was on Padre Island and we built on pilings with living area about 8' above finish grade
    .
    I am curious though.

    What is a AE flood zone?

    Are you saying that the first floor living area will be about 2' above finish grade?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    St. Augustine, Fl.
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: Building a home in flood zone

    The AE zone is a 1% yearly chance of flooding or also called the hundred year flood plain. The final elevation of the first floor is yet to be determened by a topograhy from the surveyor. But judging from the other homes on the surounding blocks, most have from 2-3 steps up to the first floor entry door. They either have raised foundation or a block up w/ vented crawl space.
    Roger
    The main idea is to be smarter than a piece of wood

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    DC Area
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Building a home in flood zone

    The Mitigation folks at FEMA have done a great job in developing guides for builders constructing in a coastal zone. The publications get the input of engineers, designers, community officials and builders in the process. I'd expect anybody looking at one will learn a thing or two.

    Here is a link to the FEMA library that returned the following pubs.

    http://www.fema.gov/library/resultRe...&sortOrder=asc

    Just like any other technical issue in construction, the most effective time to do anything is during the design and construction phase. Building for flooding and storms is no different.

    You might want to visit the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) to see what they have to say as well. They are at IBHS.org A bonus is that they have great footage of homes tested in their new test facility.

    The FEMA Distribution Center is at (800) 480-2520 (M-F: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. est)

    You can order by document number. Most are free.

    I particularly recommend the Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT) reports as they reflect the performance of existing buildings subjected to storm events.

    Coastal Construction Manual Brochure
    This brochure briefly explains that the Coastal Construction manual provides a comprehensive approach to sensible development in coastal areas based on guidance from over 200 experts in building science, coastal hazard mitigation, and building codes and regulatory requirements.
    Resource Type: Brochure
    FEMA Publication Numbers: FEMA 55
    Last Update Date: 02/29/2008 02:59 PM

    Home Builder's Guide to Coastal Construction
    FEMA produced this series of 37 fact sheets to provide technical guidance and recommendations concerning the construction of coastal residential buildings. The fact sheets present information aimed at improving the performance of buildings subject to flood and wind forces in coastal environments. Photographs and drawings illustrate National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulatory requirements, the proper siting of coastal buildings, and recommended design and construction practices for building components, including structural connections, the building envelope, and utilities.
    Resource Type: Document / Report
    FEMA Publication Numbers: FEMA P-499
    Last Update Date: 01/24/2011 05:50 PM

    Hurricane Ike in Texas and Louisiana
    In response to Hurricane Ike, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) deployed a Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT) to evaluate and assess damage from the hurricane and provide observations, conclusions, and recommendations on the performance of buildings and other structures impacted by wind and flood forces. The MAT included FEMA Headquarters and Regional Office engineers, representatives from other Federal agencies and academia, and experts from the design and construction industry. The conclusions and recommendations of this Report are intended to provide decision-makers with information and technical guidance that can be used to reduce future hurricane damage. A Power Point presentation and the document are supplied in PDF format.
    Resource Type: Document / Report
    FEMA Publication Numbers: FEMA P-757
    Last Update Date: 08/20/2010 08:50 AM

    Recommended Residential Construction for Coastal Areas
    Every storm has shown that, while good design and construction cannot completely eliminate risk, they can significantly reduce the risk to life and damage to property. This design manual provides recommended designs and guidance for rebuilding homes destroyed by hurricanes in the Gulf Coast. The manual also provides guidance in designing and building less vulnerable new homes that reduce the risk to life and property. To keep pace with developing codes and standards and to improve its guidance, FEMA is issuing this Second Edition of FEMA 550. The Second Edition of FEMA 550 contains a new foundation style Case H, which incorporates an elevated concrete beam for improved structural efficiency. The Second Edition of FEMA 550 has also been updated for consistency with the 2006 and 2009 editions of the IRC and IBC, and the 2005 Edition of ASCE 7 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures.
    Resource Type: Document / Report
    FEMA Publication Numbers: FEMA P-550 FEMA P-550 CD
    Last Update Date: 11/01/2010 10:25 AM

    Wind Retrofit Guide for Residential Buildings
    The purpose of this Guide is to provide guidance on how to improve the wind resistance of existing residential buildings in Mississippi and across the Gulf Coast. Although this Guide was developed to support initiatives in the Gulf Coast region, the content of this document should serve as guidance on retrofitting existing buildings for improved performance during high-wind events in all coastal regions.
    Resource Type: Document / Report
    FEMA Publication Numbers: FEMA P-804
    Last Update Date: 01/21/2011 07:10 AM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,103

    Default Re: Building a home in flood zone

    Make sure you confirm with the local jurisdiction what they expect.

    Lean BFE local requirements and check with the insurance company to confirm how the home's elevation will impact rates.

    One thing for sure you will do much better on piers or piles than on stem walls.
    Last edited by Bill Robinson; 04-01-2011 at 03:12 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    OrangeCounty California.
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: Building a home in flood zone

    You might want to check with your Building Department too about any possible limitations to building in a flood plain imposed by FEMA. Just went thru this with the city of Huntington Beach (surf city). I made up plans for a nice little addition and found out that
    FEMA has a say so in how much construction can be done and how much said construction can cost.

    Andy.
    Was a GC, doing drafting & design now.
    www.draftinginoc.com

  7. #7

    Default Re: Building a home in flood zone

    Many banks and lending institutions are afraid to lend money these days for new home construction, because of the economic downturn we are in. There are a lot of costs associated with building new homes or businesses and builders are the right person to suggest you the best possible ways in building your dream home.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Danbury area of western CT
    Posts
    4,441

    Default Re: Building a home in flood zone

    It's better to try and fail, than fail to try.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Meadow Vista, CA
    Posts
    2,162

    Default Re: Building a home in flood zone

    My traditional view is contrarian today but why not build somewhere else? There's are many good reasons the land is vacant.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Posts
    3,828

    Default Re: Building a home in flood zone

    Here are a couple of good reasons not to.

    One is a little league field the other a bunch of airplane hangars

    2008 in my area
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Mark Parlee
    BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
    EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
    Level one thermagrapher (Snell Training)
    www.thebuildingconsultant.com
    www.parleebuilders.com
    You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Meadow Vista, CA
    Posts
    2,162

    Default Re: Building a home in flood zone

    That's what I'm thinking.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Posts
    3,828

    Default Re: Building a home in flood zone

    I am in Iowa we had some of the worst flooding in the nation in 93 and again in 08.
    Entire neighborhoods were wiped out never to return

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjwcBAjOIGU
    Mark Parlee
    BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
    EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
    Level one thermagrapher (Snell Training)
    www.thebuildingconsultant.com
    www.parleebuilders.com
    You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    St. Augustine, Fl.
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: Building a home in flood zone

    Maybe there is some misunderstanding in what I'm talking about as far as flood zone AE. An AE zone is a 1% chance of flooding per year ,also what is generally called a 100 year floof plane. The upper half of Anastasia Island is not on the ocean, it is surrounded by a river, that dumps into the ocean, and there is barrier island ( ST. Park ) between it and ocean.
    Not being in a land locked valley with a river, any flooding would only be heavy steet flooding during heavy storm. Which would not last long, unless the polar caps melt and the ocean level rises . So it is mainly a matter of building to a cetain elevation, as among other things I'm in the center of island. It is also one of the only vacant lots avail., since it is a desireable area, and only vacant because 104 tear old man died and his house was in disrepair, and was torn down by family.
    In discusions with FEMA last week. They don't regulate the local building code, they make min. regulations, for city . So my next step is to contact ST. Augustine city building officials to find out the min. elevation for first floor, based on property topography.
    It might be mentioned , that local residents have not had flooding problems, and property is not on the outter coast , where property ( on coast ) is serious $$$$$$.
    The main idea is to be smarter than a piece of wood

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Posts
    3,828

    Default Re: Building a home in flood zone

    Roger

    What is the age of the last five homes built in this area?
    What types of foundations do they have and are they performing OK
    What is normally done in this area that yields success; almost the same as the last question.
    Are superior walls available in your area?
    http://www.superiorwalls.com/
    Mark Parlee
    BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
    EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
    Level one thermagrapher (Snell Training)
    www.thebuildingconsultant.com
    www.parleebuilders.com
    You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    St. Augustine, Fl.
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: Building a home in flood zone

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Parlee View Post
    Roger

    What is the age of the last five homes built in this area?
    What types of foundations do they have and are they performing OK
    What is normally done in this area that yields success; almost the same as the last question.
    Are superior walls available in your area?
    http://www.superiorwalls.com/
    Most homes are from the 40's to new. The island was developed sometime in the late 30's to 40's, when a bridge was put in from St. Augustine. Many of the newer are existing homes bought, then remodeled extensively, or the homes are bought then leveled to replace with new.
    My fiancee's home is 3 blockes away ( built 1950 ) , built on slab ( 6" above grade ), and she has not had a problem in the 20 some years she has lived there. Although the newer homes I see are with raised foundation w/ slab, or raised w/ crawl space. Raised 2-3 steps up to front door, which is why I figure city code now calls for X above a certain elevation.
    And as far as a high dollar, insulated tilt wall system goes. This is Florida, and although St. Augustine ( 150 miles from my current home ) is cooler, the frost depth is the top of the blades of grass a few mornings a year. Where a friggin cold morning is in the 40's, which goes to the 60's when the sun comes up, and you get to enjoy cutting the damn grass 10 months a year.

    Roger
    The main idea is to be smarter than a piece of wood

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