Rise above the BFE

Building higher could keep property from floodwater damage and may help save on certain flood insurance premiums. Elevating an existing property is also possible, even for slab foundations.

Depending on the type of foundation and other factors, this could be out of the price range for many homeowners. However, it could make a property more marketable.

Qualifying homeowners whose homes had repeatedly flooded were approved for grant monies after Hurricane Rita and Ike that made elevation possible.

Prices for elevating houses on piers can be more affordable than elevating houses on a foundation, according to Paul Kinser, PDK/EHL House Leveling. “The price to lift a house on piers can begin at around $1,500 and go to around $40,000,” Kinser said. “The degree of difficulty and other factors determine the cost.”

Torrential rains on Thursday, May 2, in the Lake Area, meant a rise in phone calls to the company. Homeowners wanted to find out about elevating their homes, one of the most common retrofitting methods for mitigating flood damage.

Elevating a house above the base flood elevation can involve lifting the home and building a new foundation, extending the existing foundation below or leaving the home in place and either building a new elevated floor system within the home or adding a new upper story and converting the ground level to a compliant enclosure.

Blaise St. Blanc, DeVillier House Movers and Leveling, said customers are surprised to find out that homes on slabs can be raised. These projects don’t happen overnight.

Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) are shown on FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). The BFE is the regulatory requirement for the elevation or floodproofing of structures.

In Calcasieu Parish, new houses are built one foot above the FEMA base flood elevation, the center line of the nearest public road adjacent or across from the proposed development location; or nearest upstream or downstream sewer manhole. (Some parishes or municipalities may require only 6 inches above the base flood elevation; others, 2 feet. This is called free boarding.

SportsPlus

Local News

Daily showers, thunderstorms expected over next week

Crime

BREAKING: Police investigating early morning homicide

Local News

Council defers vote on potential Ernest and W. Claude development

life

Somber moment in community as Sacred Heart High School Gym demolished

Local News

Comedian Bob Newhart, deadpan master of sitcoms and telephone monologues, dies at 94

Local News

Trump has given no official info about his medical care for days since an assassination attempt

Local News

Lake Charles Police Department to host free National Night Out community event

life

Cajun Music and Food Festival introduces inaugural accordion contest

Crime

7/18: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Business

BREAKING: Smoke from Calcasieu Refinery blamed on flare

Jim Gazzolo

Jim Gazzolo column: Goff ready to turn the page on 2023

Local News

Toddler dies after shooting himself in the face, sheriff says

McNeese Sports

Early work for Cowboys

Local News

WEATHER WATCH: Torrential downpours in forecast

life

Chicken Fest: See plenty of poultry in motion Saturday at West Cal Arena

Local News

Enterprise Boulevard project goal: Strengthen connection between north, south LC

Local News

PHOTO GALLERY: Victory Day at Cowboy Stadium

Local News

Victory Day: McNeese players create field of smiles for special needs fans

Local News

Multiple failures, multiple investigations: Unraveling the attempted assassination of Donald Trump

Crime

7/17: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

McNeese Sports

Fixer Upper

life

Library invites feedback on resident needs, library priorities

Local News

Speaker Johnson: ‘We will make American safe again’

life

PHOTO GALLERY: Summer Culinary Camp