How much will it cost to raise your house?
A co-worker just started to raise his Metairie house which was built on a slab. He's had a lot of problems with flooding over the years (1986(?), 1995, 2002(?), 2005). He decided to go with Cable Lock Foundation Repair. Cable Lock will drive a total of 52 interlocking cement pilings down 81 feet to hard clay -- those pilings set every eight feet underneath the slab (37 exterior, 15 interior).
The cost will be $42,000 for the first foot, and $9000 for every foot after that. He's going to raise the house to one foot above Base Flood Elevation (BFE) -- which is -3.5 feet. The house sits at -4.98 feet below sea level. He only has to go to the BFE (the 1984 standard), but he's going up to the historic level of flooding. Therefore, he'll be raising his house 2.5 feet. The total cost, then, comes to $56,000. He can get the $30,000 in Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) money from the National Flood Insurance Program. The rest is out of pocket, unless he can figure out how to be compensated. He didn't think Jefferson Parish would qualify for the mitigation grants that are going to Orleans Parish as part of a CDBG housing grant which Mayor Nagin has been saying would give homeowners an additional $15,000 to raise their houses.
An interesting aside is that the brothers who developed the cable lock system to raise houses went their separate ways years ago. The offshoot was Olshan Foundation Repair. Recently they re-merged (according to my co-worker). Why might they do that? Well, for one, they no longer have to compete against each other for contract bids. Pretty convenient, ey?
Advisory Base Flood Elevation presentation (pdf) (the Lambert Powerpoint presentation shown to the New Orleans City Council)
A Citizen's Guide To This Whole House Raising Thing, From Someone Who's Gone Through It (pdf)
Damned if you do, damned if you don't
Community Gumbo -- How high will New Orleans residents have to raise their homes? (podcast and pictures)