4.0 Deciding Which Method is Right for Your Home

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1 4.0 Decidig Which Method is Right for Your Home With the iformatio from Chapters 2 ad 3, you are ready to decide which retrofittig method is right for your home. Your decisio will be based primarily o hazards to your home, permit requiremets, the techical limitatios of the methods, ad cost. Other cosideratios might iclude such thigs as the appearace of the home after retrofittig ad ay icoveiece resultig from retrofittig. Makig a decisio ivolves four steps: The four steps are described i the ext sectio. I Appedix G, you will fid a retrofittig checklist that will help you work with local officials, desig professioals, ad retrofittig cotractors. The checklist icludes spaces where you ca record the results of Steps 1 ad 2, importat questios you should ask, ad decisio-makig matrices that will help you choose a retrofittig method. Before you go ay further, you may wat to make a copy of the checklist (see Appedix G) so that you ca begi fillig it out. HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING 4-1

2 4 DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME 4.1 Makig Your Decisio Step 1 Determie the Hazards to Your Home If you are usig this guide, your home has probably bee damaged by floodig or you kow that it is i a flood hazard area. Refer to Sectio 2.3 for descriptios of each of the hazards i the checklist. Iformatio about floodig ad other hazards i your area is available from local officials, as discussed later i Step 3. But if your home has bee flooded, review what you already kow. Look at the Step 1 sectio of the checklist. Aswer as may of the questios as you ca. Local officials, desig professioals, ad cotractors ca use the iformatio you provide, alog with the flood hazard iformatio developed by FEMA ad other agecies ad orgaizatios, to advise you about your retrofittig optios. You also eed to be aware of other hazards, such as high wids (Figure 4-1), earthquakes (Figure 4-2), fires, ladslides, ad tsuamis. If your home is i a area subject to oe or more of these hazards, your retrofittig project should take the additioal hazards ito accout. The foudatio may eed to be reiforced ad the coectios betwee the foudatio, walls, ad roof may eed to be stregtheed as part of the retrofittig project. Depedig o the ature of the hazards ad your choice of retrofittig methods, State ad local regulatios may require that additioal chages be made to your home, beyod those ecessary for flood protectio. Your local officials ca tell you if such requiremets apply ad ca give you more iformatio. Geeral iformatio for differet hazards ca be obtaied as follows: Wildlad fire: Wildlad fire risk iformatio is available from the U.S. Forest Service at fire/ Tsuami: Tsuami hazard maps are available from the NOAA Ceter for Tsuami Research at oaa.gov/time/resources/ NOTE The results of Steps 1 ad 2 will help your local official to advise you ad will also be useful whe you cosult a desig professioal or retrofittig cotractor. DEFINITION A tsuami is a large, rapidly movig sea wave or series of waves produced by a udersea earth movemet (earthquakes, crustal displacemets, or ladslides) or volcaic eruptio. NOTE The retrofittig checklist provided i Appedix G refereces Figure 4-1 ad Figure 4-2. If you are uable to iterpret these maps, local officials ad desig professioals will be able to help you. Exposure to hazards quatified i Figure 4-1 ad Figure 4-2 may limit the optios available to safely retrofit your home. WARNING If you are retrofittig a home that is beig Substatially Improved or has bee Substatially Damaged, your commuity s floodplai maagemet ordiace, regulatio, or provisios of the buildig code will ot allow you to have a basemet, as defied by the NFIP, below the BFE. The NFIP regulatios defie a basemet as ay area of the buildig havig its floor subgrade o all sides. If your home has such a basemet, you will be required to fill it i as part of ay elevatio project. See Sectio for the NFIP defiitio of a basemet. 4-2 SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING

3 DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME 4 Ladslide: Ladslide risk iformatio is available from the U.S. Geologic Survey at gov/ Step 2 Ispect Your Home The discussio i Chapter 3 may have prompted you to begi thikig about your home, specifically how it is costructed ad the type of foudatio it has. Before you check with your local officials or cosult a desig professioal ad cotractor, you should ispect your home ad fill out the sectio of the checklist for Step 2. Four characteristics of your home that are particularly importat i retrofittig are costructio type, foudatio type, lowest floor elevatio, ad coditio. (Whe you fill out the portio of the checklist cocerig costructio ad foudatio type, you may wat to refer to the descriptios i Chapter 3.) Costructio Type As explaied i Chapter 3, the costructio type for most homes will be frame, masory veeer, masory, modular, maufactured, or a combiatio of two or more of these types. The followig geeralizatios ca be made about the effect of costructio type o retrofittig: The most appropriate elevatio techique for frame homes ad maufactured homes usually is to elevate o exteded foudatio walls or ope foudatios. Masory homes are frequetly elevated by extedig the walls of the home upward ad raisig the lowest floor or by abadoig the lowest floor ad movig the livig area to a existig or ew upper floor. Frame homes, masory veeer homes, ad maufactured homes are easier to relocate tha masory homes. Masory ad masory veeer homes are usually easier to dry floodproof tha other types of homes, because masory is a more flood damage-resistat material tha the materials used i frame homes. Foudatio Type As explaied i Chapter 3, most homes of the costructio types listed above are built o a basemet, crawlspace, slab-o-grade, or ope foudatio or o a combiatio of two or more of these types. The followig geeralizatios ca be made about the effect of foudatio type o retrofittig: Homes o basemet or crawlspace foudatios are easier to elevate tha slab-o-grade homes. Elevatig homes o basemet foudatios ormally ivolves elevatig or relocatig utility system compoets typically foud i basemets, such as furaces ad hot water heaters. Homes o basemet foudatios should ot be dry floodproofed or protected by levees or floodwalls uless a egieerig evaluatio coducted by a desig professioal shows that it is safe to do so. This precautio is ecessary because either dry floodproofig or the costructio of levees or floodwalls prevets saturated soils from pressig o basemet walls. This pressure, which is uequalized because water is ot allowed to eter the basemet, ca damage basemet walls or eve cause them to fail. For some homes o basemet foudatios, a egieerig evaluatio is a ecessary part of a wet floodproofig project. If the home is i a area where saturated soils begi to press o basemet walls before water eters the basemet, the uequalized pressure may damage walls or cause them to fail. If wet floodproofig is to be used i this situatio, the egieerig evaluatio must show that the basemet walls ca resist the expected pressure. HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING 4-3

4 4 DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME Figure 4-1. Peak gust wid speeds i the Uited States. Source: Miimum Desig Loads for Buildigs ad Other Structures, ASCE/SEI Used with permissio from ASCE. 4-4 SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING

5 DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME 4 Figure 4-1 cotiued. Peak gust wid speeds i the Uited States. Source: Miimum Desig Loads for Buildigs ad Other Structures, ASCE/SEI Used with permissio from ASCE. HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING 4-5

6 4 DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME Figure 4-2. Seismic Desig Categories Map of the Uited States for low-rise Occupacy Category I ad II structures located o sites with average alluvial soil coditios. Map prepared by U.S. Geological Survey i collaboratio with the Federal Emergecy Maagemet Agecy (FEMA)-fuded Buildig Seismic Safety Coucil s (BSSC) Code Resource Support Committee (CRSC). 4-6 SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING

7 DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME 4 Figure 4-2 cotiued. Seismic Desig Categories Map of the Uited States for low-rise Occupacy Category I ad II structures located o sites with average alluvial soil coditios. Map prepared by U.S. Geological Survey i collaboratio with the Federal Emergecy Maagemet Agecy (FEMA)-fuded Buildig Seismic Safety Coucil s (BSSC) Code Resource Support Committee (CRSC). HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING 4-7

8 4 DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME Figure 4-2 cotiued. Seismic Desig Categories Map of the Uited States for low-rise Occupacy Category I ad II structures located o sites with average alluvial soil coditios. Map prepared by U.S. Geological Survey i collaboratio with the Federal Emergecy Maagemet Agecy (FEMA)-fuded Buildig Seismic Safety Coucil s (BSSC) Code Resource Support Committee (CRSC). 4-8 SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING

9 Lowest Floor Elevatio DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME 4 As oted i Chapter 3, the lowest floor of your home, as defied by your commuity s floodplai maagemet ordiace, regulatio, or provisios of the buildig code, is ot ecessarily the first or fiished floor. For example, the lowest floor could be the floor of a basemet or the floor of a attached garage. As show i Figure 4-3, the locatio of your lowest floor ca vary with foudatio type. For homes that are to be elevated, wet floodproofed, or dry floodproofed, the differece betwee the elevatio of the lowest floor ad the DFE determies how high the home must be elevated or how high the wet or dry floodproofig protectio must reach. I geeral, as the differece betwee the lowest floor elevatio ad the DFE icreases, so does the cost of elevatig, wet floodproofig, or dry floodproofig. This differece is particularly sigificat for dry floodproofig. As oted i Chapter 3, eve masory walls should ot be dry floodproofed higher tha 3 feet uless a structural evaluatio by a desig professioal shows that it is safe to do so. The elevatio of your lowest floor ca be established by a survey, which may be ecessary as part of your retrofittig project. But eve if you do ot kow your lowest floor elevatio, you ca estimate the differece betwee it ad the flood protectio elevatio. Your coversatios with your local officials, desig professioals, ad cotractors will help you determie the level of flood protectio you should provide. Remember, if your home is beig Substatially Improved or has bee Substatially Damaged accordig to your commuity s floodplai maagemet ordiace, regulatio, or provisios of the buildig code, your flood protectio elevatio must be at least equal to the DFE. As explaied i Step 3, your local officials ca tell you about this requiremet. Elevatio certificates are used to determie isurace premium rates uder the NFIP. If your commuity participates i the NFIP, it must obtai the as-built elevatio of the lowest floor for all ew or Substatially Improved structures i SFHAs. Your commuity may use FEMA s elevatio certificates to keep track of lowest floor elevatios for all of the ew ad Substatially Improved structures i flood zoes. Commuities that participate i the NFIP CRS are required to obtai ad maitai elevatio certificates. If a elevatio certificate already exists for your home, it will provide iformatio about your specific property, icludig: Property iformatio, icludig address, buildig use, ad foudatio iformatio FIRM iformatio, icludig pael umber ad BFE Buildig elevatio iformatio determied by a survey Certificatio by a egieer, architect, or surveyor Photographs of the buildig NOTE Occasioally, a small area is iadvertetly show to be withi the SFHA o a FIRM, eve though the groud is at or above the BFE. If this occurs, a idividual property ower may submit survey iformatio to FEMA ad request that FEMA issue a documet that officially removes a property from the SFHA, called a Letter of Map Amedmet (LOMA). Elevatio certificates must be completed by a lad surveyor, egieer, or architect who is licesed i your State to perform surveys. Istructios o completig the elevatio certificate ad the form itself may be foud o the FEMA Web site at HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING 4-9

10 4 DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME Figure 4-3. Differece betwee flood level ad lowest floor i homes o crawlspace ad basemet foudatios. Coditio Your desig professioal or cotractor should coduct a detailed ispectio of your home before begiig ay retrofittig work. You ca help by first coductig your ow assessmet of the coditio of your home ad recordig ay iformatio you have about past or curret damage. This iformatio may also be helpful to commuity officials who advise you about floodplai maagemet ad buildig code requiremets ad appropriate retrofittig methods. If your home has bee damaged by a flood, hurricae or other high-wid evet, earthquake, fire, or other disaster, make a ote of the extet of the damage, whe it occurred, ad whether it was repaired (the checklist provided i Appedix G ca be used to list these damages). If repairs were made, make a ote of who made them ad describe what was doe. Ay structural damage ad repairs to walls, floors, foudatios, ad roofs is particularly importat. You should also describe ay damage resultig from other causes, such as foudatio settlemet, dry rot, ad termite damage. Your goal is to give your desig professioal ad cotractor as much iformatio as possible so that they ca determie how the coditio of your home will affect your choice of a retrofittig method. Other Cosideratios I additio to costructio type, foudatio type, lowest floor elevatio, ad coditio, you should make ote of iterior ad exterior service equipmet that must be protected as part of NOTE A historic property is a resource (i.e., buildig, structure, site, object, or district) that is listed i or eligible for listig i the Natioal Register of Historic Places or listed i a State or local ivetory of historic places. For more iformatio, visit your State s SHPO Web site (see Appedix E) SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING

11 DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME 4 your retrofittig project. Iterior service equipmet must be protected if you elevate or wet floodproof your home. This equipmet icludes furaces, heatig ad air coditioig ductwork, hot water heaters, large appliaces, ad electrical system compoets, such as service paels, outlets, ad switches. Exterior service equipmet must be protected if you elevate, wet floodproof, or dry floodproof ad, i some situatios, if you build a levee or floodwall. This equipmet icludes air coditioig ad heat pump compressors ad electric ad gas meters. NOTE Elevatio of electric ad gas meters is typically cotrolled by the utility compay. I a home that is dry floodproofed, all opeigs below the DFE should be sealed. These opeigs may iclude doors ad widows as well as opeigs for water pipes, gas ad electric lies, dryer vets, ad sump pump discharge pipes. I a home that is wet floodproofed, dry floodproofed, or protected by a levee or floodwall, backflow valves must be istalled o all water ad sewer lies with opeigs below the DFE. These valves prevet floodwaters ad wastewaters from backig up ito your home. Chapter 9 describes how to protect iterior ad exterior service equipmet Step 3 Check with Your Local Officials This is a particularly importat step. While you ca obtai iformatio from your FIS ad your FIRM olie (Chapter 2 discusses how to obtai FIRMs olie), your local officials ca help you to iterpret that iformatio. They will have hard copies of the FIS ad FIRM published for your commuity by FEMA. Your officials will be able to tell you whether your home is i your commuity s regulatory floodplai ad, if so, the BFE at the locatio of your home. They may also have iformatio about flood coditios ear your home, icludig flow velocity, the potetial for wave actio ad debris flow, rates of rise ad fall, warig time, ad duratio of iudatio. Local officials will iform you of Federal, State, ad local regulatios, codes, ad other requiremets that ca determie what retrofittig methods you will be allowed to use ad how chages ca be made to your home. They ca also tell you about Federal, State, ad local programs that provide fiacial assistace for homeower retrofittig projects, ad they ca help you determie whether you are eligible for such assistace. With the iformatio you recorded i Steps 1 ad 2, local officials may also be able to advise you about the most appropriate retrofittig method for your home. The officials you eed to talk to will deped o how your commuity has assiged resposibilities for floodplai maagemet ad costructio permittig. If you do ot kow who has these resposibilities i your commuity, you should begi with a official such as a city clerk, mayor, or couty admiistrator. NOTE Be sure to ask local officials about State or local freeboard requiremets that may apply to your retrofittig project. NOTE I additio to meetig the miimum requiremets laid out i your local floodplai ordiace, ay retrofit activities should comply with the curret buildig code. Talk to your desig professioal about applicable codes ad stadards. Remember that if your property is idividually historic, potetially historic, or withi the boudaries of a historic district ad you are receivig Federal fiacial assistace for your retrofittig project, the Federal agecy HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING 4-11

12 4 DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME providig the assistace must first satisfy Federal historic preservatio compliace requiremets. Your local officials may ot be aware of these requiremets if they do ot ormally deal with federally assisted projects. Should historic preservatio compliace be triggered, the Federal agecy will eed to cosult with your SHPO. Remember that ay compliace review must be completed before retrofittig work is iitiated or the Federal assistace could be jeopardized. Whe you talk to your local officials, be sure to do the followig: Brig this guide with you. Brig your completed retrofittig checklist. Discuss what you already kow about your home ad the hazards that affect it. Work through the poits listed i the sectio of the checklist for Step 3. Ask ay other questios you may have. Work through the decisio-makig matrix provided i Sectio 4.2 with the official. Use the matrix that applies to your situatio: Substatial Improvemet / Substatial Damage or NOT Substatial Improvemet / NOT Substatial Damage. Take otes about everythig you discuss. Remember that your goal is to fid out what you ca legally do to retrofit your home, idetify the requiremets you must comply with throughout the retrofittig process, ad elimiate retrofittig methods that caot be applied to your home or do ot meet your eeds. You may fid that the restrictios ad requiremets of Federal, State, ad local regulatios will elimiate some retrofittig methods from cosideratio. Ultimately, your decisio will be based o techical limitatios of the methods, cost, ad other cosideratios, such as the effect that retrofittig will have o the appearace of your home. The decisio-makig matrices will help guide you through this process. Your ext step, whether you have chose oe method or are cosiderig two or more, is to cosult a properly licesed, boded, ad isured desig professioal ad retrofittig cotractor Step 4 Cosult a Desig Professioal ad Retrofittig Cotractor To complete this step, you will eed to kow what types of services are required for your retrofittig project ad how to evaluate ad select desig professioals ad cotractors. You will probably eed the services of a cotractor regardless of the retrofittig method you select. The type of cotractor you hire will deped o the method. You will likely also eed to cosult a desig professioal, such as a architect or a structural egieer. Alteratively, you ca hire a geeral cotractor who will arrage for all the ecessary services, icludig those of a desig professioal. Table 4-1 shows the types of desig professioals ad cotractors that may be required for each of the retrofittig methods. Kowig the types of services required for your retrofittig project is importat, but so is hirig a reputable ad competet desig professioal ad cotractor SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING

13 Table 4-1. Requiremets for Desig Professioal ad Cotractor Services Method Need for Desig Professioal ad/or Cotractor DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME 4 Primary Services Elevatio Desig Professioal Evaluatig the coditio, stability, ad stregth of the existig foudatio to determie whether it ca support the icreased load of the elevated home, icludig ay wid ad seismic loads, or desigig a ew foudatio Wet Floodproofig Cotractor: Home Elevatio Cotractor Desig Professioal Cotractor: Geeral Costructio Cotractor Discoectig utilities, jackig the home up, icreasig the height of the foudatio or buildig a ew foudatio, ad coectig utilities Desigig ay ecessary replacemets of vulerable structural materials ad relocated utility systems Replacig vulerable structural ad fiish materials below the DFE with flood damage-resistat materials, raisig utilities ad appliaces to a locatio above the DFE, ad istallig opeigs required to allow the etry of floodwaters Relocatio Desig Professioal Desigig ay ew buildig, foudatio, ad site improvemets that may be required, such as ew utility systems Dry Floodproofig Levees ad Floodwalls Mitigatio Recostructio DFE = desig flood elevatio Cotractor: Home Movig Cotractor Cotractor: Geeral Costructio Cotractor Desig Professioal Cotractor: Geeral Costructio Cotractor Desig Professioal Cotractor: Geeral Costructio Cotractor Desig Professioal Cotractor: Demolitio Cotractor Cotractor: Geeral Costructio Cotractor Jackig the home up, movig it to the ew site, ad istallig it o the ew foudatio Preparig the ew site (icludig gradig, foudatio costructio, ad utilities) ad restoratio of the old site (icludig demolitio) For masory walls to be dry floodproofed, evaluatig the coditio, stability, ad stregth of the existig walls to verify whether they ca withstad the pressure from floodwaters at the DFE; desigig or selectig flood shields for doors or other opeigs Applyig waterproof sealats ad membraes, istallig flood shields over opeigs below the DFE, istallig backflow valves i sewer ad water lies, ad, if ecessary, bracig or modifyig walls so that they ca withstad the pressure from floodwaters at the DFE Assessig the adequacy of soils at the site, preparig the egieerig desig to esure that the levee or floodwall, icludig ay closures required, will be structurally stable uder the expected flood loads ad will be able to resist erosio, scour, ad seepage Costructig the levee or floodwall Desigig ay ew buildig, foudatio, ad site improvemets that may be required, such as ew utility systems Discoectig ad cappig utility lies, tearig dow the damaged home, haulig away debris, ad restoratio of the site Buildig the ew home o the restored site or ew site; this cotractor may also be able to do all demolitio work HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING 4-13

14 4 DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME If you have used a licesed desig professioal ad a licesed cotractor i the past ad were satisfied with the work, you might cosider usig them agai. Eve if they do ot provide the types of services you ow eed, they may be able to recommed someoe who ca. Otherwise, you ca search olie or cotact the professioal associatio that represets the types of specialists you are lookig for. Appedix F cotais a list of the addresses ad telephoe umbers of several of these associatios. They ca usually give you a list of members i your area who specialize i the type of work you eed. Before you hire a desig professioal or a cotractor, check with your local Better Busiess Bureau, cosumer protectio agecy, or licesig authorities. These orgaizatios ca tell you whether there have bee ay complaits about the quality of the desig professioal s or cotractor s past work, icludig whether the work was completed o time. Next, you will eed to meet with the desig professioal ad cotractor to discuss your project. At the meetig, be sure you do the followig: Provide the iformatio you collected i Steps 1, 2, ad 3. Ask the questios listed o the retrofittig checklist located i Appedix G, as well as ay others you may have. Verify that the desig professioal is licesed ad registered i the State i which the work will be doe. Verify that the cotractor is licesed, boded, ad isured as required by State ad local laws. Ask for proof of isurace. If the desig professioal or cotractor does ot have disability ad worker s compesatio isurace, you may be liable for accidets that occur o your property. WARNING Areas recoverig from floods are ofte prime targets for less-thahoest busiess activities. Here are some poiters that ca help you avoid problems: Check with your local Better Busiess Bureau, cosumer protectio agecy, or licesig authorities before you hire a cotractor. Beware of special deals offered after a disaster by cotractors you do t kow. Beware of ukow cotractors who offer to use your home as a model home for their work. Do ot sig ay cotract uder pressure by a salesperso. Federal law requires a 3-day coolig-off period for usolicited door-to-door sales of more tha $25. Beware if you are asked to pay cash o the spot istead of with a check made out to the ame of a busiess. Ask cotractors for refereces. A reputable cotractor should be able to give you a list of past cliets i your area who ca commet o the quality of the cotractor s work. Ask for refereces. Reputable desig professioals ad cotractors should be willig to give you the ames of previous customers. Call some of them ad ask how satisfied they were with the work. Ask if they would hire the desig professioal or cotractor agai. If you are tryig to decide betwee two or more retrofittig methods, discuss your prefereces ad ask for more iformatio. Ay desig professioal or cotractor you hire will eed to coduct a site visit to ispect your home ad determie how the work should be carried out. Durig the site visit, you should expect your desig professioal or cotractor to assess the structural coditio of your home ad determie what chages will be required by the retrofittig method you choose. If you agree o a method ad decide to proceed with the project, be sure to do the followig: 4-14 SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING

15 DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME 4 Get a writte, siged, ad dated estimate. It should cover everythig you expect to be doe. (Some desig professioals ad cotractors will charge a fee to prepare the estimate.) Get siged ad stamped buildig plas that show details of the proposed retrofittig measure. Decide whether you, the desig professioal or cotractor will obtai the ecessary permits. Ask for a warraty or guaratee. Ay warraty or guaratee from the desig professioal or cotractor should be writte ito the cotract. The cotract should clearly state the terms of the warraty or guaratee, who is resposible for hoorig it (such as a maufacturer or the cotractor), ad how log it will remai valid. Get a writte cotract. It should be complete ad clearly state all work to be doe, the estimated cost, the paymet schedule, ad the expected start ad completio dates for the work. Note that, if a project is fuded by a FEMA HMA grat, startig costructio prior to FEMA s approval or award of the grat ca jeopardize grat fudig. 4.2 Decisio-Makig Matrices This sectio provides two matrices that ca help you decide which retrofittig method will best meet your eeds. If your home is either beig Substatially Improved or has bee Substatially Damaged, the NFIP regulatios limit your choice of retrofittig methods to elevatio, relocatio, or demolitio (Table 4-2). If your home is NOT beig Substatially Improved or has NOT bee Substatially Damaged, additioal retrofittig methods may be cosidered, such as dry floodproofig, wet floodproofig, ad costructio of levees or floodwalls (Table 4-3). You may require guidace while usig the matrix. Local officials, desig professioals, ad cotractors ca help you evaluate factors you are usure about, so take the matrix with you whe meetig with them. This will be helpful to determie which methods are cost prohibitive or are ot techically feasible. After you have idetified the appropriate matrix to use, idetify ay methods elimiated by regulatios, ordiaces, or laws established by State or other agecies ad orgaizatios. Also, you may have already decided that oe or more methods will ot meet your eeds. Mark each elimiated method by placig a X i the box directly below the ame of the method (o the lie labeled Prohibited by Federal, State, or Local Regulatios or Elimiated by Homeower ). A X i this row meas that the method is elimiated ad will ot be cosidered further. The ext step is to evaluate the remaiig methods. Your evaluatio will be based o the factors listed o the left had side of the matrix. The factors are explaied below. For each evaluatio factor uder each method, discuss your cocers with your local official, desig professioal, ad cotractor. If your cocers caot be resolved, place a X i the appropriate box. After you have worked through the etire matrix, add the umber of Xs uder each method ad show the sum o the Total Xs lie. Remember, each X is based o your prefereces ad the iput of local officials, desig professioals, ad cotractors. So, although ot all factors are equally critical, the method with the lowest total Xs will probably best meet your eeds Evaluatio Factors Federal, State, ad Local Restrictios Federal, State, ad local regulatios may restrict the homeower s choice of retrofittig measures. Such regulatios may iclude State ad local buildig codes, floodplai maagemet ordiace, regulatio, or provisios of the buildig code, zoig ordiaces, Federal regulatios cocerig the alteratio of buildigs classified as historic structures, deed restrictios, ad the coveats of homeowers HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING 4-15

16 4 DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME associatios. The homeower ad the homeower s desig professioal or cotractor should check with commuity officials to determie whether ay such restrictios apply. Appearace The fial appearace of a home ad property after retrofittig will deped largely o the retrofittig method used ad the DFE. For example, elevatig a home several feet will chage its appearace much more tha elevatig oly 1 or 2 feet, ad wet floodproofig will chage its appearace very little. However, a chage i appearace will ot ecessarily be a chage for the worse (see photographs i Chapter 3). The homeower should discuss the potetial effects of each method with local officials ad with the desig professioal or cotractor. Cost The cost of retrofittig will deped largely o the retrofittig method used ad the flood protectio elevatio. For some methods, the costructio type (frame, masory, etc.) ad foudatio type (crawlspace, slab, etc.) will also affect the cost. I geeral, costs will icrease as the flood protectio elevatio icreases, but there may be tradeoffs betwee alterative methods. For example, elevatig may be less expesive tha relocatig whe a home is raised oly 1 or 2 feet, but may become more expesive at greater heights. Other costs iclude those for both routie ad log-term maiteace ad isurace premiums. Addig additioal freeboard to a elevatio project will geerally icrease the project s cost; however, the additioal freeboard may produce sigificat savigs o isurace premiums. The aual savigs o isurace premiums may quickly retur the ivestmet required to add freeboard. Accessibility Accessibility refers to how easy or difficult it is to routiely reach ad eter the home after the retrofittig project is completed. The retrofittig methods described i this guide affect accessibility i differet ways. For example, elevatig a home will usually require the additio of stairs, which may be uacceptable to some homeowers. I these cases, homeowers may have to cosider istallig small elevators or usig a etirely differet retrofit method. Levees ad floodwalls ca make access more difficult uless they are equipped with opeigs, which require huma itervetio (see below). Wet floodproofig will have little if ay effect o accessibility. Dry floodproofig opeigs ca be very expesive; ofte poits of access are sealed off to cotrol project costs. The effect of relocatio o accessibility will deped o the locatio ad cofiguratio of the ew site. Code-Required Upgrades State ad local regulatios may require that a retrofitted home be upgraded to meet curret code requiremets that were ot i effect whe the home was built. Portios of the electrical, plumbig, ad HVAC systems could be affected. For example, the electrical pael might have to be upgraded from fuses to circuit breakers. These chages are required for the safety of the homeower. Other code-required upgrades iclude those for icreased eergy efficiecy. Ay required upgrade ca add to the scope ad cost of the retrofittig project. The homeower ad the homeower s desig professioal or cotractor should check with commuity officials to determie whether such regulatios apply. Huma Itervetio For retrofittig methods that require huma itervetio, homeowers must be willig, able, ad prepared to take the ecessary actio, such as operatig a closure mechaism i a floodwall or placig flood barriers across the doors of a dry floodproofed home. Also, the homeower must always have adequate warig of a comig flood ad must be at home or ear eough to be able to reach the home ad take the ecessary actio before floodwaters arrive. If these coditios caot be met, retrofittig methods that require huma itervetio should be elimiated from cosideratio SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING

17 4.2.2 Substatial Improvemet / Substatial Damage Matrix DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME 4 Table 4-2. Retrofittig Methods for Substatially Improved or Substatially Damaged Homes Retrofittig Methods Substatially Improved or Substatially Damaged Homes Elevatio 1 Evaluatio Factors Elevatio o Exteded Foudatio Walls Elevatio o Ope Foudatio New Livig Area over Abadoed First Floor Relocatio Demolitio Prohibited by Federal, State, or Local Regulatios or Elimiated by Homeower Appearace Cost Accessibility Code-Required Upgrades Huma Itervetio Other Total Xs 1 Note that if you elevate a Substatially Improved or Substatially Damaged home, you ca still wet floodproof a eclosed area uder the home below the BFE, provided that: (1) the area is oly used for parkig, buildig access, ad storage, (2) the area is desiged to allow for automatic etry ad exit of flood waters through the use of opeigs, ad (3) the area is costructed with flood damage-resistat materials. HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING 4-17

18 4 DECIDING WHICH METHOD IF RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME NOT Substatial Improvemet / NOT Substatial Damage Matrix Table 4-3. Retrofittig Methods for Homes That are NOT Substatially Improved or Damaged Retrofittig Methods for Homes NOT Substatially Improved or Substatially Damaged Elevatio Evaluatio Factors Elevatio o Exteded Foudatio Walls Elevatio o Ope Foudatio New Livig Area over Abadoed First Floor Relocatio Dry Wet Floodproofig Floodproofig Levees or Floodwalls Demolitio Prohibited by Federal, State, or Local Regulatios or Elimiated by Homeower Appearace Cost Accessibility Code-Required Upgrades Huma Itervetio Other Total Xs 4-18 SIX WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING HOMEOWNER S GUIDE TO RETROFITTING

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