House Raising on Long Beach Island New Jersey

Raising Houses on LBI NJ

House Raising on Long Beach Island New Jersey

Hurricane Sandy and House Raising on Long Beach Island NJ

Hurricane Sandy, which impacted Long Beach Island NJ at the end of October 2012, created a very different environment for residents on Long Beach Island as well as those looking to buy or sell in the LBI real estate market. The damage caused by flooding, some of which was only a few inches of water inside a house, showed very clearly the advantage of having a house raised on pilings or block foundations. House Raising on Long Beach Island New Jersey, which prior to the storm was a rather obscure profession, suddenly was thrust into the forefront of many people’s minds. With this comes a lot of confusing regarding House Raising on Long Beach Island New Jersey and one must sort our the fact from the fiction about raising houses on LBI NJ and if it is the best choice for you.

Who Needs to Raise Their House on Long Beach Island NJ?

Let me begin by saying that not every house on Long Beach Island NJ needs to be raised. This, above all else, is perhaps the biggest falsity concerning House Raising on Long Beach Island New Jersey. FEMA has established a Base Flood Elevation or “BFE” for all properties on Long Beach Island. This is the level above sea level to which FEMA recommends a new house be built to or a house be elevated to should a major renovation take place. The BFE is computed by adding the natural elevation of the ground above sea level with the elevation of the structure. For example:

  • A house has a Base Flood Elevation (BFE) of 8 feet
  • The ground elevation is 5 feet above sea level
  • The house must be elevated 3 additional feet to meet FEMA’s requirement

A house needs to be raised (by order of the town and FEMA) only if a new construction is taking place or the if house was “substantially damaged”. A house is considered to be “substantially damaged” only when the costs of repairs exceed 49% of the replacement value of the structure. There are in fact many locations on LBI where the ground elevation is already at Base Flood Elevation and therefore no additional elevation would be required to meet FEMA’s minimum standard. This of course deals only with the requirement minimum. There is an inherent advantage to a house that is raised up as it will be safer in future storms and flood insurance will be less expensive. My goal thus far is simply to point out that House Raising on Long Beach Island New Jersey is not a requirement to obtain flood insurance and is not a necessity for all homeowners on LBI New Jersey.

The Process of Raising a House on LBI NJ

If you are required to raise your house or you decide the costs are worth the added piece of mind, it is important to understand the process of raising a house on LBI NJ. Among the items needed to get started you will need the following:

  • An engineering report on the structural soundness of the house
  • A soil test to determine if the house will be raised on blocks or pilings
  • A survey and flood elevation certificate
  • Disconnection letters from the utility companies

Most of the homes that are being raised on Long Beach Island are the 1950’s era Cape Cod homes. These are traditionally built on a block foundation. If the house being raised is located in an A Flood Zone than the block foundation is still permitted. If the house is located in a V Flood Zone than the building requirements are different and a breakaway wall system is needed. There are cases where even in an A Flood Zone pilings will be required as sometimes the soil cannot support the additional block foundation. Once all the required items are collected, the house raising company will come in, elevated the house, install the additional foundation and then rest the house on the new foundation. Afterwards, stairs and decks must be built for access to the house.

House Raising on Long Beach Island New Jersey and the LBI Real Estate Market

Homes that are raised have two impacts on the LBI real estate market on Long Beach Island. On the one hand, a raised home offers the obvious advantages of less expensive flood insurance and a higher (no pun intended) degree of security. On the other hand, a home that is raised will most likely lack an elevator (which many new constructions in the LBI real estate market now offer) so access may be difficult for the elderly or an individual with limited mobility. Secondly, a Cape Cod that has been raised, depending on the height of the elevation, may not be as visually pleasing which can make for a harder resale. If you are considering the purchase or sale or real estate in the LBI real estate market, it is important to consider both homes that have been raised as well as homes that have not been raised. As I mention above, some homes do not need to be raised so it is of the utmost importance to keep an open mind with looking to participate in a transaction in the Long Beach Island real estate market.  If you would like more information about House Raising on Long Beach Island New Jersey or about the Long Beach Island NJ real estate market, please do not hesitate to contact me, Nathan Colmer, and I will be happy to help! You can also CLICK HERE to search all homes for sale in the LBI real estate market!


Nathan Colmer | The Van Dyk Group

Cell: 609-290-4293 | Office: 800-222-0131 |

Click here to search all homes for sale in the Long Beach Island NJ real estate market

Related Articles:

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  • Building a Spec House in the LBI NJ Real Estate Market
  • Survey and Flood Elevation in the LBI Real Estate Market