Raising A House Above The Floodplain?

YES !!!

Many houses in Houston have been raised to avoid the flooding from future rainfall and hurricanes.
This house is located near Brays Bayou and flooded during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The house is built on a concrete slab foundation and it has been raised approximately 5 feet. A skirt will be built around the perimeter of the house to make it more attractive.

Is your home in the 100-year floodplain? Or the 500-year floodplain? Unfortunately for many Texas homeowners, the answer is yes. They have received a “double whammy” of bad news. First, most homeowners do not realize that the 100-year flood plain has grown dramatically over the past twenty or even ten years. Second, parts of south east Texas and Houston are sinking – subsidence caused by pumping out large quantities of underground water.

What Is Unique About A Dawson House Elevation ?


A single column of square concrete blocks is used by many foundation contractors for support after a house elevation.Photo of a column of concrete blocks used to support a house that has been elevated approximately five feet.

Other Foundation Contractors

Single column of 8 x 8 concrete blocks

Column Footprint / Surface Area – 64 square inches

Column Volume per block height – 512 cubic inches

Underground Support System: Pushed Piles

Weight Bearing Capacity: limited by pushed piles


Dawson Foundation Repair

Column of two 8 x 16 concrete blocks

Column Footprint / Surface Area – 256 square inches (4x larger)

Column Volume per block height – 2048 cubic inches (4x larger)

Underground Support System: Bell Bottom Piers

Weight Bearing Capacity: Very High (5 to 20 times greater than pushed piles)

Stronger and Safer in lateral strength at higher elevations


If you want QUALITY
(High Strength, High Stability)
then you have to ask for Dawson



But when I purchased my home it was NOT in the floodplain!

That is true for many homeowners, but now they ARE in the flood plain and now they ARE victims of floods and water damage. Prior to Hurricane Harvey in 2017 many flood plain maps were 25 years old or older.  Since that disaster various organizations have made much greater efforts to update their floodplain maps. Now many home owners are faced with:

  • Flood and water damage after every major storm
  • Inability to purchase home insurance
  • Unable to meet their mortgage commitments (due to lack of insurance)
  • Forced to abandon, sell or destroy their home

However, there may be a solution: raise the home high enough to avoid common flood waters. Some contractors can raise a home as high as necessary to meet all federal, state, and local requirements. Sometimes this means raising a home and its concrete slab foundation more than 8 feet off the ground.

This house was lifted over four feet after it was flooded by Brays Bayou in Houston.

An attractive skirt is build around the perimeter of the house to conceal the concrete support columns under the house.
After Dawson completed the lifting process an attractive stone skirt was built around the perimeter of this house.

After Houston experienced 3 major and historical 500 years floods in the 2015-2017 period, it became painfully obvious to homeowners, politicians, and home builders that the 100 and 500 year floodplain maps were obsolete and woefully inadequate. Any home that flooded during this time period, and there were tens of thousands, is at risk of flooding every year. Homes in near proximity to homes that flooded are AT RISK of flooding every year. In many cases federal flood insurance is not available and if it is then the cost is extraordinary.

The world has changed. Houston has changed. In 2017 everybody recognized that old floodplain maps and “base flood elevation” (BFE) numbers were unreliable. Therefore we prefer to err on the “safe side.” Our recommendations for homeowners are as follows, lift your house the HIGHER of either #1 or #2 below.

1) If your house has flooded previously then you should lift your house AT LEAST 2 feet above the highest water level in your house

2) Lift your house AT LEAST 2 feet above the Base Flood Elevation as stated by the city of Houston and FEMA survey

Other Quality Factors

Two other factors make Dawson Foundation Repair unique in the House Elevation industry. Both factors below provide a time-tested, proven, permanent solution for homes that reside in flood prone areas.

A unified jacking system keeps a house level during the lift process and thereby minimizes any damage to the house.
The operator is using the Unified Jacking System to keep the house level during the lifting process.
  1. When a house is raised into the air it must rest upon something. Prior to the house lift the slab was resting on the dirt. Our solution is to install Bell Bottom Piers (High Strength, High Stability, Permanent) around the perimeter of the house, which supports about 70% of the weight of the house. For the interior areas of the house Dawson uses either Bell Bottom Piers or their internally developed Driven Pile System. The net result is that the house will be resting primarily on Bell Bottom Piers, which have a foot or footprint that is much larger – 13 times larger – for stability in stable soils. In addition, Bell Bottom Piers can support MUCH larger weights than any other foundation system, between 5 to 20 times more weight than a simple pushed pile system. Click here to read more about Bell Bottom Piers.
  2. Dawson uses a Unified Jacking System to raise the house. All hydraulic jacks that are used to raise the house are controlled by a single operator. This results in a smooth, level lift to the final elevated level. A simultaneous lift by all hydraulic jacks maintains house integrity.

Dawson’s House Lifting Qualifications

  • 20 years lifting houses above the floodplain
  • 37 years lifting and leveling concrete slab foundations
  • 37 years lifting and leveling pier and beam foundations
  • member of Greater Houston Builders Association
  • member of International Association of Foundation Drilling
  • member of Houston Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Related Topics to House Raising / Lifting

Cost of Elevating A House Above The Floodplain
Slab Separation For House Elevation
Underground Support For House Elevation
Homeowner Flooding Problems in Their Words
FAQ and Terms
Resources For Flood Victims

1 thought on “Raising A House Above the Floodplain”

  1. Pingback: Six Months After The Hurricane Houston Is Elevating Its Homes | SproutNews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top