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Old 02-15-2013, 08:16 AM   #16
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How to Fill in Basement


FEMA confirmed last night that my house is going to be rated at the basement level; which is 7' below the new proposed floodplain in Zone A. They told me that if I don't fill my basement; my flood insurance will be at least $20,000 a year. So now I have to learn what is need to get my basement filled.

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Old 02-15-2013, 08:22 AM   #17
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How to Fill in Basement


I'd be tempted to lay a floor down over the entrance to the basement and board up the windows and fill the wells so it looks like the basement is gone. Then after the inspection open it all up again but never make a claim for anything in the basement.

Or I'd move.

It would seem the cost of filling the basement and relocating all the mechanicals would probably cost as much as a few years insurance, at the price you stated.

When we built our house we had to remove some bad soil. They used 3" stone to fill it back up because it was cheaper than any other fill and stays put. But to fill a basement through a window would require a lot of labor. Speaking of that, how can they expect you to completely fill the basement without lifting the house? That last foot or so would be almost impossible to fill.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:03 PM   #18
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How to Fill in Basement


Selling is not a option. I live in Union Beach, NJ; one of the towns that got hid very hard by Hurricane Sandy. Yes; I got very lucky that my house is dry. They have already tore down 3 houses on my block already. Nobody want to buy property in my town; unless you sell really cheap.
It's going to be a wait and see if our government can help.

I think that the flood insurance will do a thorough inspection; so we can't trick them. I am going to have to start pricing it out; even though I know I can't afford. I am so scared and confused what awaits us. There is a lot of people in the same situation!

Who do I need to call to get an estimate?
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:37 AM   #19
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How to Fill in Basement


Does anyone in your area have a system like this: http://www.excaveyor.com/ ? I have seen it in action, perfect to get fill into a basement. Its often used when excavating a new basement under an existing house here.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:54 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by jlarnai View Post
Who do I need to call to get an estimate?
The contractor that arranged for the 3" stone fill was the concrete guy. So you might start there. An excavator would be next on my list. Then a general contractor. You might hear talk about raising the house. I'd ask whoever will be inspecting the house if you fill to an area where no human can crawl, would that be enough?

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It doesn't matter if it is finished or empty. FEMA said that since you have a basement; it could fill again with water and cause problems with the entire house.
What I'm trying to wrap my head around is the logic of that comment. Let's say you completely empty your basement and seal the interior foundation wall to the same code standards as the exterior and concrete up the windows, just as if you were filling it in.

If the basement fills with water and all electrical panels and devices are above the 7' mark, and all HVAC equipment, ducts and other equipment are above 7' (which you have to do regardless), what problems could happen that wouldn't happen if you filled it?

The water would equalize the outside pressure, so the walls won't cave in. Support columns would be affected similarly, with or without the fill, and if they are metal, you'll probably have to encase them in concrete anyway.

The concrete sealant would protect the inside walls, just like it does the exterior walls. All electric would be out of the way. Plumbing pipes that are below 7' wouldn't be affected. Submersible sumps, that keep the basement dry in normal circumstances, wouldn't be affected, as long as you have long cords on the pumps and no extension cords.

So I'm wondering how simply emptying the basement and getting anything susceptible to being submerged safely out of harms way could "cause problems with the entire house." What am I missing?

Considering the financial hit victims have taken from this disaster, it would seem our government could allow this instead of causing homeowners to spend thousands more dollars, all out of pocket. And if the homeowner re-occupies the basement, they are on their own for the contents.

Maybe it's time to gather up similarly affected homeowners and have a talk with the Gov. If he won't listen, the media sure will, especially if you have a structural engineer backing you up.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:30 PM   #21
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How to Fill in Basement


I have the same issue with FEMA where my basement is 7' and 4' of that is in the flood zone. I was told if I were to fill it that my flood insurance would go down drastically. I contacted two companies who specialized in basements and they told me that the pressure on the foundation walls would be too much if I were to fill it with either dirt or concrete. Both companies wanted to install drain tiles, a new sump pump and a base layer of concrete (for a mere $12,000). My basement is completely unfinished.....brick walls, gravel/dirt/ and some concrete floors. I do have a sump pump and that has saved me with the hurricanes that I have gone through. However, it seems like the water fills up very fast even if its just a small rain. I am still trying to figure out how to lower my insurance ....... so keep me updated with what you decide or any information you find out.

Amanda
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:19 AM   #22
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How to Fill in Basement


We are still waiting for the official word on if we can get our flood insurance lowered by just filling it in with 5' of fill or do we have to fill all 8' and raise the house. Nobody still knows!
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:15 PM   #23
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Do you have fire insurance? Just sayin'.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:42 PM   #24
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How to Fill in Basement


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Originally Posted by kay_kay_3233 View Post
I have the same issue with FEMA where my basement is 7' and 4' of that is in the flood zone. I was told if I were to fill it that my flood insurance would go down drastically. I contacted two companies who specialized in basements and they told me that the pressure on the foundation walls would be too much if I were to fill it with either dirt or concrete. Both companies wanted to install drain tiles, a new sump pump and a base layer of concrete (for a mere $12,000). My basement is completely unfinished.....brick walls, gravel/dirt/ and some concrete floors. I do have a sump pump and that has saved me with the hurricanes that I have gone through. However, it seems like the water fills up very fast even if its just a small rain. I am still trying to figure out how to lower my insurance ....... so keep me updated with what you decide or any information you find out.

Amanda
That doesn't make any sense to me, unless I'm mis-understanding something. If you current basement walls have unbalanced fill (dirt only on the outside) I have no idea how balancing the load between the two lateral forces could cause a basement to fail. As a matter of fact, we put balanced fill foundations in all the time, and they take far less re-enforcement than a full basment with un-balanced fill........
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:50 PM   #25
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How to Fill in Basement


I'd imagine the kind of fill put into the basement would make a big difference in the pressure against the wall, especially during a flooding situation.

As for unfilled there's the standing water health hazard problems, and mold to the structure above.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:30 PM   #26
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How to Fill in Basement


If you fill it with gravel till the ceiling is below the Ceiling height needed for code, Would it then be a crawl space?

Then you wouldn't have a basement anymore but a deep crawlspace.

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