If your home is in a flood zone, raising it may be the most effective way to prevent future flood damage. However, it is not the only solution, and you will need to make a number of decisions through the process. Before you commit to raising your home, here are a few questions to consider:

1. Should you demolish and reconstruct or elevate your home?

The first question you need to consider is whether you should demolish your home and rebuild it or elevate it. The decision should be based on several factors including cost as well as your home's structural soundness, having been through floods before.

A house raising expert will need to look at your home to tell you if it is even a good candidate for raising, from a structural perspective. Keep in mind that even if the home doesn't seem structurally strong enough to withstand being raised, you may be able to avoid the cost of demolition and reconstruction by getting rid of your ground floor.

2. Would getting rid of your ground floor be financially advantageous to you?

If you opt to get rid of the ground floor, essentially, you waterproof the existing ground floor and remove everything. Then, you raise the roof, build another story under that and live in the upper floors of the home.

If you decide against reconfiguring the floors of your home and decide to simply raise your home, you will need to figure out how high you want your house to be raised.

3. How high should your raised house be?

Before you raise the house, you need to assess how high it needs to be. The Australian government has online search tools allowing homeowners and builders to assess the flood risk in various areas. Based on the info gleaned from these maps, homeowners can see what to expect from floods in upcoming years.

In most cases, homeowners want their houses above the base projected flood elevation. Having their home raised above the relevant level of potential flooding keeps their home safe, but it can also put the home into a windy zone.

4. Are there risks of raising your home that high?

Unfortunately, when you opt to raise your home, you don't just get reprieve from flooding. You also put your home more squarely in the path of the wind. Many of Australia's most damaging storms combine flooding and damaging wind, especially if you live in a cyclone-ridden area, and for this reason, you have to think about wind as well as water.

A skilled home raising expert is aware of these issues can can help you find the "perfect" height so your home is shielded from both water and intense winds, but you also need to consider how your home's elevation is going to affect your insurance rates.

When you raise your home, it typically lowers your flood insurance premiums. However, risks associated with wind may increase depending on how high you raise the home. Those increased threats may cause your homeowner's insurance to go up. Investigate all of these elements before you start the home raising project.

5. How will raising the home affect its long term value and use?

Raising your flood-zone house makes your property safer for you and your family, and it can add value to your home, helping to ensure you can resell the property when you wish to move.

In addition to value, you should consider how house raising may affect your long term enjoyment of the home. For example, if you want extra storage or parking spaces, raising your home can help you get those things.

On the other hand, if you plan to live in your home for as long as possible, you may want to think about how house raising may affect your ability to modify the home as you age. For example, if you add a wheelchair ramp to a raised home, it may have to be extremely long so it can reach the home's entrance without being too aggressively inclined.

Contact a house raising expert today so he or she can help you weigh the pros and cons and possible long term benefits of raising your home.