Sunday, August 7, 2016

Lift off! We have lift off!

This post is totally unrelated to sewing.  I have not been sewing the past few weeks.  My sewing mojo has been gone.  Kaput.  I have been completely absent from the blogosphere the past few weeks as well.  But there is good reason...my house is being elevated and I had to temporarily move to a new location!

I live in a neighborhood in Northern New Jersey which was severely impacted by several storms.  My house suffered extensive damage during a N'oreaster in 2007; Hurricane Irene in 2011; and finally, Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  It was a traumatic experience each time, with the next storm worse than the previous one.

A program became available in the State of New Jersey for homeowners who suffered extensive damage during Hurricane Sandy so I applied and was accepted to receive assistance in elevating my home.  I feel so lucky to have been accepted and am extremely grateful.  It is a project that is costing six figures and the state will not pay 100% of the cost but what we are receiving is very helpful.  My husband and I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.  We want to be out of harm's way; the flood insurance premiums will decrease dramatically and the value of our home will go up.  All good things worth the temporary hassles and headaches.

Elevating a house is quite a daunting task.  It takes about 4 to 6 to 8 months to elevate a house and you cannot live in the house while this work is being done so we had to pack up and move.

So here's the house as it currently sits in mid-air!  Amazing, isn't it?!!


Here you see one of the workers guiding an iron beam through sections of the partially demolished foundation which will go underneath the house to help support it:



This is what the house looks like underneath.  The house was lifted a few inches every hour using these giant hydraulic jacks (that's what I call them anyway).  Then wooden supports were built underneath the iron beams so as to support the house while it is suspended in air:


Side view of the house.  There used to be a covered deck here (boo hoo):


My house will no longer have a basement.  That underground cavity will be filled in to ground level.  I will then have the space in between the house and the ground that can be used for storage.  However, I would only store items that I would be able to bring up next time we are threatened with another dangerous storm. 

More to come...

32 comments:

  1. all I can say is wow!
    Wishing you the best...
    Chris

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    1. Thank you - I need all the good wishes I can get!

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  2. Very interesting. Being a home owner in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina we had the same issue. Many of the old houses and the new builds have that now bottom level as a garage area and a lot of people installed a dumbwaiter so things could be hauled upstairs. I am certain you will feel relieved once it's all done.

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    1. Oh yes, I can't wait to put this all behind me!

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  3. That first shot is amazing! Sounds like an awful lot of stress to go through, hoping it all happens professionally and quickly.

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    1. Thank you Barbara. I hope it goes quickly too.

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  4. Very interesting but also nerve wrecking, I suppose! In The Netherlands this procedure is sometimes used when homes are in the way of a large infrastructure project, mostly new roads or railways. Moving those houses 100 yards over is all it takes. Now I'm wondering where your house is going to be safe from the storm. Are you close to a waterfront and moving to a higher location? Or even to another city? Wishing you and your home a safe trip!

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    1. I have heard of houses being moved...very interesting. My house will not be moved anywhere. It is just being elevated so flood waters will not go into my living space. It is an experience that most definitely challenges you!

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    2. Oh! I completely misunderstood! Although most of our country is below sea level, flooding is a very rare event and never caused by storms. Storm damage here means fallen trees and roofs being blown away so I was thinking along those lines. Hope everything works out fine!

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  5. Wow! Having lived in Miami I can totally relate to your story. Hurricanes and acts of nature are impossible to stop, but we as human beings are very resilient. My house in Miami was near a canal and my biggest fear was flooding but we were lucky: we paid enormous amount of money to the insurance company and to the state of Florida and never used it! I hope you feel secure in your new heights and you sewing mojo comes back soon!

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    1. I am glad you never needed to use that insurance money!

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  6. That is really impressive Tomasa!! How many feet is your house being lifted?

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    1. It really is an amazing process. My house is being raised an additional 5 feet.

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  7. Wow! I've never seen that before. Very interesting; thanks for sharing. Hope you get settled again soon and get your sewjo back.

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    1. Thanks...I hope to get settled in my new temporary location soon and start sewing again but there is so much going on right now...eventually (I hope)!

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  8. No wonder your sewing mojo is gone. I can't imagine having my life turned upside down for months on end. Stay Jersey Strong!!!!!

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    1. Yes, you have described how I have been feeling - Thanks for the encouragement!

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  9. OMG I had no idea that could be made to happen! Hopefully all will get back to normal soon. Hugs from Portugal

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    1. Thank you Tany! I hope so too! Hugs from the U.S. :)

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  10. OMG I had no idea that could be made to happen! Hopefully all will get back to normal soon. Hugs from Portugal

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  11. Lifting a house?! my goodness that's amazing! That sort of thing is unheard where I live, where about 99% of houses are double brick!
    Anyway, I hope it all goes well and you're back home safe and sound very soon :)

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    1. Thank you Carolyn! I hope I will be back home sooner rather than later.

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  12. What a surprise! Thank you for sharing the photos. I hope that you enjoy sewing and get back soon!

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    1. Thank you Eli cat! I hope to get to sewing again soon.

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  13. Fascinating how you can just lift up a house like that over there! Ours are so stuck in the ground, that would never happen! What a upheaval for you but it will be worth it in the end. Good luck with everything x

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    1. Thank you Winter-Queen. I agree. It most definitely will be worth in in the end!

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  14. Good luck with the housing remodel !!
    PS I changed my blog name form onemoredayabovetheroses to maryellensews@blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you MaryEllen! Thanks for letting me know of your new blog name. I have updated it in my blog roll.

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  15. So understand this! We took on water for every storm except Sandy. So I added a battery to our sump pump so that even if we lose power the sump pump will still work. Recently all the neighbors flooded in a flash rainstorm and we didn't - thank goodness cause that's where the sewing cave is. I'm sure once it's done you will be thrilled when you don't have to worry about the next storm!

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    1. That was a good move on your part to add the battery to your sump pump. You simply cannot have any water in your sewing cave! Yes, I will definitely be thrilled and relieved.

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  16. Tomasa, it was great seeing you at MPB Day and a fun time getting to chat with you and the gang at dinner as well. When you mentioned you had moved out of your home, I thought you were getting some home renovations done like painting etc. But, OMGosh, this is really a major deal. I saw a documentary on all the damage these storms have created and the challenges that residents have had with all this. Wishing you all the best at getting this lift completed and done so you can move back into your home soon. I read your post about the pants fitting and found it really informative. Great, great
    info.

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    1. It was so nice to meet you too! What a fun time we all had. Yes, this whole experience has been a challenging one. Getting hit by a natural disaster makes you realize how helpless and vulnerable you are when facing Mother Nature's wrath. The immediate feelings afterwards (for me anyway) are feelings of both shock and numbness. But then putting a plan together as to what needs to be done always helped me deal with the situation. I do look forward to having this project completed and no longer worrying about floods so that's all good. Luckily, my sister bought a house that she is not ready to move into yet so we are living there. It's about a 40 minute car ride away but I'm not complaining. It's a spacious house in a beautiful neighborhood so I will enjoy it while I am there. Thanks for your encouragement. And I am glad you found my pants fitting post informative. All the best!

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