Homeowners discover additional costs to renovate because of floo - WSMV News 4

Homeowners discover additional costs to renovate because of past flooding

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The bay window on Kevin Hartley's house was at ground level before he had to raise it seven feet to make renovations to the home. (WSMV) The bay window on Kevin Hartley's house was at ground level before he had to raise it seven feet to make renovations to the home. (WSMV)
  • Homeowners discover additional costs to renovate because of past floodingMore>>

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    If it rains for several hours, Rhiannon Chambers moves to higher ground, one of her neighbors’ houses. Chamber’s house on Ewingdale Drive in Nashville has flooded five times in the last 10 years.

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    If it rains for several hours, Rhiannon Chambers moves to higher ground, one of her neighbors’ houses. Chamber’s house on Ewingdale Drive in Nashville has flooded five times in the last 10 years.

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Renovating a house always seems to cost more and take longer than expected.

One Nashville couple found an expensive surprise. They bought a house that flooded and then found out in order to renovate, they either would have to tear it down or raise it up.

If you were in Nashville in 2010, you would remember how the Cumberland River and its tributaries left the city underwater. Thousands of homes were flooded.

It’s still having an effect today.

If you buy a house and want to fix it up, maybe add a room. You apply for a building permit and find out it’s going to cost a lot.

“We raised it a little over seven feet and I’m six feet tall,” said Kevin Hartley.

Hartley showed where the floor used to be on his Green Hills house. The bottom of the bay window used to be flush against the ground.

He and his wife bought the house two years ago.

What homeowners might not realize is that if you want to renovate a house that’s in a flood-prone area, you may have to tear it down and start over or jack it up so it meets storm-water regulations.

“When they raised the house, they came in and put in all this new foundation,” said Hartley.

In order to get a building permit to renovate the home, they had to elevate their home seven feet.

Now they climb a flight of stairs to get to their first floor.

“You can get a good feel for how high we raised it when you walk in here,” said Hartley.

And it’s not cheap.

“The additional cost to raise it was somewhere between $35,000 and $40,000,” said Hartley.

The federal government has a program to help homeowners in flood-prone areas to pay the cost of elevating homes. You could get $30,000 through a program called Increased Cost of Compliance, or ICC.

However, there are two complications, you had to have flood insurance and you had to apply for the $30,000 within six years of the flood.

It’s too late to get money for damage from the May 2010 flood, and that cost the Hartleys an extra $30,000.

“It would have helped tremendously,” said Hartley.

The News4 I-Team has been trying to find out how many homeowners in Nashville got the $30,000 to raise their house.

Metro doesn’t keep those numbers because the money comes from the federal flood insurance program, not through the city.

Metro’s Stormwater Division writes letter to help homeowners qualify for the money.

The agency think they wrote about 20 or 30 letters, so not that many people took advantage of the free money.

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  • Homeowners discover additional costs to renovate because of past floodingMore>>

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