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Thread: Log Home in a Flood Zone

  1. #1

    Log Home in a Flood Zone

    I grew up in a tiny town, where titled land is rare due to indigenous land claims, and new homes are rarer. I moved away as a teen, but as I have just reached 30, I've been missing the town dearly, as well as the two story log home that I grew up in. It was a medium home, not huge - 3 bed 1 bath all upstairs, a kitchen and living room with a gigantic wood stove downstairs. It still sits where it did when I was a child, one of the most beautiful homes in the area, on some of the only titled land in the area. It is riverfront, looking out across the river to a gorgeous mountain that I used to watch the northern lights dance around out my bedroom window.

    All this to say, as I look at possibly starting my family, I want so badly to try to buy this home from the government board that owns it. I've been considering reaching out and offering to buy it this year. BUT I also remember 3 or 5 times in the spring melt, the river would flood and we would need to canoe out of our home and stay at the combined general store/motel for a week. One time, the water made it into the living room during the spring flood, and I remember Mom losing her mind about all the mud coating the inside of the house.

    This is where I need some expertise - is there anything I can do to save this home from future damage if I buy it? I don't think it can be totally moved with the infrastructure available in the town, but.... has anyone heard of an existing log home being raised up onto a platform or similar? The water is not very fast moving at all by the time it spreads out all the way to the house - the flood water never was fast enough near the house to carry trees, etc.

    Would a space frame support a log home? Pillars? Can a log home be raised a significant distance (1.5 - 2 Meters) as a whole, or is that just wishful thinking?

    I can upload some old 90s pictures of it if required!

  2. #2
    LHBA Member Shark's Avatar
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    If you talk to the right foundation guy, they can definitely jack up houses and build a new foundation under it to hold it higher than the water.

    How long has it been since anyone lived in it? Has it been maintained?

    Sounds nice

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  3. #3
    It's had folks renting it all along. Essentially, it's owned by the board of education, who boards their teachers there during the school year.

    The population of the school has gone down though, I imagine they will be looking for a home that's less of a pain on the *** for them to maintain. They only really need one teacher for the town now.

    I don't mind investing in renovations and fixing the foundation if it's indeed possible. I just am not sure whether lifting it up is possible with it being made of massive logs. It must weigh a lot more than a regular house.

  4. #4
    LHBA Member LarryNut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWT-Bee View Post
    They only really need one teacher for the town now.
    .
    Sounds like my kinda town. Kinda like Walnut Grove.

  5. #5
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Back about a thousand years ago, I lived in San Antonio and watched them raise the roof on that big ole stadium where they played basketball. It was about 40' they raised it and it took them a year. The point is, that for us humans, a lot of stuff is possible.

    My first concern would be the condition of those lower logs. An occasional soaking can turn logs into milk toast.

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    I know a guy that, as an adult, had his childhood home raised... Then had a full basement excavated and poured before they set it back down. It was also a log home. It can be done.

  7. #7
    Yeah, the condition of the lowest logs is definitely a big concern for me. As a kid, I wasn't spending a whole lot of time examining the logs along the bottom exterior.I wonder how difficult it would be to replace those logs if they are indeed "sawdust". They're quite large, would probably be fairly hard to source, but not impossible...

  8. #8
    Whoa, the fella who had a basement poured, wow. I'd be happy just to raise it enough to get some solid supports under there without destroying the structure. Would have to pay contractors to come in to town with equip, that would likely be the most expensive part - this town is a town of 100 without summer road access.

  9. #9
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    You know, you could always find the lowest log that has never been submerged, and make the log above it your sill log.

    Cut a wide vertical groove from the ground to the new sill log.

    Hog out everything to ground level.

    Pour a footing suitable for a pier block.

    Set or pour a column to go from bottom to sill log.

    Repeat every 10 feet, removing anything that is in the way (including the first floor).

    Yes, it will turn a two story log home into a one story log home, but it could be done with little more than sweat and hand tools and it would automatically make the house above recent historic flood levels. Added bonus... no more rotted logs to replace.



    Before you get mad at me for destroying your family homestead, just remember that it is all about options.
    Last edited by loghousenut; 05-02-2021 at 09:39 PM.
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

    I love the mask mandate. I hardly ever have to bruh my teeth anymore.

  10. #10
    Is a levee and option?

    They move old brick buildings all the time, much heavier than logs. The right contractor could do it. The right guy could maybe do it himself too.

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