More Meyerland homes being raised in Harvey's wake

More homes in Meyerland are now being raised to avoid flooding nightmares.

HOUSTON - You’ve heard of raising the roof - many in Meyerland are now raising the entire house. They say it’s the only option to fight future flood damage.

“This was the best decision for us,” said homeowner Keith Shaftel. You can see Brays Bayou from Shaftel’s front door but rising flood waters will no longer easily invade it.

“The house really has no idea it was lifted,” said Shaftel. His home of nearly 20 years was raised five feet after suffering the Memorial Day and tax day floods.

“And we finished the lift about two months before Harvey,” said Shaftel.

Since Harvey, many of his Meyerland neighbors are following suit by lifting their homes above potential flood levels.

“People in this area will raise their homes or they’ll knock them down and rebuild,” said Shaftel.  “Fixing it and rolling the dice is no longer an option.”

Planet 3 Elevation is among the specialized companies recently flooded by new business.

“It’s up one thousand fold,” said P3’s Wayne Fairley.  “The number of calls we’re getting, it’s not calculable, the increase it is.”

We met Fairley at a home where preliminary work is being done for an upcoming lift. Time-lapse video provided by the company shows you how it works as multiple jacks work in unison to raise a home in one big piece.

“It takes about two weeks after we start the project, we raise the home,” said Fairley.  “And then we take about six weeks to finish up all the details after we raise it.”

Homeowners sink between $100,000 and $300,000 to make it happen with help, in some cases, from federal grants.

“Before the lift, if I wanted to sell, I had a lot for sale,” said Shaftel.  “Now, I have a home for sell, if I ever want to sell it.”

Shaftel said it was the only way to recover some of the value of his home is the face of future flooding.

Experts say you have to either lift or completely rebuild your home if it is deemed “substantially damaged” by inspectors.

© 2018 KHOU-TV


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