Bobby Fischer, the owner of Titan Foundation & Elevation put together this FAQ sheet, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, to help answer a lot of the questions that we have been getting asked most frequently.
You, as homeowners, need to be very careful of who is chosen as your contractor. There are going to be a tremendous amount of out-of-state contractors coming in to the affected areas along with unexperienced local contractors who will be trying to become elevation contractors due to the storm.
This influx of new operators will include both good and bad. So, Please do your homework and ask a lot of questions. Knowing about these questions will help you make a educated decision on how to make the correct choice for a qualified elevation team.
Before you sign up with any company, check with your local building department H away or other State Agencies for credentials on any contractor you choose to elevate your home.
Here a few important questions to ask House Lifting Companies or any Company offering a Turn-Key Elevation Proposal and request they answer in writing via email. Please feel free to use these questions while doing your your home elevation company research.
How Long have you been working in Texas?
Titan has been doing slab, pier and beams and slab separation elevation turn key service’s since 2011.
When was your first elevation project in Texas?
Titan started with 4 slab elevation projects in League City Texas for that city's Water Board. These initial elevations where the first 4 FMA SRL Projects that we completed for Kathy Hopkins Office at the Texas Water Board and the Flood Plain Manager of League City Texas.
What areas of Texas have you worked in?
Titan – Galveston County – Galveston Island - Dickinson – Bayou Vista – San Leon – Sante Fe – Kemah – League City – Freindswood – Clear Lake - City of Houston – Harris County – Pearland – Sugarland – Meyerlands - City of Austin – Seguin – Quadalupe County – San Antonio
Have you been Prequalified by any Texas State, County or Local Agencies?
Titan is Pre Qualified by
- Texas Water Development Board – FMA Office
- Guadalupe County Texas
- City of Houston Texas
- Nassau Bay Texas
How many homes have you lifted?
Titan Foundation’s & Elevation’s Home Mitigation Team has lifted over 1500 structures including slabs, pier and beam, slab separation and commercial buildings to heights from 2 to 20 feet and weights up to 1800 tons.
How many turn key house elevation projects have you performed?
Titan’s Partner and President, Bobby Fischer has completed over 200 turn-key elevation projects adding up to over $30 million worth of work completed across the United States.
Can you send me a list of homes you have raised in Texas or in my area?
Yes, we have many completed projects on our website or we can email you some of our materials upon request.
Can you send me a list of references from Texas?
Please view on our website or we can email you our sales folder upon request.
What engineering firm are you using?
Titan uses three structural engineering firms that collectively have done over 4000 elevations designs.
You need to get a copy of the the engineers insurance forms and make sure that he has errors and omissions insurance insurance
Can You Tell Me About Your Insurance Coverage?
Below is a recap on our polices we carry for the State Elevation Programs that we Elevate Homes in and we can provide you with the same coverage. Most companies have lower insurance levels and do not carry CARGO AND RIGGERS. This is a must or your home is not covered during the elevation process if there're any issues. Please be aware that often a homeowner’s policy could be canceled during the elevation process, due to the fact it has left the foundation. They consider the structure to be in the care and custody of Elevation Company and that is why Titan carries Riggers and Cargo Insurance. 90% of contracts do not have this coverage and also note that Texas does not require Workman’s Comp Insurance to work in Texas.
GC – $2,000,000.00
WC – $1,000,000.00
Riggers - $2,000,000.00
Cargo - $200,00000 – This can be adjusted to match the home value with additional fees
GC Umbrella - $2,000,000.00
Do you offer a Warranty?
Titan offers a 3rd party, insurance backed A Rated policy.
10 years on all structural repair that covers footings and foundations, piling, subfloors, columns, slabs and all structural items at and below the subfloor of the elevated homes.
2 Year Mechanical that covers any mechanical trade we replace or repair. This does not cover existing equipment. example: a 10 year old AC on the house would be excluded.
1 Year Workmanship
Can your company help me with GRANTS
Bobby Fisher and thew Titan Home Mitigation Team is one of the best at understanding and explaining grants and the entire process to homeowners.
We have worked with home owners around the country all of them for almost 10 years including the following
Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Severe Repetitive Loss and repetitive loss programs (FMA/SRL). These come out yearly and all states across the US compete for them. Titan has completed approximately $10 million dollars of elevation projects within these grants.
FEMA LINK for more info - https://www.fema.gov/flood-mitigation-assistance-grant-program
City of Houston Link for more info - https://www.houstonemergency.org/disaster-recovery/2017-fma-home-elevation-grant-program/
Texas Development Water Board Link for more info http://www.twdb.texas.gov/flood/grant/fma.asp
HMGP - hazard mitigation Grant program - Titan has worked in this program in Louisiana a little in Texas, New Jersey South Carolina North Carolina and Missouri,
HMGP Expanded per FEMA
Hazard mitigation measures are any sustainable action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from future disasters. The HMGP supports cost-effective post-disaster projects and is the longest running mitigation program among FEMA's three grant programs.
After there is a flood event or disaster Congress will put aside funds to deal with the rebuilding efforts post disaster this is usually between 10 and 18% of the overall storm damage amount this money is put aside and use later to rebuild and mitigate structures from future damage
FEMA HMGP Link
State of Texas HGMP Office Link – This is handle by the Texas Department of Public Safety - https://www.dps.texas.gov/dem/GrantsResources/index.htm
What is ICC ?
Titan - ICC which stands for increased cost of compliance is at this time a $30,000 writer on your NFIB insurance policy. To be able to gain access to this $30,000, your house must be 51% substantially damaged determine from your flood claim and your tax value of your home to the local agency. This can be a double-edged sword if you’re substantially damaged you may not be able to remodel until you elevate.
We know how to work with your insurance company to start this claim, fill out the paperwork correctly and can handle this for you.
Per FEMA’s Description
When a building covered by a Standard Flood Insurance Policy suffers a flood loss and is declared to be substantially or repetitively damaged, ICC will pay up to $30,000 to bring the building into compliance with State or community floodplain management laws or ordinances.
FEMA ICC Link
Titan’s experience allows us to assist homeowner’s with all of these grants and has a staff that will assist you in applying for the grant. We also help with all the paperwork and put together the documentation you need to apply for the grant offered for no charge.
What is a TWIA zone?
Titan has performed 12 projects that required TWIA Certification in the Galveston County Area
Per Texas Windstorm Insurance Association
The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) was established by the Texas Legislature in 1971 in response to regional market conditions following Hurricane Celia in August 1970. Our purpose is to provide windstorm and hail insurance in the Texas seacoast. TWIA is governed by Chapter 2210 of the Insurance Code (Chapter 2210).
We are a residual insurer of last resort and are not a direct competitor in the voluntary insurance market. We provide coverage to residential and commercial properties in certain designated portions of the Texas seacoast territory. The designated catastrophe area is that portion of the seacoast territory where the Commissioner of Insurance has found that windstorm and hail insurance is not reasonably available.
What is a Flood Way?
Titan has worked in many Flood Ways across the United States. A simplified explanation of this is, you need to balance the dirt on the lot and can not add dirt that will displace water to another area, a neighbors house or downstream. So, if you raise your grade on one side of the house you got to offset it on the other side by digging a hole.
FEMA’s explanation A "Regulatory Floodway" means the channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than a designated height. Communities must regulate development in these floodways to ensure that there are no increases in upstream flood elevations. For streams and other watercourses where FEMA has provided Base Flood Elevations (BFEs), but no floodway has been designated, the community must review floodplain development on a case-by-case basis to ensure that increases in water surface elevations do not occur, or identify the need to adopt a floodway if adequate information is available.
FEMA Description on Flood Zone’s
Flood hazard areas on the Flood Insurance Rate Map are identified as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). SFHA are defined as the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The 1% annual chance flood is also referred to as the base flood or 100-year flood. SFHAs are labeled as Zone A, Zone AO, Zone AH, Zones A1-A30, Zone AE, Zone A99, Zone AR, Zone AR/AE, Zone AR/AO, Zone AR/A1-A30, Zone AR/A, Zone V, Zone VE, and Zones V1-V30. Moderate flood hazard areas, labeled Zone B or Zone X are also shown on the FIRM, and are the areas between the limits of the base flood and the 0.2-percent-annual-chance (or 500-year) flood. The areas of minimal flood hazard, which are the areas outside the SFHA and higher than the elevation of the 0.2-percent-annual-chance flood, are labeled Zone C or Zone X.
FYI: The last advent in Houston has been rated as a 1000 year advent
What is a BFE?
The computed elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during the base flood. Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and on the flood profiles.
The BFE is the regulatory requirement for the elevation or flood proofing of structures. The relationship between the BFE and a structure's elevation determines the flood insurance premium.
What is Free Board?
Per FEMA a Freeboard is a factor of safety usually expressed in feet above a flood level for purposes of floodplain management. "Freeboard" tends to compensate for the many unknown factors that could contribute to flood heights greater than the height calculated for a selected size flood and floodway conditions, such as wave action, bridge openings, and the hydrological effect of urbanization of the watershed. Freeboard is not required by NFIP standards, but communities are encouraged to adopt at least a one-foot freeboard to account for the one-foot rise built into the concept of designating a floodway and the encroachment requirements where floodways have not been designated. Freeboard results in significantly lower flood insurance rates due to lower flood risk.
How do you read an Elevation Certificate?
How do you calculate your Flood Vents?
The following requirements for installation apply regardless of whether engineered openings or non-engineered openings are used to satisfy the NFIP requirements. You’ll find the technical information in the FAQs, but simply put, FEMA/NFIP requirements for flood vents include:
- A minimum of one square inch of net open area for each square foot of enclosed area for non-engineered openings OR A minimum of ONE engineered inch for each square foot of enclosed area for an engineered opening.
- A minimum of two vents per enclosed area, and each must be on at least two different sides of the exterior walls.
- The bottom of the flood vent opening must not be higher than 12 inches above the adjacent grade.
What is an Engineered Smart Flood Vent?
SMART VENT Advantage
- Reliable, 15+ years of experience in flood venting protection with over 80 million square foot covered.
- Made in the USA out of flood resistant stainless steel construction.
- ICC-ES Certified, FEMA Accepted models ensure approval with Code Officials, Surveyors, and the National Flood Insurance Program.
- Patented internal activation float system keep our flood vents rodent resistant.
- Models for every application including retro-fit projects.
- Certified Floodplain Managers provide industry leading service.
- Our Flood Risk Evaluator™ (F.R.E.) division ensures you receive proper flood insurance rating with your Smart Vent purchase.
These are just a few of the most frequent questions that homeowner’s have been asking our Titan Mitigation Team Member’s. If you have any additional questions related to house elevation, FIP standards and FEMA terminologies… Please feel free to contact a Titan staff member to explain your options and answer those questions.