Today we are discussing some of the techniques used at Jenkins Custom Homes to build flood plain or waterfront custom homes in Austin, Texas. Because these are not your typical homes and because we are building homes to last, we have employed leading edge technology and techniques to improve upon many of the age-old techniques for building in the flood plain or on waterfront. In short, we are creating new ways of accomplishing floodplain/waterfront design and home building in Austin to make it more visually appealing, more cost-effective, and stronger than ever.
The issue with floodplain or waterfront home designs is that they require unique design, construction, and working with different codes and regulatory agencies. You may remember our previous article on Designing and Building in the Floodplain where we talked about the components of designing home plans for the flood plain, but there are also nuances about floodplain construction that make it unique. Here, shown at right, we have employed block construction very similar to how homes in Florida are built to withstand hurricanes. The blocks are constructed, steel is added, and then concrete is poured down into the walls to form concrete walls. These are arguably the strongest and most durable construction techniques available on the market today. Once the walls and columns are constructed, they will be finished with a combination of stone and stucco to provide a beautiful finish.
In regard to the columns, these are a little more complex in that they not only contain the steel and concrete but also sometimes contain pipes that will carry plumbing, electrical, and drainage to and from the house. In fact, that leads to another complexity in designing and building these types of flood plain homes – if anything is missed, if anything is forgotten, it becomes extremely difficult to correct due to the fact that the walls are all concrete.
While there is much more to be discussed, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, here are some recent photos of these amazing projects (we currently have 7 projects under construction in the floodplain or waterfront). More photos can be accessed from our Finished Floodplain Homes page for each project.
From our article on Designing and Building in the Floodplain, [important]Waterfront properties are among the most desirable home-sites in the world. Living on the water offers incredible views and recreational activities. However, they may also be in the floodplain. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), ranks Travis County (including Austin, Texas) in the Top 10 % of counties in the nation that are at risk for significant flood damage. Along with the beauty and allure of owning waterfront property comes the challenge of building within an established flood zone or flood plain area.[/important]
Building a home in the floodplain does have its challenges. Watch as we load materials almost 60′ into the top floor of one of our floodplain projects.