Home News Real Estate Your Quick Guide to Building or Renovating a House in a Floodplain

Your Quick Guide to Building or Renovating a House in a Floodplain

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There are a lot of people who would like to live by the sea. Being close to water, whether that is a river or the beach can be really attractive, and have some idyllic views and scenery. There will always be things to do if you have a river or beach close by. However, there is one downside to setting up your home and living in these areas, and that is the threat of water flooding and overflowing. We see from time to time, after storms and extremely wet weather that homes can become ruined, businesses become flooded, and it can put lives in danger. There are risks wherever you live, but if you live in a floodplain, this will be a worry. 

So with that in mind, here are some things to consider if you’re thinking of moving to an area like this, or are planning to build in an area like this. When you plan and put certain precautions in place, it can help to reduce your risk.


Prevent flooding

If there is an existing property, then it can make it easier to move right in, or to renovate what is there, or knock down and build from scratch. The two main areas to focus on, whether moving in or building, are to work on preventing any water from entering the house, and also to minimise the damage, should the worst happen. The measures taken to help to protect against this are known in the trade as water exclusion and entry strategies, the cost of which will vary, depending on what you choose. 

There are a range of things that can help, from channel drainage in patios and driveways, to having an early warning system in place, like a sensor or alarm. Having an alarm in place is going to be best placed at a level lower than the ground floor, as that is naturally where any flood water will go first. Then there is a warning, giving you time to move things to higher ground. 

Design options

One of the most simple ways to protect against flooding, is to build a ground floor higher than the level that flood water is likely to reach up to. Of course, this can’t always work, and can often be impractical. You may not even get planning permission for something like this, as it will make your home ‘taller’ than those around it. 

Another common option is to use what is called tanking. This is a waterproof layer that is buried within walls and floors, during the construction process, that will help to prevent flood water from seeping in. This won’t be a failsafe guarantee, as doors and windows are also options for water. However, it can be a good place to start, especially if you are building from scratch. 

Is it worth it?

There is definitely a need for housing, so from a construction point of view, it can definitely be worth the risk. You just need to make sure that you are prepared to do the research and the work in order to get planning permission, and see that the work takes place.

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