What’s The Best Type Of Foundation To Have In A Flood Zone?

I’m in the process of designing my own home. It’s going to New Orleans, and I want it protected against floods. I was going to pour a concrete foundation, but now I think that isn’t the best choice. What is the best foundation for a flood zone?

Patrick Price · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
There are two types of housing foundations that are best for flood zones— pier and beam and pile foundations.
With pier and beam foundations, treated wooden stilts rest on strategically placed concrete platforms. From there, they rise however high you’ve decided to build your house—some pier and beam houses are only about two or three feet off the ground—others are closer to twenty feet or more in the air!
Pier and beam houses might be the most effective method for combating flood damage. But, unfortunately, they also tend to be pretty expensive.
A more affordable type of foundation is called a pile foundation—essentially a shorter version of a pier and beam, but with a simpler infrastructure. Pile houses don’t typically rise more than a foot or two off the ground. Pile houses can be constructed much more quickly and cheaply without girders and an intricate support system.
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