Our house is built into a small hill, leaving a section of our basement exposed with both a small garage and a people door leading to the driveway. There are several (3-4) courses of block above the existing grade. Because of the height of this grade, we currently need to have flood insurance for our mortgage due to a small tributary Creek across the road from us.

What I want to try to do, is to close off these doors (with block primarily) and dump topsoil against the foundation and regrade out several feet into the driveway to bring the grade next to the house above the base flood elevation. My main question is, would!D this work? Are there any other concerns with this plan?

  • 1
    This re-grading might require city permit. If your changes diverted water into your neighbor's property, you might be liable for the damages. Also, regarding the flood insurance, only your insurance company can say whether these changes will reduce your premium or not.
    – haimg
    Apr 14, 2017 at 14:01
  • The grading would be directing into the street where water flows pretty well when it rains already. Despite the FEMA maps, were not likely to ever get flooding here. I hadn't thought about a permit though.
    – Nick
    Apr 14, 2017 at 14:05
  • Sounds like they built a walk-out basement on a piece of property that isn't very well suited to it. So they had to excavate to allow for the walk-out. Poor design on their part now makes your house prone to flooding. If you proceed with this make sure you waterPROOF the outside of the block not just damp proofing. There is a difference in price and performance.
    – ArchonOSX
    Apr 14, 2017 at 18:51
  • Having gone through the flood insurance B.S. with a survey that shows our home out of the flood zone closing off a door may not help at all. Some of the requirements the insurance company was pushing was additional large vent holes in the foundation so water would not be trapped. It took us 2 years but since we filed an appeal right away we got the $ for the house insurance back but still have to cover our indoor arena. Tough to get things changed once they think it is in a flood zone even with surveys showing the old maps were wrong. Good luck.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 14, 2017 at 19:15
  • The house actually isnt likely to flood, ever. Ive had multiple surveyors agree on this. Unfortunately its not just insurance or mortgage companies I need to convince of this, its FEMA itself, in order to get a letter of map amendment (LOMA). I was really hoping that a re-grade, which would techinically bring the grade next to the house above the flood level would work.
    – Nick
    Apr 17, 2017 at 12:07


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