FEMA: Elevation Certificates, Flood Hazard Site Plans & LOMAs
Elevation certificates are typically required by mortgage and insurance companies for buildings in or near flood zones. Your insurance rates are based upon if the building is above the local "BFE" (base flood elevation: areas with a 1% annual chance of having a 100-year level flood), among a few other factors.
We place your building in relation to the flood zone it's in, and sometimes find that you're being asked to have insurance even though you're not even in a flood zone. If your building meets all the criteria, an elevation certificate can significantly lower your insurance rates.
Some things to keep in mind are keeping your "lowest utility servicing the building" above the floodplain. In the case of propane tanks, have them strapped down with a metal strap.
For buildings with crawlspaces you will also need flood vents, permanently open (wire mesh covers are fine) holes in the foundation within 1' of the ground. The square inches of all these openings should be at least as much as the square footage of the building footprint.
You might even qualify for a LOMA (letter of map amendment) which would negate your need for flood insurance all together. We look into whether or not that's an option for you automatically and advise accordingly.
If you want to build in a flood hazard area, we can help to ensure your building will have the least possible impact on the flood way and meet county requirements for building size and placement.
One day turnarounds for Elevation Certificates and a flat fee for Skagit, Snohomish, King and Pierce counties.