This site was created for people who are rebuilding or restoring their homes following a hurricane. Though designed as a tool for participants in the Road Home program, it can be a valuable resource for anyone planning a building, restoration, renovation or remodeling project in Louisiana. The information was developed jointly by the LSU AgCenter, Tulane City Center and UNO-CHART.
Registry Off Line: The original Rebuilding and Restoration site included a registry of building industry professionals, to help homeowners who are rebuilding or remodeling find qualified, licensed building contractors who work in their area. Homeowners could send information about their rebuilding and restoration projects to contractors who did the kind of work needed. Countractors could respond by sending their direct contact information to the homeowner. The Registry has been suspended while we evaluate its performance and the need for it. Inquiries may be sent to email@example.com.
Learn more about The Road Home Homeowner Program.
Learn more about The Road Home Small Rental Property Program.
Learn more about Additional funds for elevation from the state's HMGP program.
Information on rebuilding or restoring their homes following a hurricane and/or flood.
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Wind Hazard Zones for Louisiana.
You can keep shallow flood water out of a slab-on-grade home using plastic sheeting supported by the wall of the building or on special stands away from the wall. This is an emergency protection measure that is more effective than using sandbags, but does require advance preparation.
A back-flow valve in the common sewer line should allow sewer water to flow from the house to the sewer system, but prevent flow toward the house. To provide best protection from a flooded sewer system, the valve should provide a good seal and operate automatically.
Most floodproofing systems have openings that need to be closed and watertight during a flood.
If you protect a building with a floodwall, sealant, plastic wrap or any other barrier, you will need to pump water during floods.
Louisiana faces serious flood threats during tropical storms and hurricanes from a combination of surge and inland rain. This site directs you to information you can use to understand how predicted flood levels may impact you, how you can reduce flood damage and how you can recover and rebuild once the floodwaters recede.
Elevation provides the best protection for flood damage, short of relocating the house to an area that is less prone to flooding. Raising a structure does not remove it from the special flood hazard area (SFHA); therefore, it does not exempt the owner or the mortgage company from flood insurance mandates.
Segment of the LSU AgCenter "Ready for Rain" video describing proper filling and use of sandbags and a variety of water-inflated barriers that can be used as temporary flood barriers.
Segment of the LSU AgCenter Ready for Rain video including the factors to be considered in making a decision to invest in protecting a home from future flood damage.
Segment of the LSU AgCenter Ready for Rain video describing benefits and construction of privates levees and floodwalls.
Wet floodproofing segment of the LSU AgCenter "Ready for Rain" video describing techniques for reducing damage to the home without attempting to keep water out of the building.
If you have a problem with rising water, there are six approaches you can take to preventing damage in future floods: elevate the building, block the water in the yard, seal the building, use materials that water won't hurt, and elevate appliances and systems.
Segment of the LSU AgCenter "Ready for Rain" video describing construction of panels that can be used to block openings in barrier systems and to protect windows and doors in dry-floodproofed buildings.
Provides links to one-page documents with instructions of examples of using the new FloodMaps portal.
A document that has full-page signs for the three challenge steps.
A guide for teachers, 4-H agents and other adults working with youth to introduce the concepts of flood protection of a home. The activity is hands-on and involves water.
Public version of LSU AgCenter Publication # 3400 - 4-H Activity Guide - Resilience Science - Withstanding the Winds.
Public version of LSU AgCenter Publication # 3401 - 4-H Activity Guide - Resilience Science - Figuring Out Flood Hazards.
Describes how to use the FloodMaps web site to find your flood zone on the proposed Flood Insurance Rate Map and compare it to the flood zone on the Effective FIRM.
Whether you are just replacing a few shingles or have damage that requires you to strip your roof down to the rafters, you can take steps at every stage of work to minimize future storm damage. In addition, for new construction and substantial remodeling or repair, you’ll have to meet residential building codes designed to reduce potential roof damage from storms.
Includes features and step-by-step instructions for using the FloodMaps Portal
Any home repair or remodeling work you do presents an opportunity to help your home fare better in the next storm. Whether you are just replacing siding or you have damage that's requiring you to completely remove all the wall coverings – inside or outside – you can work to minimize future storm damage at every stage of the project.
A lawn that’s properly cared for and healthy will resist weeds and other pest problems. Following the best management practices (BMPs) in this publication should help keep your lawn in good condition.
Describes several techniques for repairing walls so they are more resistant to flood damage.
Flood hardy constructions techniques for new construction, significant remodeling and minor restoration.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of consumers complain to their state attorneys general about home repair ripoffs. The National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators, in fact, says home repairs are second only to car repairs on the nation’s complaint list. (PDF format only)
Repetitive flooding affects thousands of Louisiana homes and businesses. In this publication and its companion videotape, a procedure to demonstrate a non-invasive method to flood proofing is explained as it was demonstrated by a Michigan contractor. Special attention is given to adapting the technology for use in Louisiana’s floodplains. (PDF format only). This is the 2005 archived version of the original 1996 publication.
Those who survive hurricanes and other natural disasters are at risk for behavioral and emotional readjustment problems. Most child and adult survivors experience one or more normal stress reactions for several days after a disaster or major trauma.
Many homeowners who own a property built of wood have had problems with wood-destroying organisms. In United States, termites, and decay fungus cause more than $2 billion in damage to buildings every single year. In order to protect their home from these organisms, homeowners need to know what to look for, how to treat problems that arise, and how to keep their homes free of decay and termites.
Formosan subterranean termites are more aggressive and cause more damage than native subterranean termite species because of special biological attributes.
The buoyant foundations, senior-design project at LSU has focused a spotlight on this technique. Buoyant foundations are not a legal alternative to elevation in flood hazard areas, and specifically violate the flood and wind anchoring requirements of the buidling code and/or flood ordinance. Homeowners should not pin their hopes on adopting this technique for building, rebuilding or restoring homes.
Outside contractors and companies will enter the area to offer their services. Some are honest and will do an adequate job, but be careful in working with outside contractors.
What to do to prevent problems with mildew and decay after storm waters receed..
Cleaning carpets and floors that have been damaged by floodwaters can be time-consuming, but care must be taken to facilitate repairs.
This publication outlines some of the options for design, operation and maintenance of ornamental ponds and discusses basic environmental requirements of fish and plants commonly grown in these ponds. 20 pages. Full color. (PDF Format Only)
After a flood, you’ll be anxious to use your normal water supply – your private well. But, when floodwater covers your well, or neighboring wells, there’s a possibility the water in your well will become contaminated.
Portal page for section of the web that deals with contracts for construction work and change orders used to change what the contract says.
There are risks and requirements involved in self-contracting. Building your own home almost never ends up costing less than you anticipated. There almost always will be extra costs associated with something that happens as a result of mistakes made, or unforeseen situations that require additional work. The risk can cost you more than what it is worth.
View this sample contract to get an idea of the language your contract may include. Source: LouisianaRebuilds, which has transferred to GNO, Inc. (www.gnoinfo.com/housing/contractor-guide/)
In this section we talk about drafting a bid specification that potential contractors can use to make offers to perform the work you need done.
Portal Page for information on knowing when and how to pay contractors for homebuilding and home restoration work.
Provided is a sample punch list of items that homeowners may want to use as part of developing a project punch list. If you and your contractor disagree about an item on the punch list, a good reference guide to help with your negotiations is National Association of Home Builders’ “Residential Construction Performance Guidelines”.
Information about selecting contractors based primarily on bids received from the contractors to do the work.
This fact sheet summarizes National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulatory requirements concerning coastal construction and provides recommendations for exceeding those requirements. SOURCE: Home Builder's Guide to Coastal Construction Technical Fact Sheet Series (FEMA 499 - 2010 edition): Fact Sheet G 1.2.
One of the hardest determinations you'll have to make when you decide to restore a damaged home is how much work needs to be done - and how much help you'll need.
If you have decided to restore your storm-damaged home, you’ve already determined that your neighbors are probably coming back, that public utilities will be restored (or you will provide your own), that you will have police, fire and medical services and that there will be jobs and schools. Other things to consider include new building regulations, cost estimates, debris removal, opportunities to upgrade systems and add space.
Homeowners can design their homes to be built so as to minimize damages caused by flooding. Learning as much information as possible before starting the building process is important. This article gives information on Flood Insurance Rate Maps, the National Flood Insurance Program, base flood elevations, and more.
If you live in Louisiana, your primary objective in raising a home is likely to be flood avoidance, even if you’re not in an identified flood hazard area. Elevation is the most effective on-site method of reducing future flood damage.
Homes in coastal areas must be designed and built to withstand higher loads and more extreme conditions. Homes in coastal areas will require more maintenance and more upkeep. Homes in coastal areas will cost more to design, construct, maintain, repair and insure. SOURCE: Home Builder's Guide to Coastal Construction Technical Fact Sheet Series (FEMA 499) Technical Fact Sheet 1.
Definitions of terms used in flood protection.