by SC Reporter Wendy McMullen
Raising ones home is a current topic among islanders in the wake of last year’s Hurricane Ian which sent eight feet of muddy saltwater rushing through the many ground level homes on Sanibel.
So it wasn’t surprising that a group of islanders along with TV news reporters from Fort Myers gathered outside a home in the East Rocks neighborhood to see the home of Marco Dumont and Ellen Sloan being raised hydraulically eight inches at a time on Wednesday, May 3.
Warren Davie, the owner of Davie Shoring, the company that undertook the home raising, explains the elevation involves excavating under the foundation of the slab on which the home is built, placing something like a giant forklift underneath and using a hydraulic jack system to prop the home up so that new footing and stilts can be placed.
Owners Marco Dumont and Ellen Sloan say the process is so smooth everything in the home remains in place. Nothing had to be removed. Their home was raised a total of 5 feet which placed them above FEMA’s requirement for buildings in flood zones.
They added that although the storm surge had wiped out everything they owned, the home and the foundation were still intact so they restored everything in the home back to pre-storm condition and then decided to raise the house.
Davie says his company can raise any home to any level and no house is impossible to raise. Costs, he said, were approximately $70 to $75 a square foot for low lifts and $90 to $100 for higher raises.