Elevation Certificate? Why You May Need One For Your New Construction Home

Are you building a new home? If so, this is probably an exciting but busy time. You may be working with the builder to pick out materials and designs. Or you may be in the process of preparing the land for construction. At some point, you'll likely need to meet a wide range of requirements for your lender, insurance agent, and possibly even government entities.

One of those requirements could be a flood elevation certificate. These documents are often required by home insurers, but they also may be required by your municipality, homeowners association, or even your builder. If you've never built a home before or dealt with an elevation certificate before, you may be confused by the process. Below are a few common questions and answers about elevation certificates.

What is a flood elevation certificate? As the name suggests, a flood elevation certificate is a document that states your home's elevation and it's relation to the surrounding area's base flood elevation. The base flood elevation is the expected level at which a flood could occur. Essentially, your flood elevation certificate documents that your home is above the base flood elevation level. Obviously, the higher your home sits above the base flood elevation, the less likely it is that your home could get flooded. This reduces your insurance premiums and makes it easier for your home to pass required inspections.

Who develops a flood elevation certificate? Most land surveyors can measure your home's flood elevation level. They can survey the surrounding area and the slopes of your yard and adjacent properties to determine how water would run in a heavy rainstorm. They also estimate where water may pool and how it would run off into nearby drainage areas. They then develop an elevation certificate and present it to you, your insurer, and any other interested parties. The document has to follow a standard format as outlined by the federal government, so it's important that your surveyor has experience with this work.

What else can the surveyor help with? While they surveyor is on your property, you may want to also ask them to identify your exact property boundaries. This could be especially helpful if you are in a popular new construction area and others will be building homes near you in the future. The survey can solidify your boundaries and prevent disputes. You also may need this type of survey if you ever want to add to your home, build a fence, or install any type of other structure on your property.

Ready to get your elevation certificate. Contact a boundary surveying company in your area today.