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Jersey Shore rebuild

I just watched the the Jersey Shore rebuild and saw that several houses along the beach were going to be raised 10 feet to avoid tidal surge issues. Wanted to know if This old House staff is aware of the 1900 storm that hit Galveston Texas. Galveston Island was completely covered by water and many homes destroyed. To help prevent damage from future storms Galveston did 2 things. Build a seawall and all houses were were raised 10-15'. It took a monumental effort to raise large mansions in 1900 with limited equipment and knowledge. Thought this event might be worth mentioning in an episode of this series.

Re: Jersey Shore rebuild

I think I see an issue already with one of those houses being raised. The one that they started to set down on the screwed in pylons started to rack already. They mentioned that is slipped 1.5 inches so they nudged it back in place. If they don't weld on some loops or rings to the tops and bottoms of some of the perimeter pylons and cross brace them with cables, or weld cross braces to the pylons, that house will eventually fall over.

Re: Jersey Shore rebuild

Anyone who has traveled along the Jersey shore will tell you that it's a disaster waiting to happen. Do you think raising homes 10 feet will save them? Think twice. Sandy was a big storm, but bigger storms can happen, and will happen...and our insurance rates will rise.

Re: Jersey Shore rebuild

It's always easy for people that live elsewhere to tell people what should be done. Nothing is perfect or permanent, but if 10' above sea level is the latest code, so be it.
A blanket statement of no building within a mile of the shore is a ridiculous statement by someone who blames other people for his issues. I guess property rights have no place in an increasingly so******t state. So nothing should be built in tornado alley areas since they might get blown down or much of the west coast prone to earthquakes.

Re: Jersey Shore rebuild

I have seen every season of TOH and must say I am very disappointed with this season. I feels a preachy. While I can understand why the Jersey Shore is the main feature, I think less is more in this case. This is by far the worst season and if it continues this way I will have to quit watching. TOH is the motherchurch of home improvement and should stick with it roots. If it ain't broke don't fix it. It would have been better had the Jersey shore been a segment rather than the whole show.

Re: Jersey Shore rebuild


I live 45 miles from Galveston.

The seawall didn't help much protecting from Hurricane Ike. The water simply rose from the bay (back) side 15 or 20 feet. Yes the seawall protected from the storm surge, but no the flooding. What did work was raising the entire (at the time) city 23 feet by pumping in massive amounts of sand from the gulf. Since then Galveston has been chatting about 'the Ike Dyke" to make a circular sea wall. (ain't gonna happen in our lifetimes,even if they started today)

If I were emperor ;

1- If your house is now in within 50 feet of the high tide mark, kiss it goodbye with no money from the guvmint.
2- Get flood insurance.
3- No flood insurance? No money from the guvmint.

39% of Americans live in a county which abuts a shoreline.

Re: Jersey Shore rebuild

I too am disappointed with the series, it seemed to be much show and little go. I watched more than a few improper methods being shown with no comment from the crew about there being a better way. Maybe they were overwhelmed seeing what hurricane can do up-close-and-personal. The way the pilings were done is a joke, these should be 'driven to yield' by measuring movement when driving, not just down to a single number some engineer thinks adequate. Will the insurance pay off again when this is proven out in the next one, or when the amount houses were raised turns out to be inadequate?

That brings me to what Houston said: These folks were asking for what they got (not the storm, but not being properly prepared for it). Recorded history has more than a few hurricanes this size and much larger striking the general area so nobody should have been surprised when this one bit them, and no sane insurer should have covered most of these structures for hurricane damage. The fact that they did and they do simply encourages building in an unsafe area where severe damage is assured sooner or later. I could go into how the shore slope and such has an effect but rather than bore you all I'll say is that on the gulf coast where hurricanes are a normal part of life, things are done much differently. They know as I do too that it is never a question of "if", but a question of "when" the engineered solutions turn out to be short of what is needed. The bottom line is that you should not be allowed to build or rebuild anywhere if it affects the shoreline sea defenses adversely in general, and even if you meet that criteria then you should be on your own when the sea rises up to smite thee.

And anyone in this business who has seen many modular homes knows what they're like. I rate them just one step above a house trailer for good reason- a site-built home will be a far better one. If they truly were better them I'd be putting them up; but instead they are lesser creatures which I will not put my name on by doing anything with them. How about we revisit these homes in five years and see who had problems and of what kind? I could make a list of predictions and be pretty close, and the modular home will be the one suffering the most and the worst ailments among all of these. And that's even without another hurricane to help them along. It doesn't have to be that way but it is, because to build a home to a given standard requires the same time and money no matter whether you build it in a factory or on site. And if you take in the planning-purchasing stage, they're not any faster to move into, you just aren't seeing the activity on-site.

Enough grumbling but please get us back to the hands-on informative shows that made TOH what it is.


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