Charlie: Michael from Meyerland says, “We’re going to tear down our house and rebuild. Our new house will be elevated,” you think? And he says, “What’s the best kind of foundation? Should we go with pier and beam? Would that be a good idea, and are there any common mistakes people make when building a house we should be aware of?”
Tom: I think it should be 24 foot stilts.
Charlie: Yeah. Yeah.
Tom: But unfortunately … and you know what? Meyerland would be-
Charlie: You may want to call the HOA, first.
Tom: Yeah, that’s true. They don’t even allow a three story house in there.
Tom: Do you know that?
Charlie: No, I didn’t know that.
Tom: I built the only one, and upstairs was called storage.
Charlie: A bonus room, yeah.
Tom: Okay. Anyway, that was a long time ago. The fact of the matter is, if you’re going to go up, I would build a crawlspace as opposed to building a mountain, because that’s what you’re going to end up doing, is bringing in dirt and dirt and dirt. And it’s going to be somewhat unnatural, but you can do a crawlspace where the brick goes all the way to the ground, you have vents to vent underneath. Your finished floor level can be 3, 4, 5, feet above the ground, so even if water flows underneath, as long as all … treat it like a floodplain, which Meyerland is, by the way. Everything … all your electrical plugs, your air conditioning system, your generator, if you have a generator … everything is elevated above that, where the finished floor plain is. And you’ll be able to weather the storm, and it’ll just dry out afterwards, and you don’t have to worry about anything.
Charlie: So it sounds like a-
Tom: Crawlspace is the way to go.
Charlie: Sounds like a pier and beam.
Tom: Yes, crawl … pier and beam.
Charlie: Pier and … okay.
Tom: Pier and beam’s an old term that’s really not quite that … anymore. That’s why I tend not use it.
Charlie: Crawlspace? All right.