8 Highly-Elevate...When Charlie Walters ditched Nebraska to move to the Gulf Coast, he was captivated by beautiful sunsets and walking on cool sand—and willing to accept some tradeoffs to live that dream. For instance, climbing the 28 steps up to his three-bedroom elevated home which rests high off the ground on a pedestal foundation. The 1,650-square-foot Topsider dwelling, which rises above a marsh, sits “21 feet above mean high flood tide,” according to Walters. The benefit? A breathtaking, nearly 360-degree view looking out toward the gulf.
Homes that are built to exploit gorgeous views yet withstand severe storms and flooding require clever structural and soil engineering but also another key ingredient: elevation on pedestals or pilings sunk deep into bedrock. But in the end, the goal isn’t simply indestructibility; it’s to design a home that’s aesthetically pleasing and treads lightly on the environment.
Built near a river in a floodplain in 2005, this cabin known as 'Delta Shelter' was described by the architect, Tom Kundig, as “basically a steel box on stilts.” The 1,000-square-foot cabin, rising three stories high, can be shuttered by a hand crank when not in use. It rises above the winter snow line and blends into a stand of trees the rest of the year.
This architectural gem lies on the banks of the Loddon river, near Wargrave, England. The steel-framed home, built in 2008, is raised on columns to withstand occasional flooding. The architect John Pardey describes the home as being designed with ‘wings’ connected by a central hall leading to a deck.
This glassy, contemporary single-family home enjoys a stunning view of the Laguna Beach coastline secure in its foundation on the edge of a cliff. This four-bedroom, 5,300-square-foot home sits high above street and sea levels and provides its occupants and guests a commercial grade hydraulic lift with subterranean parking. Getting to the beach requires scaling a ‘secured staircase,' according to the property listing.
An elevated single-family home, this abode is located beside a stand of loblolly pines overlooking a meadow and Chesapeake Bay. The 2,200-square-foot, two-story, three-bedroom house rests on pilings 10 feet above the ground. The home itself was built from a kit using materials either made or fabricated within 500 miles of Taylors Island, Maryland.
This impressive 6,000-square-foot elevated single-family home sits on a pedestal and a concrete block foundation intended to protect the occupants from occasional flooding of the island. Although not one of the Great Lakes, this mostly shallow lake is part of an extensive delta and no stranger to harsh seasonal weather conditions. The home features five bedrooms and three and a half baths with easy lake access for boating and other recreational pleasures.
This 3-bedroom, 1,520-square-foot home, which has been used as a rental property, is located on Kauai’s north shore, a short walk from nearby beaches. If your idea of romance is a warm tropical breeze, this elevated home with a wrap-around lanai offers great views and a climate that cools off in the evening. The home is currently on the market for $795,000.
Elevated 17 feet above a coastal marsh, this home on stilts overlooks the Gulf Coast in Florida. Weather was a primary concern–the home is built to resist 150 mph winds with shatterproof windows able to withstand flying debris. At 1,650 square feet, the three-bedroom home is also meant to exploit gorgeous weather, too, offering a sun room, a large open living room with vaulted ceilings and an abundance of ocean views.
Rising 18 feet above an enviable island property, this octagon-shaped home rests on a steel-reinforced pedestal that is itself secured by pilings driven deep into the bedrock. The 1,125-square-foot home with vaulted ceilings and wind-resistant windows offers panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico along with two bedrooms, two baths and easy access to the shore.