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How to Protect a House Against a Flood
By Melvin Sulliven

How to protect a house against a flood can be a tough question especially depending on where you live, since some areas are more prone to flooding than others. In this article we will discuss a couple of things that you can do to protect your home against flood.

Many homes flood due to poor drainage, this can be caused by a number of things construction being one of the chief culprits. As housing developments become more popular so does flooding. Why? Because in clearing and leveling the land developers are changing the way the water drains when it rains. Although we can't stop land from being developed there are some things that we can do to stop our homes from flooding.

One of the first things to do is to make sure that you have ditches in front of your home to help with drainage. Another important thing is to make sure that the drain pipe that runs under your driveway is both clear of debris and in good shape. Over the years those drainage ditches that were dug when your home was built can fill in and become cluttered with debris. Another mistake that is made when digging out or putting in ditches is that people don't slope them for drain off. This means that although they dig out a ditch they still don't give the water anyplace to go, so when it fills up the water just runs over the bank and into the house, if you have the property available to you; it is a good idea to extend the ditches along the side of your property as well. To protect your house against flood you have to know the direction that the water likes to take when it hits your property.

Once you have made sure your drainage ditches and the drainage pipe under your drive way are in good shape, the next step would be preparation. Let's say you dug your drainage ditches and you knew that they worked well but the water was still too much, what do you do? The best answer to that is to have some sand bags on hand, and I don't mean just a few I mean enough to help divert the water if it goes over your drainage ditches.

If you want to protect your house against flood you need to make sure off two things, you have good drainage and you have a back-up plan. Earlier I said that this can be caused from development, this is not always the case there are some places that get more rain than others. If you believe that your flooding is from development talk to the city or township where you live and see if they can correct the problem. Following these steps can help protect your house from flood.***

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Self Built Homes - A Good Option For Some
By Geoff Cummings

Although the economic outlook is gloomier than ever, it`s reckoned that the figures for those wishing to build their own homes in the UK is rising each year. Over 20,000 people a year build their own.

One effect of the downturn in the economy is that right now there is 30% more land available for house building plots at 30% less cost than they were just a year ago. People are taking advantage of some of the tax breaks in self-buildings.

Although the costs of building your own might not be significantly lower than buying a ready made property, the main advantage is that you get the house you want, designed by you (and perhaps your architect). People who build their own homes usually stay in them longer, as they are less inclined to move because much of what they wanted is in place. And when homeowners do come to sell, they`ll hopefully see an increase of around 20-25% on the value of their property over what it cost them to build it themselves.

To find plots of land suitable for building a home on isn`t necessarily all that difficult.

If you know of other potential self builders by all getting together it means buying a bigger piece of land and getting a better deal on the cost per plot.

Developers sometimes have spare plots of land for sale, and of course don`t forget local land and estate agents.

Doing your homework is vital though, otherwise you could end up buying land which doesn`t hold valid outline planning permission. Check for any restrictive covenants which might limit what you can build. After all, the idea behind building your own home is to have the design and structure the way you want it (within reason of course).

The National House Building Council (NHBC)has some very useful tips to help those interested in building their own homes. Use their website, get any reading material you can from them about self-builds.

Some people like the idea of buying a kit home. This will usually mean less expense, and be less time consuming because you`ll probably dispense with the need for an architect, and the finished product will be ready much quicker as the kit home is usually delivered in just one load.

Kit homes can come in various forms. With some you buy just the shell. Or you can get virtually everything a home should have such as a kitchen and bathroom(s).

To see what a kit home looks like visit home exhibitions or a supplier's show room.

If you prefer to build your home from the foundations to the roof, you`ll have to plan very carefully. That means not just planning for who you will use as the architect-unless you can design it yourself-but for the surveyor, planning consultant and other professional if necessary.

But, before you even think of a self-build, you have to count the financial cost. Will you need a mortgage? If so, you may be able to get between 25% and 80% of the value of the building plot and between 60% and 95% of the costs of the building.

Monies are released in stages rather than all at one go. You`ll have to budget for any payments you may have to make while waiting for a release of money from your lender. And if you already have a mortgage on your present property, you`ll need to consider whether you can afford to be repaying two mortgages at the same time for however long the project takes.***

Building your own home can be extremely rewarding, but it involves a lot of hard work, forward planning, and patience. Is it worth it? Only you can decide that.
Geoff runs an Online DIY Tools site, as well as one selling Housewares.

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