Case Study: Moving Up and Moving Back

The 2007 Patriot’s Day storm destroyed the oceanfront homes of Joe and Kathy Hardman and Alice and Charles Archambault in Saco. When they decided to rebuild the homes, they both kept the same footprint but moved their homes as back as far as possible on their lots. The Hardman family worked with architect Caleb Johnson and both the families worked together with contractor Robert Casey to elevate their homes five feet above grade on 30-foot wood pilings, which cost an estimated $50,000. These foundations are constructed to withstand up to 12 feet of sand loss. The property owners worked together with the contractor to save money by coordinating the elevation work. Permitting from DEP took approximately five months. 

The family next door also nearly lost their home to the Patriot’s Day storm. The existing block foundation crumbled, but the home was not destroyed. They elected to rebuild the foundation with piles on a continuous concrete footing at a depth of roughly 11 feet. This strategy costs 25-30% less than wood pilings and will sustain a total sand loss, meaning the building will freestand to the depth of the footing, but not a foot more. 

The homes were built according to Coastal Sand Dune Rules standards for reconstruction of buildings severely damaged by wave action from an ocean storm.

 “If your home is damaged, don’t be too quick to tear it down until you know what you are facing.”  — contractor Bob Casey

For more on the Hardman property, see 

Resource People

Contractor: Robert Casey, Saco, ME
Architect: Caleb Johnson Architects, Biddeford, ME