Building a house can be an exciting time and stressful one. There are many things to do like finding the right lot, finding the right builder, and staying on budget.



It's not a shocker than when building a house one thing most people don't think about is flood insurance.

We are going to discuss some things you can do to make sure you don't get blind sided.

We are going to discuss

  1. Verifying the flood zone
  2. Picking the right foundation
  3. Flood insurance options

So you have decided to finally build that dream home in lake country on Lake Oconee in Madison or Eatonton Georgia. You have found the perfect lot and now you just need to put it under contract. This is normally the area where so many Lake Oconee property owners get themselves in trouble.

When looking at purchasing the Lake Oconee lots you want to verify what type of flood zone the property is in? It's not unusual for the property to be in a couple different flood zones because of the way FEMA does their flood maps.

We are going to look at 3 types of flood zones and what they mean for your lake property.

  1. Flood Zone X
  2. Flood Zone A
  3. Flood Zone AE

Flood zone X is the best case scenario for your Lake Oconee property. This zone is considered a minimal risk zone. While flood insurance is not required in this zone it it is recommended as almost 30% of flooding occurs in these areas. I mean look at Nathan Estates in Muscle Shoals Alabama the entire neighborhood flooded in 2019 even though it was a minimal risk zone. 80% of flood of victims during hurricane Harvey did not have flood insurance because they were told they were in a low risk flood zone. The video below gives you a better understanding of flood zone X.

Now let's look at flood zone A this zone can be a little confusing. While this is whats considered to be a special flood hazard area where flood insurance is required some of the risk is undetermined. Much of flood zone A in the Madison Georgia does not have a base flood elevation.

This is the elevation FEMA believes flooding will come to so there is not one you can imagine it can be a little bit of a hidden risk. The video below gives a better understanding of flood zone A.

Now lets look at the last flood zone and the one that would more than likely impact your Lake Oconee property. That is flood zone AE this is considered to be the highest risk zone outside of coastal zones. Unlike flood zone A flood zone AE does have a base flood elevation determined. The video below gives a good understanding of flood zone AE.

Now that we understand the different flood zones in Madison and Eatonton Georgia and what is required let's look at foundation types.

Foundation types on a Lake Oconee property can have a big impact on flood insurance. The more negative your foundation is compared to the base flood elevation the higher your flood insurance premiums can be. This is one reason it is recommended to build homes in this area with above grade crawlspaces.

By putting in flood vents many times you can help minimize the damage to your home through mitigation and lower your flood insurance premiums at the same time.

Installing these flood vents in the Madison or Eatonton Georgia area has some requirements. In order to get the right credit they have to have at least 2 vents on opposite walls of the building and be 1 square inch for every total square foot.

So if you have a 2000 square foot house you need 200 square inches in flood vents.

There are two types of flood vents available. You have engineered and Non engineered flood vents. While engineered will last you much longer keeping your maintenance low FEMA doesn not recognize these separately.

So we have talked about the flood zones and foundation types on the lake homes along lake Oconee in Madison and Eatonton Georgia. What about flood insurance options?

There are two flood insurance options available in the Madison and Eatonton Georgia area. You have the National Flood Insurance Program and you have private flood insurance.

The National Program is the most common program that most people know about. This program is administered by the federal government. They offer coverages up to $250,000 on the building and a $100,000 on contents for residential properties. This program is generally the more expensive option in the special flood hazard areas.

Private flood insurance on the other hand offers some pricing and coverage advantages. Let's say that home you are building is a million dollar home then with a private flood insurance policy you maybe able to get up to a million dollars on the building. On contents you can get more than the $100,000 as well but normally not until the property is walled and roofed.

As you can see there can be a lot of surprises when building a home in a flood zone in the Lake Oconee area. You have to think about where on the lot you want your home, what flood zone it will be placed in, and what the foundation type you want it to be? These things could all have a big impact on the resale value of the home.

So if you are building a home in the Lake Oconee area or any other area and have questions about flood insurance then make sure to visit our website. You can also check out our daily flood education videos on our YouTube channel or Facebook page.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation so we are here to help you understand your flood risk, your flood insurance, and helping you mitigate your property to keep your flood premiums low.


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Chris Greene


Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation