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I see a lot of homes on stilts but can't seem to figure out why they are on stilts.
Many homes are put on stilts to avoid flood damage to the home and contents. You will often see homes on stilts in coastal areas or flood-prone regions.
The primary reason they put homes on stilts is that they are in a low lying area or one where there is a lot of seasonal rainfall. These areas are likely to flood easily. A home on stilts will be much harder to flood! Possessions are protected.
In the south we have homes on stilts because of potential flooding from storms. Sometimes it is done for leveling out a home without leveling the ground (cheaper I imagine).
This is done protect them from flooding, especially in hurricane alley (Gulf Coast and Florida) or on rivers prone to flooding (New Orleans).
For a couple of reasons: for houses built in flood plains, stilts prevent water damage, and for houses built on steep hillsides, stilts provide a level construction base.
Homes are put on stilts when they are by the ocean or if they are in a flood area. This is because the water rolling through the area, and waves can cause water damage to homes.
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