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Old 02-07-2015, 03:16 PM
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
424 posts, read 1,086,280 times
Reputation: 146


Ok, I lived in a beach town for many years and really loved the convenience of parking UNDER my house.

Anyway, here is my dumb question. I don't need any "Why would you want to do that??" responses, I know it's a silly question but I can't find an answer.

Do building codes allow houses to be built on stilts in Columbus? I know that it would probably be a heating nightmare with the cold air blowing under your house and what not, I am just curious. I have never seen or heard of one like this in Columbus. Occasionally I see them with Garages built under them but mostly in condos, not single family homes. I know also that most neighborhoods have height restrictions of 35 feet.

So again, NOT conscerned with why there AREN'T any houses built on stilts. The reasons seem obvious mostly. But is it ALLOWED in the city of Columbus. Figured I would post it on here to give you all a chuckle and maybe get a true answer from a builder before I contact city of Columbus zoning with something so frivolous.

Here is a far out example image
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:19 PM
Location: Mexico City, formerly Columbus, Ohio
12,800 posts, read 12,852,555 times
Reputation: 5488
No idea, but interesting question. As for why they're not built, that's probably less to do with the lack of tide floods from storms, but because basements are just really common.. tornadoes, storage, etc.
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:38 AM
Location: Cbus-Ohio- To Florida
80 posts, read 105,135 times
Reputation: 47
I would think you could.. People build custom homes all the time. Like you said, i would make it a garage for your car and dry storage. We do have winter here..
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Old 02-10-2015, 02:55 PM
90 posts, read 66,765 times
Reputation: 79
There are a lot of residential units in Columbus in 'Carriage Houses,' which are basically just one or multiple apartments above a garage. Very similar to your given example, except the garage is almost always enclosed here.

I don't see why you couldn't leave it open though if you wanted to. It sounds like quite an interesting project actually. Keep us updated, please!
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:53 PM
73 posts, read 146,550 times
Reputation: 86
I think it's more an issue of practicality in relation to location and environment. Under house parking is not uncommon in this part of the country, except it's typically a real garage for the many advantages provided by enclosed parking (security, extra storage space, protection from wind, rain, snow, ice, UV, etc). The main reason they're up on stilts in beach communities is because high water (storm surge) is a real possibility, and they want the house to be hopefully above the surge level without sacrificing a lot of underneath structure ($$$) to the sea. If there's no chance of high water carrying it all away, you might as well enclose it. Also, sand and the high ground water levels found near the ocean do not lend themselves well to the type of foundations found in this part of the country.

Our former beachfront house in NC is (was) a good example. It had two semi-enclosed car ports underneath which included an outside shower stall, an elevated street side deck and ocean side wraparound porch with an extended boardwalk and gazebo, and lots of lovely landscaping, all "protected" by a large dune covered in vegetation (sea oats). Then one September a hurricane and storm surge took out everything but the stilted house itself, dune included, not only beachfront but in some cases as far inland as the third row. Many of the lots were scrubbed clean, leaving just a bunch of houses stranded up on stilts. Of course, the water being able to get around the stilts is what saved the houses themselves from collapse, as opposed to Midwest style block or poured foundations that would have washed out and taken the houses with them.

We very seldom get a storm surge in the Midwest, so most people want their under-house parking to be enclosed and secured. The "stilts" holding the house up is an actual block or poured foundation. In addition to insulation and heating issues, you'd also have to be concerned about pipes freezing in this part of the country if the house was elevated with no enclosed foundation.

Aside from the practical considerations, if you really want/need a definitive building code-related answer, I'd suggest calling the building code enforcement office of whatever area you're curious about. I'm sure they get more "frivolous" questions than that in a given day, and you'd have the answers straight from the horse's mouth instead of guesses, hearsay, and anecdotes from anonymous people on a public forum.
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:37 AM
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
424 posts, read 1,086,280 times
Reputation: 146
Great responses!
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:39 PM
90 posts, read 66,765 times
Reputation: 79
Check out this 1950s-era house/office on Olentangy River Rd,

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