Building Elevated Homes & Raised House Plan Designs by Topsider Homes

Topsider Homes has been the leader in elevated homes and raised house plan designs since 1968.  With literally thousands of elevated homes built throughout the world, they can be found in every conceivable setting and environment – from tropical coastlines to snowcapped mountain slopes.

Elevated Home Luxury Lake House Design By Topsider

This magnificent two-story elevated luxury lake house was built on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. It was designed to be safely above potential flooding and to allow the owners to enjoy panoramic views from every room on every level.

Elevated Home Mountain Cabin Pedestal House By Topsider

The first Topsider Home ever built (circa 1968) in Banner Elk, NC. This unique pedestal house design elevated the living space above the trees for great views, and required only limited excavation – unlike traditional foundations. Since 1968 thousands of Topsider pedestal homes have been built throughout the world.


Topsider Homes’ high-quality pre-engineered prefab post and beam building approach makes elevated homebuilding easy.  Unlike traditional prefab or stick built homes, Topsider Homes’ basic structure was designed to be elevated.  It is not a ground-level type house design adapted to be raised or elevated. That’s why Topsider’s post and beam structural skeleton is far superior to other building systems and design approaches – and why it is also naturally hurricane-proof and earthquake-resistant.

The earliest Topsider Homes were pedestal home designs built in the late-1960s and constructed on steep, sloping mountain terrain where traditional foundations would have been unsightly, expensive and destructive to the surrounding natural environment. These early green-built homes were very unique and allowed for homebuilding in locations that would be otherwise unbuildable.

While many of today’s Topsider pedestal homes continue to be built on severely sloping terrain, many are also built in coastal areas where elevated houses are a necessity to protect against floods, hurricanes and tropical storm surges.  In some locations Topsider Homes have been built to heights in excess of 20 feet above ground level.

As the leader in elevated home design, Topsider offers a variety of foundation options. These include stilt (piling) homes and other raised house foundations including crawl-spaces, short concrete piers, etc.  Taller houses are typically built on stilts (pilings) of wood, concrete or steel.  In some flood-prone locations, the ground level around the stilts or pilings can be enclosed with breakaway walls or walls with flood vents that will not impede the free flow of water. These ground level enclosures are frequently used as garages and storage spaces.

Elevated Home Coastal Flood Zone Block Foundation By Topsider

This elevated hurricane-proof beach house has a concrete block foundation with 'flood vents' to permit the free flow of water in case of flooding.

Elevated Home Coastal Pedestal House Construction By Topsider

Shown under construction, this elevated ocean front pedestal home is 20-ft above the ground, keeping it safe from storm surge and flooding.

Elevated Home Coastal Stilt Piling House Construction By Topsider

This elevated home, on concrete pilings, was built to meet strict Florida building code requirements and to provide a panoramic views from every floor level.

Elevated homes are typically built to accommodate sloping or uneven terrain, to provide safety from floods and storm surge and to enjoy the best view of the natural surroundings.  In very remote wilderness locations, some Topsider clients have built elevated houses for security from bears and other wild animals, and to be above the deep snow pack in high mountain ranges.  We have even designed remote-controlled folding stairways like draw bridges for added home security when the owners are away.

Elevated Home Luxury Coastal Hurricane House Design By Topsider

This beautiful luxury home built on Tybee Island, SC, was designed with the living area elevated on concrete pilings to protect against flooding and storm surge. The ground level garage and storage area is enclosed with 'flood vent' walls.

Elevated Home Two Story Garage Coastal House Design By Topsider

Built on the west coast of Florida, this elevated stilt house was built with 'breakaway' ground level garage walls.

Whatever the reason for wanting to build an elevated house, Topsider Homes’ unique pre-engineered and prefabricated post and beam building system is adaptable to nearly any house design requirement – structurally and aesthetically.

Save Up To 45% Import Duty & Tax in Exuma (Bahamas) If You Build Your New Topsider Home by Mid-2017!


Exuma is now Import Duty and Bahamian Stamp Tax exempt, but only until June 30, 2017!  Previously, under the Family Island Development Encouragement Act, a handful of Bahamian Islands, including Long Island, Cat Island, Andros, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Crooked Island and others (click HERE to see complete list) were the only islands exempt from duty and tax on building materials – also ending mid-year 2017.


If you are considering building on Great Exuma or Little Exuma – or on any of the other duty and tax exempt islands, there has never been a better time or reason to get your homebuilding project underway.  With a limited number of reliable builders available on these islands, many are already booking projects into 2017. Builder availability will become an issue as 2017 approaches – so time is of the essence if you wish to beat the deadline and save up to 45%!

Topsider Homes has been building in the Bahamas for 45 years.  Because we understand the Bahamas and the challenges there, we have developed a unique and comprehensive approach and package of services for our clients.  It begins with FREE Cost Estimates for any of our more than 250 online house design concepts, so that prospective clients have a starting point from which to work for design and budgetary consideration.  These estimates include the cost of Topsider’s delivered house package plus a detailed breakdown of estimated local construction costs. 

This beach front Topsider home is a combination of a two-story house and pedestal home design built on Cat Cay, Bahamas

This beach front Topsider home is a combination of a two-story house and pedestal home design built on Cat Cay, Bahamas.

This ocean front short pier or stilt hurricane house is a good example of the type of Topsider homes built in the Bahamas.

This ocean front short pier (stilt) hurricane house is a good example of the type of Topsider homes built in the Bahamas.

Once clients are comfortable with a preliminary design and budget, we begin the “design phase” during which we develop house plans and detailed building specifications. This is followed by construction documents (blue prints), engineering and other technical data and details needed for builder bids, building permits and so on. This is all handled in-house by our design and technical staffs.  Also during the design phase, we recruit and pre-qualify builders to bid on projects – a process we oversee and coordinate.  We have many experienced builders in the Bahamas, but we regularly recruit new ones so that clients have a good selection.

Topsider Homes prefab two-story house built on Great Exuma Island, BAHAMAS

This small, efficiently built Bahamas house has two living spaces and was built on Great Exuma, Bahamas.

This private family estate features three elevated ocean front houses built on Great Exuma, Bahamas

This private family estate features three elevated ocean front houses built on Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Once all the plans and builder bids are in and the costs tied down (including items such as water-catchment, septic, power to the building site, etc.) clients then engage us to fabricate the pre-engineered house components in our factory for shipment.  But our services don’t stop at our door, we take the technical lead for building permits and approvals, arrange all logistics and coordinate the ongoing project with the local builder until it is complete.

We understand building in the Bahamas. Our homes are designed to be low-maintenance, hurricane-resistant and efficient to build by local contractors. All of this ensures a higher level of cost control and quality than the typical “stick built” construction approach.  Topsider offers a comprehensive package from design and materials to project coordination, but all of these important elements and steps take time. With the June 30, 2014, deadline looming on the horizon, now is the time to get in touch with us and begin the preliminary steps to get the ball rolling!