Lifting a home off the ground is a massive feat. Luckily, there are professional house lifters who have the experience, tools, and know how to make it happen, and they’re at your beck and call. To make the process less intimidating and confusing, we’ve outlined what you need to know about house lifting and if it could be the right choice for you.
Reasons for Lifting a House
The reasons for lifting a house are varied. You might need to raise your home to do serious foundation repairs. Or maybe you want to add square footage but don’t have the space to build out horizontally. Or you might live in a flood-prone region, and you want to stop damage before it starts. No matter the reasons you have for wanting to lift your house, rest assured that you aren’t alone.
If your home is in a low-lying or flood-prone area, it’s wise to have flood insurance. Many homeowners, even those living in an at-risk area, opt out of flood insurance because of the high costs. However, if the day comes that floodwaters do come to your property, you want coverage.
But even better than flood insurance is taking proactive steps to protect your home from flooding in the first place. If you know your home or property is at risk for flooding or in a flood zone, consider having it lifted. It is an investment that will pay off in the long run when you can have total peace of mind as rains come and floodwaters threaten to cause damage.
And by lifting your home to avoid flood damage, you can save big time on insurance costs. If your insurance company knows that the chances of having to pay out for flood damage is low or nearly zero, your rates will drop, and you’ll enjoy saving hundreds, even thousands, of dollars every year, all because you wanted to protect your home from flooding.
Adding a Basement
Even though preemptive flood protection is a great reason for having your home lifted, there are other functional purposes for raising a house. Adding a basement is a fantastic way to add more square footage and storage space to your home, especially if you don’t want to or don’t have the space to expand horizontally. It’s also a great way to keep your family safe if you live in an area that experiences tornadoes or severe windstorms that pose as a danger to your home.
Expanding Your Basement
Maybe your home already has a basement, but it’s really more like a crawlspace that you have to bend over to enter into. Expanding your cramped crawlspace or basement adds value, convenience, and functionality to your home. Just because you already have a basement (that you may not like or enjoy), that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it. Find a contractor who can lift your home and give you the basement your home needs.
Adding More Living Space
Having your house raised is the perfect way to add more living space. An expert contractor can lift your home to add an additional story on top of your existing foundation. As we mentioned above, this is a great option if you don’t have the space or desire to build out from your home, taking up precious yard and lawn space.
Lifting your home can add a ton of functional square footage to your space. Plus, if you choose to resell your home, adding an entire extra story increases its value by thousands and thousands of dollars. Instead of buying a different home with more space, having your home lifted allows to you remain in the same place that you already love while adding more breathing room for a growing family or for you to simply have more space to enjoy.
Repairing Your Foundation
Over time, most homes will experience some kinds of problems with their foundation. Sometimes, damage will be so slight that it can be repaired with epoxy resins or sealants. However, in some unfortunate cases, the integrity of the soil beneath your home is compromised, or the builders didn’t do a thorough job, and foundation damage is extensive. In these cases, your home needs to be lifted in order for repairs to take place.
Contractors need to get under your home to drill down supports into the earth until they hit stable ground. Your foundation will then rest on these supports, preventing your slab from shifting further. The only way foundation repairs of this level can happen is if your home is raised.
Before the Lift
Now that you know the reasons for lifting your house, how do you get started? There is prep work that needs to be done before you have your home lifted so you can ensure you stay on budget and get the services you need.
Hire a Pro
To make sure all of your bases are covered, you’ll want to hire a general contractor in addition to the company lifting hour house. Lifting your home off the ground is a pretty big undertaking, and there is a lot that goes into the process. You’ll need permits, safe disconnection of your utilities, possibly some excavation services, and you’ll need expert construction skills. Hiring a professional contractor ensures that all of this will be executed in a professional, safe, and compliant manner.
Prep Your Home
Talk with your lifter and general contractor to determine what cleaning and preparation needs to take place. If you have a basement or crawlspace, you’ll need to have that area cleaned of personal belongings. You’ll also need to move outdoor accessories and even landscaping so that nothing gets damaged.
Finalize Your Plans
This is the fun part! Walk through your needs and wants with your lifter and contractor. Lifting a home is a team effort, and everyone needs to be on the same page. If you want a basement, an extra story, or to make foundational repairs, or anything else, make sure you go over all of the plans and paperwork very carefully so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting and what you can expect to pay.
The House Lifting Process
At its simplest, house lifting is using hydraulic jacks to slowly raise your home off the ground, inch by inch. But there is so much more detail and preparation that goes into it. Once you’ve hired your team and cemented your plans then prepared your home for the lift, the process can begin.
The two most important tools for your lift are the jacks and the support, or cribbing. Your lifter will place jacks under your house and start the lift, which is typically only a few inches at the beginning. Once they’ve determined that it’s safe to proceed, they will insert cribbing under your home to support it as it’s raised.
The concept is simple, but the execution is everything. Safety is of utmost importance, so your contractor will take their time making sure the jacks are secure, the cribbing is stable, and your home is being lifted evenly.
After the House is Lifted
After your home is lifted, the work begins. Now your general contractor can begin the project you started out to complete in the first place. If your foundation needs repair, the supports can now be drilled into the earth. Or if you were wanting a bigger basement or a new basement entirely, it can be dug out to your specifications.
As you can gather, having a house lifter who can do the job professionally and safely makes all the difference in how your home improvement or construction project turns out. If your home isn’t lifted correctly in the first place, no other work can proceed.
You should stay in communication with your lifter to keep them abreast of your plans so they can know when you’ll need them onsite.
House lifting is nothing to take lightly, and it’s absolutely not something you should attempt to do on your own to save a few bucks. Hiring a professional house lifter ensures a safe and successful lift so you can address the reasons you wanted to lift your home in the first place, whatever those may be.