You’ve determined that you are ready to lift your home. You’re looking to protect from flood damage, expand your basement, or add more square footage. Whatever your reasoning, now for the next step: hiring someone to do it. This can feel daunting, especially since lifting your home is an investment. But we’ve made the process a little easier for you by giving you six tips to help you choose a house lifting contractor that you’ll love.
You don’t want to go into the house-lifting process unsure of what to expect. Thankfully, it’s incredibly easy to find out how it’s done, the costs incurred, and if it’s a right option for your home. While you’re researching, you can use that information to then determine which house lifting company is the best fit for you. Understanding the process can give you peace of mind so that when you do hire a contractor, you’ll know what to expect and what the outcome will be.
Check Their Experience.
What is the track record of your house lifter? You need to ask a few questions before you move forward in hiring them.
Have they lifted a house before, or are you their first client? Many contractors have experience in foundation repair or house moving, but these are not the same as lifting a house. You want to make sure the contractors you choose have plenty of experience performing house lifting.
Additionally, you want to determine what kinds of houses they have lifted. Inquire about house sizes, design, and location. See if they have experience lifting homes with similar structures and designs as yours. And find out if the lifts they have performed include the same kind you want. If you want to add a bottom floor to your home through a lift, ask if they’ve raised a home for that same purpose. You don’t want to walk into a house lifting situation where you’re acting as a guinea pig for a house lifting contractor.
Check the Equipment They Use.
As harsh as it may seem, a house lifter is only as good as the equipment they bring to your site. When undertaking a job as serious as lifting a home off the ground, you can’t afford—literally or figuratively—for your contractor to use subpar lifting and safety equipment.
When a contractor lifts your home, they use hydraulic jacks and support to lift your structure inch by inch until it’s at its desired height. If they aren’t using modern equipment that meets the OSHA requirements for house lifters, you need to find someone else. If they’re taking shortcuts with their equipment, that’s a sign that they’re not thorough in other areas of their practice.
Ask for a Quote and the Possible Additional Charges.
When you have someone lift your house, you’re looking at a pretty significant financial investment. The labor, the permits, and the additional construction that takes place during a lift add up quickly. Don’t be afraid to ask for quotes. Do your due diligence and check out the prices for a number of house lifters. While you don’t want to go with the cheapest option, getting a quote will help you determine if you’re being charged fairly and what you can plan to pay.
While you’re at it, cover your bases and ask them to give you an idea of possible unforeseen or additional charges that you might encounter. The more information you have, the better able you’ll be to choose a contractor that’s right for you.
Ask about the Timeline.
You don’t want to sign on with a house lifter only to realize they’re booked up through 6 months from now. Find out when you can expect them to begin work on your project. If you’re in a time crunch or have other options, you’ll know if you need to move on.
Ask them for an estimate of project start-to-finish time. Depending on your project, it may take a day or two, or you might need to plan for longer. Find a company who will directly and honestly answer these questions so you can know how to proceed.
One of the very best ways to find a reliable and quality house lifter is to ask for referrals. You can do this in a number of ways. Most companies showcase client testimonials on their site, but these will always be positive.
To get a better idea of what kind of company you’re working with, look online. A quick Google search will show you reviews previous customers have left, and these will be honest and give you the whole picture of what you can expect from your house lifter.
Now that you’re equipped with the right questions to ask, the process of choosing a house lifter might not seem so overwhelming. Whoever you choose should be willing to honestly and promptly answer your questions. This is a big investment, and you’re the one footing the bill; make sure you feel totally comfortable with and trusting of your lifter.