House Lifting

House Lifting
House-Lifting-New-Jersey

House lifting (a.k.a house raising, house elevating and house jacking) is the process of lifting a house and building a new, or extending the existing, foundation below it. During the elevation process most houses are separated from their foundations, raised with hydraulic jacks, and held by temporary supports while a new or extended foundation is constructed below.

There are many reasons people choose to lift their homes. Some of them the most common reasons is flood protection, to reduce flood insurance rates and/or to add more space to their home. Jump to Reasons to lift your house for more.

If you’re looking for the best house lifting services in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Long Island or Staten Island, then you’ve come to the right place. We have been lifting houses for over 50 years.

There are many companies that offer house lifting services, but when it comes to lifting your home, you should find one that is extremely skilled, experienced and reliable in the industry. Therefore, when hiring a house lifting company, make sure it meets the following criteria.

House Lifting: How to choose the best company?

  • A long standing track record within the house lifting and building moving industry.
  • Comprehensive knowledge in general construction, machine operation and rigging.
  • Proper insurance for lifting and moving structures including but not limited to riggers, cargo and care custody and control insurance.
  • Proper house lifting equipment including but not limited to a unified jacking system, crib jacks and lifting equipment to perform the standard lifting procedures.article-1-photo-2
  • A comprehensive safety plan.
  • References from prior work in the rigging business.

W.A. Building Movers & Contractors Inc. does more than just meet all of the above. As a family business, we put every effort forward to make your family feel like a part of our family and we’ll treat your lift or move as if the home was our own home.

House Lifting: Reasons to lift your house

If you were a hurricane victim

If your house was flooded by Hurricane Sandy or Irene and you’d like to prevent it from happening again, you should consider house lifting and raise your house above the Base Flood Elevation. The BFE is the computed elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during a base flood and is a regulatory requirement for the elevation or flood proofing of structures. Once a structure is lifted, only the foundation remains exposed to flooding while the living area is safe from damage.

If your home is in a flood zone

Whether or not you were a victim of the storm, House Lifting, Flood Zonesif your home is in a flood zone, you should lift your house in order to protect it from future flooding. These zones are shown on flood maps. Moderate to low risk areas are zones that begin with the letters “B,” “C” or “X” and high-risk zones start with the letters “A” or “V.” To read the definition for each zone, click here

The most vulnerable homes are in the “V” zones, which are waterfront areas that are at highest risk for flooding and subject to 3-foot breaking waves. But houses still need to be raised in the coastal “A” zones, which isn’t as vulnerable as the “V” zone but is still subject to major damage.

Even houses in “B,” “C,” or “X” zones should consider house lifting. Roughly 25% of all flood insurance claims are filed in low to moderate flood-risk areas.

To see if your home is in a flood zone and which flood zone, click here.

To lower your flood insurance

House lifting will also lower your flood insurance in the long-run. Under the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, you could save more than $90,000 over 10 years if you raise your house 3 feet above the Base Flood Elevation.

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To add more space

House lifting also adds more usable space under your home. It’s the perfect alternative if you’re looking to add more square footage, but you don’t want to build an extension that, for example, takes away backyard space. This added space could be used for storage, a garage, or a nice basement.

If you have a small yard to begin with or you’d like a covered area outside to hosts guests, house lifting is a great option for that too. Instead of building continuous walls after the lift, you could build separate piers, posts, columns, or pilings to create an open space.

To strengthen, repair or replace a foundation

article-2-photo-3The most effective way to repair or replace a foundation is by first lifting or lifting and moving your house off of the existing one.  

If a foundation needs to be strengthened or repaired, it may go through a process called underpinning, it may need helical piles or it may need both. Underpinning, to put it simply, is when a foundation is installed under the existing one. A lot of foundation issues occur due to poor soil. If this is the case for your home, a type of steel called helical piles is drilled into the foundation and far below the surface into bedrock. This is considered a long term or permanent fix to foundation issues caused by ground or soil movement.

If the damage to your foundation is serious and widespread enough, then it will have to be replaced. The current foundation is excavated to create room for demolition and construction. After the debris have been cleared, new footings are poured, forms are set for pouring foundation walls, the concrete is cured and helical piles are installed if necessary.

Once the foundation has been strengthened, repaired or replaced, the house is then lowered or moved back and lowered to attached it to the new, stable and sturdy foundation.

To increase the value of your home

House RaisingHouse lifting also increases the value and potential resale of your home by an estimated 15% to 25%. Adding square footage alone increases its value, the more space, the more it’s worth. As for potential resale: houses in flood zones that aren’t raised are nearly impossible to sell because flood insurance rates are so high.

Buyers would have to purchase additional flood insurance on top of buying your house, which would cost them thousands of dollars a year as seen above in figure 3. This may discourage them from buying your home and encourage them to buy one that is already lifted. Elevating a home may be expensive, but it would be worth the cost if you are having trouble selling it.

More information

The range for the cost of house lifting is so broad that it is almost impossible to give an estimate without looking at the structure first. To read about what what determines the cost of house lifting, click here.

W.A. Building Movers & Contractors Inc. has been lifting/raising/elevating and moving houses and fixing foundations for over four decades. To read more about us, click here. To see a portfolio of our work, click here.

To request a quote for your lift or move, please feel free to contact us via e-mail at info@wabuildingmovers.com or call our office at 908-654-8227. We look forward to hearing from you.


Topics: house raising, house elevating, house lifting

Sources: FEMA, Floodsmar.gov, The Wall Street Journal