The house lifting, also known as house raising is a highly technical, lengthy and bulky process by virtue of which entire structure of house is vertically lifted.
In the process of house lifting, house structure is separated and raised from its foundation temporarily with the help of powerful hydraulic jacks and other equipments.
Reasons and advantages of house lifting
People opt for house lifting because of various reasons. The house lifting may be a part of excavating to renovate or repair an old or deteriorating basement.
It may be to strengthen the existing foundation for increasing the basement functionality from existing crawl space. Invariably, house lifting is employed to offset excessive settling.
House lifting also enables people to add another storey and build a purposeful basement to the house.
Having properly built basements significantly increase property values besides providing additional storage and living space.
House lifting is also done to move and rotate the structure for aesthetic purposes and avoid disturbance or distraction due to nearby highways or commercial structures.
In some cases, people choose house lifting to create basement or have additional living space to increase value of their house.
House constructed in hurricane/storm or food prone regions often go for house lifting to guard against or retrofitting for flood and hurricanes/storms.
The house lifting and raising your house above the base flood elevation level keeps the house safe.
In flood hazard zones, as per guidelines of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) it is mandatory for all houses to keep lowest floor above flood protection level.
Flood insurance of houses costs more if FEMA guidelines for keeping houses above flood protection level are not followed.
House lifting facilitates homeowners to pay lower flood insurance.
How is house lifting done?
House lifting is a slow and tedious process in which entire house including pillars and piers are carefully lifted evenly.
The companies undertaking assignments of house lifting use various manual traditional jacking and shoring systems as well as electro-mechanical jacking systems.
Using hydraulic screw jacks the pilings are placed on grid under the house and driven to the point of refusal under the house.
Hydraulic lift system consisting of series of hydraulic rams and hoses is operated which allows the house to be lifted safely all at once.
The structure, during house lifting, is cribbed in phased manner to ensure safety and integrity of the structure.
As a precaution, all under slab plumbing and other utilities are disconnected before house lift and reconnected after the house lifting process is over.