The Complete Guide to House Lifting Methods

The process of house lifting is the raising of a home a certain distance above its foundation. You probably already know this.

You may not know that depending on your specific reasons for elevating your home and the integrity of the structure, you can elevate your house anywhere between 5 inches and 12 feet.

The term house lifting can also be used to refer to house raising, building jacking or house raising.

Lifting your home is a good option for those who wish to increase the value of their home as well as gain additional space by finishing the basement, without having to take up too much yard or porch area.

This is not only a clever way to create new space, but it’s also a cost-effective method of modifying your home.

It is a good idea to avoid the extra costs of selling your house to buy another. Moving costs, realty charges, taxes, etc.

Understanding how houses are lifted
In a nutshell, house raising is: Brace your home. Lift the house. Brace. Repeat the process. Repeat.

The actual process may be a little more complex and time-consuming, but it’s not that difficult.

Auckland house-lifters use a standard method that involves installing steel beams underneath the house and then raising it using synchronized jacks.

This method is carried out in phases. Two main components are needed: hydraulic jacks to lift the house and cribbing as support.

The house-lifters separate the house from its foundations during the elevation process and then raise it using hydraulic jacks. The house is then supported by cribs, temporary supports that are used while a new foundation or an extended one is being constructed.

To begin, holes are drilled at regular intervals into the foundation wall to allow for the installation of steel beams at key points beneath the floor framing.

The beams are placed perpendicularly to the floor. The second set is then placed perpendicularly to and below the first set.

The elevation process starts once each steel beam is in place. The jacks can only go so far, so the house is supported at intervals while the jacks raise. Once the house has been raised high enough, the cribbing is used to support it again while the foundation walls are being built.

The jacks, which are evenly distributed under the house, are connected to a hydraulic jacking unit that raises each jack by a precise amount at once. The house is then placed on the new foundation walls. The beams are removed and the holes left by the steel beams are filled.

This technique is ideal for homes that were originally constructed on crawlspaces, partial basements, or open foundations.

New Possibilities House-Lifting Opens Up for Auckland Home-Owners
Our experience has shown that many people raise their homes to gain more height. However, others do it to fix structural problems, such as the (impending damage) to the foundation of a house due to settlement or movement.

Most homes will need to be lifted in order to replace their foundation completely.

It is only safe to renovate the foundation of a house when the house is lifted.

Most common reasons to lift a house are:

Add Head Height to Your House or Additional Space Below
You may be one of many Auckland home owners who have been wanting to create a new basement. Maybe an office. Or perhaps a mini gym.

Many homeowners want to expand their home to accommodate a hobby or work, but they desperately want to remain in the neighborhood.

You can install an office under your house with ease using house lifting. You can create a brand new basement, or you can enlarge and modify an existing one.

Keep your home’s original footprint & existing yard space
You can install an additional bedroom in a house built on beams. You can also save your unoccupied land.

You can avoid the negative consequences of horizontally expanding your house. This is what most homeowners do. This will also save you from having to cut down trees, clear the grass or encroach on your backyard.

You can maintain the original footprint of your house by lifting it. You can choose to increase the height of your home either upwards or down.

Retrofitting for Earthquakes & Meeting Seismic Standards
Auckland homeowners did not have to anchor their houses into the foundations of their homes before 1980. The building codes were not what they are today.

This is not to say that houses were “unsecured” before the 1980s, but that many of the current measures are the result from what has happened between then and now.

Auckland climate, and its seismic conditions, are what they are at the moment. Most homeowners know that a home without a properly secured foundation will “slide” off in an earthquake.

When you hire the right house-lifter, they will profile your home according to your local seismic history. Once your house is raised high enough to reveal its foundation, the retrofitting process begins. The house-lifters can now reinforce the beams that have been installed and increase the strength of the walls.

As it sounds, seismic retrofitting is done to strengthen your home’s structure. It’s not necessarily to make the structure “earthquake proof.” There is no way, strictly speaking, to make a building 100% earthquake resistant.

You can reduce the risk of your home being damaged by violent seismic activity. Of course, this is in addition to the safety of those who live in a house that has been ravaged by a quake. At the very least, make their house strong enough to withstand any rock shaking beneath. Houses can easily fall over if they are not reinforced.

Auckland homeowners who are considering house-lifting, and especially those whose structures are brittle, should ensure that the proper preparations are done during the project in order to meet the seismic standards.

Auckland is prone to earthquakes, so hiring a group of experts will make you more secure.

Sorting out Other Needed Structural Requirements
Auckland homeowners often don’t realize that the foundation of their house is not in good shape.

Many older homeowners are aware that foundation problems occur more frequently than they might imagine.

Unseen damage to the foundation of your home can be caused by a variety of factors, including an incorrectly designed drainage system, natural catastrophes, persistently bad weather and changes in soil composition.

You might want to lift your house to add some extra space and height, but you may also discover that there are structural problems in your home.

In this case, a house-lifting project will likely kill two birds with one shot, especially if you are looking at older Auckland homes.

No matter if you are fortunate or unlucky, hiring the right contractor can ensure that the process is painless and cost-effective.

What to consider when budgeting for your house-lifting project
The more difficult the lifting process will be, the bigger and heavier your home is. The longer it will take to lift your house.

The house lifting company will usually charge you based on the square footage of any work performed, such as disconnecting utilities, including power, plumbing, sewers, water, and gas, or footing drains.

The larger the home, the greater the amount of manpower, equipment, and tools required.

Permits Required
A permit waiver is not applicable to house lifting, as it falls under the category of major renovation.

A house lifting permit can cost you anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 in Auckland, depending on several factors.

The location of your home
The lifting project’s value
Duration of lifting project
The high regulatory costs are a good reason to hire only the best contractors.

Good contractors will help you from the beginning with all of your paperwork.

Hidden Costs

Unexpected increases in your fees are inevitable. These are usually not the fault of the construction company, but rather unaccounted for service costs.

These expenses include fees for safely disconnecting and reconnecting your cable TV, broadband Internet, indoor water supply as well as electrical mains. For more info –

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