Raising your house may seem like an impossible task, but an experienced contractor can do the job for just about any type of home and foundation. Raising your home could be the difference between surviving a flood and losing your home and belongings to contaminated floodwater. If you live in an area that's prone to flooding or is at risk of a major flood, then raising your house can protect your family and your house. Here's an overview of how house raising is done.
The Planning Phase
Careful planning goes into raising a house so your home isn't damaged in the process. Plus, houses are made of different materials and they have different foundations, so each job is unique. The contractor has to develop a plan for the job and then obtain permits. If your home already has flood damage or structural problems, these will probably need to be repaired before the lifting is done as a precaution against damage. Shortly before the home is raised, things like porches, plumbing, and decks have to be removed so nothing on the exterior attaches to the home. You'll need to leave your home during the process, but you can leave your belongings inside.
The House Raising Process
Part of the planning phase involves determining how high to raise the house. This depends on the flood plain elevation in your area, and it could be a few feet or the height of a full story. Raising to the height of a full story provides extra room under your home to use as a garage or covered deck rather than just having wasted space. Raising the house is a slow process that's done with the help of computerized jacks. As the house is slowly elevated, supports are added underneath it to keep the house steady until it's at the desired height and then a new foundation can be added with concrete piers or some other method.
The Finishing Work
Once your home has been elevated, you'll need to have stairs built so you can get inside. Also, plumbing and electricity have to be reconnected to your current systems. Raising a house usually doesn't cause much damage as long as the house is structurally sound. However, cracking in drywall is to be expected. These cracks are normally minor and they can be repaired without having to replace the drywall.
Many factors affect the end cost of having your house raised. For instance, if there are trees near the house, you may need them removed and you'll have to replace landscaping around the area. Brick houses are heavier and may cost more, and if your home has two levels already, it's heavier and more costly to lift. However, no matter what the cost, it's worth it to live in a home that's safe from flooding so you know your home is protected even from historic flooding that is a potential threat to your area. Contact a house raising service for more help.