House lifting, or elevating a house, is a very viable option for a homeowner today. There are many reasons why a homeowner would consider this house raising project and they range from wanting a bigger foundation, repairing an existing foundation, moving a house higher if in a flood zone, or possibly moving a house to another location. But before you undergo a house elevating experience, you must do your homework and make sure you’re complying with local building codes and ordinances and plan everything out with the proper professionals. You know the old adage “If you fail to plan, you can plan to fail.”
Consult an architect and/or a structural engineer.
If you are not just elevating your house to replace an existing foundation or to build a new one, you will want to consult with an architect if you are considering renovation as well. An architect will be able to draw up plans detailing the changes that you want done to your house. The architect will probably recommend getting the approval of a structural engineer before any work is done. At a minimum you will need drawings approved by an engineer as a first step in the process.
You will need a building permit.
Even though you may not be building a house, you are probably pouring a new foundation for your existing house. As a result, you will need to get approval from your local building inspector and adhere to local ordinances. This approval will come in the form of a building permit. In most cases you will have to have to submit drawings of the work that will be done and will have to have the drawings stamped or approved by an engineer. A building permit is needed before any contractor that you have hired will do the work of raising your house.
Preparation for the house elevation
As a homeowner, it is important that you take the proper precautions before the contractor comes to lift up your house. They will be coming to your site with large equipment so it is up to you to take some preparations before that day. You may have to remove any fences that could impede the house lifting contractor from moving their equipment into place. Your vehicles will have to be moved out of the area and lawn furniture and any small existing storage sheds should also be moved out of the area. Basically anything that could be an impediment to the project should be removed from the site.
If you have electrical lines that are underground they should be well marked. This also goes for any underground water or gas lines. If you have an existing basement, it will have to be completely empty prior to lifting day. And most importantly, the homeowner will have to arrange for disconnecting all utilities. This will include plumbing, gas, and electricity. The homeowner may also want to disconnect cable which may include internet access as well as telephone.
House lifting requires a lot of up-front work. Long before the contractor comes in to do the job, a homeowner must thoroughly plan and prepare so that the project gets off to a good start. Without that proper preparation the project will be doomed to fail. But, by taking the proper measures and precautions, the project of elevating a house will result in an uplifting and rewarding experience.