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Houston House Raising

Houston House raising is a process by which a house is lifted off of its foundation and placed onto a new foundation. This can be done for a variety of reasons, such as when the original foundation has been damaged or when the homeowner wants to increase the height of their home. House raising is a complex process that should be performed by a professional contractor.

If you are considering having your Houston house raised, it is important to consult with a contractor to discuss your options and get an estimate for the work. There are a variety of factors that will affect the cost of house raising, such as the size and weight of the house, the type of foundation, and the location of the house.

What Are The Benefits Of Raising Your Houston Home?

House raising, also called house lifting, building jacking, or house jacking, involves raising your house off the ground by between 5 inches and 12 feet, depending on why you’re lifting it and the structure’s integrity. Raising your home can be an option worth considering if you want to add additional space to your home or increase its value.

Not only is house-raising an intelligent way to create additional space, but it may also be a cost-effective way to remodel your living quarters. This is because you’ll avoid extra costs associated with selling off your property to acquire another one, including taxes, realtor fees, legal fees, moving costs, etc.

So how are houses raised? And what are the benefits of house-raising? Keep reading to learn more.

How Are Houses Lifted?

Raise, support, and raise again. That sums up the house-raising process. However, the process is much more complex than that.

The heavier and bigger the house, the more complex the process could be. Every brick, nail, and wall is part of the jigsaw puzzle that makes up a house. Surprisingly, no matter the size, most structurally strong houses can be raised within one day.

Before raising your house, it’s vital to remember that the process will sometimes result in minor damages that need repairing. A general contractor can easily fix minor cracks in siding or plaster. While some structural faults may occur, you needn’t worry about household possessions. The raise is incremental, so it shouldn’t move your furniture and possessions around too much.

Based on why you’re raising your home, the slab (concrete foundation) may also be raised or remain on the ground. The foundation isn’t usually raised, but the contractor inserts steel beams directly under the floor joists to provide support, considering the home’s heaviest areas and the internal floor design. This builds a stable foundation on which cribbing and jacks can be used.

During the house raising process, there are two major tools in operation: hydraulic jacks and cribbing. Hydraulic jacks help with house-raising, while cribbing provides support. The jacks are laid out under the house and connected to one hydraulic jacking machine capable of lifting each jack to one specific height.

Lifting contractors will only lift the home up a few inches, for starters. At this stage, they’ll check the home and confirm if it’s safe to keep lifting. After lifting the house, they’ll stack cribbing so that a strong, interlocking network of timber is propping up the house.

Cribbing refers to the Lincoln Log-like wood beams contractors cross-stack to create a supportive foundation for the entire house. Quality cribbing is moisture-proof to ensure its longevity and stability. 

The lifter will ensure that with each raise, the cribbing stacks are 0.25 inches apart so that the house is level and doesn’t move. The most important thing during this process includes the house’s safety and stability.

The Benefits of Having Your Home Raised

Raising your home comes with many benefits, including improving your home’s airflow and views, the chance to build new stumps, new downstairs, reduction of flooding risk, and increased property value.

Improved Views and Airflow

Lifting your home can be a simple way to improve the views of your home and the airflow throughout the building. You’ll be able to enjoy more breezes and take in views of the lovely flora and fauna outside.

Consult your architect about environmentally-friendly designs that maximize the natural flow of air to your home. Placing tropical plants around windows often keeps the space cool as well.

Expanded Living Area

Lifting your Houston home is a fabulous way to create additional space underneath it without compromising its original appearance or scaling down your backyard area. By raising your home, you can add extra space to build a whole additional story, a patio downstairs, add headroom to a crawlspace or basement, convert the additional space into a storage unit or car garage, or leave it entirely open.

Simplified Home Improvement

Raising your house will make it easy to set up, modify, and maintain utilities like water, electrical, and sewer lines. If you’re remodeling your Houston home, it’ll become easy to change plumbing fixtures, and it’ll also be relatively easy and affordable to re-route wiring for TV, computer, and telephone.

No Need to Move Due to Flooding

Many homeowners face the risk of possible flooding. The risk of flooding scares many people out of their homes from time to time. Some people move away instead of having to continually worry about an approaching hurricane.

However, moving is an expensive affair. It not only involves obvious costs—like the cost of paying movers and realtors—but also hidden costs like packing boxes, temporary housing, utility start-up fees, storage space, and replacing any item that’s broken or stolen along the way.

Having your home raised relieves you of the worry of having to move away. Whether you’re reluctant to move because it’s costly or you just love your neighborhood, raising your home means you can stay put.

Not ready to say goodbye to your Houston, Texas neighbors? Love the local schools? Simply love your home and can’t imagine moving somewhere else? Well, you can make these problems disappear with house lifting.

Adds Value to Your Home

Raising your Houston house retains yard space, provides additional living space, and creates new views, all of which make your home much more valuable. Home buyers often look for spacious houses they can make a home out of. So they’re likely to be attracted to a large, roomy, airy home with a massive yard.

Lower Insurance Rates

Having your house raised usually helps you pay significantly lower flood insurance rates. Raising your home lessens the risk of flooding, making you less likely to file a claim. So, it’s only logical for insurance providers to offer reduced insurance rates to people who’ve raised their homes.

FAQs on the Benefits of House Raising

Why Are U.S. Houses Raised Above Ground?

American houses are raised above the ground for two main reasons: cost and accessibility. First, crawl spaces rule out the need to remove dirt from a concrete pad, which can be expensive.

Secondly, a crawl space provides a convenient place to set up the HVAC system and piping, in addition to sewer and water distribution all over the house. This makes future replacements and repairs easier as well.

What’s the Cost of Raising Houses in Australia?

In Australia, tiny, one-story homes with wooden frames will cost anywhere between AU$10,000 to AU$25,000 to raise. On the other hand, larger, multi-story houses made of stone or brick cost anywhere between AU$15,000 and AU$40,000 to elevate.

Why Are Old Homes Lifted?

Old houses are usually lifted off the ground to protect them from pests. For the best protection against termites, you can use kiln-dried after-treatment and pressure-treated southern pine lumber.

Final Verdict

Home-raising can be a costly and lengthy process. However, it’s a worthwhile investment if you’ve decided to keep living in a flood-prone area. Houston is a beautiful place to live in for many people, and home rising is a better, inexpensive option to let you stay put in your beloved home.

The process is very technical and intricate, no matter why you want to lift your home (whether it’s for additional space, improved airflow, or improved organization). It would be best if you always left it to qualified pros with the right tools and skills to do it.

When hiring a house lifting contractor, don’t just choose anyone who gives you their brochure. Research your options and opt for a contractor specializing in raising houses, among other main home improvement services.