Frequently Asked Questions

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House Lifting FAQ

How much does it cost to raise a house? Each house is different and many factors affect the cost of lifting a structure. In most cases we can provide a budgetary lift price over the phone with a little information and some online research of the structure and property. In some cases, especially with larger or irregularly shaped buildings, a site visit is required before we can assess the associated costs. We are always more than happy to provide an estimate free of charge in our normal service area.

What permits do I need? A building permit is required for the structural work taking place below the house once it has been raised. There is no special permitting required for lifting the structure, but you will need the new foundation and/or framing inspected and approved prior to lowering the house. Although we are not involved in the permitting process, in most areas we are able to refer you to either a design/build company or architect to assist you with this process.

Will I need a new foundation? In many cases, especially if the foundation is sound and you are only looking for additional basement height, new framing can be built on top of the existing foundation. Other times when the foundation has significant settling or is in disrepair a new foundation or a minimum of foundation stabilization may be required. While we can not determine if your foundation will need to be replaced, we can recommend the proper companies to make that determination.

Will my house be earthquake retrofitted after lifting? As part of the process, everything below your house will be built to meet current building codes, including all necessary seismic hold-downs and connections. This will all be outlined in your building plans by the structural engineer and will be part of the project whether you are replacing the foundation or building on top of the existing foundation.

How long does it take to lift a house? The amount of time it takes to lift depends largely on the size and shape of the house. A typical structure with an approximate 1,200 square foot footprint generally takes 1 – 2 days to lift. Larger more complex buildings can take a week or more. We will provide you with an anticipated timeline for the lifting process as part of your bid.

Can I live in the house while it is lifted? Many people do, but this is a better question for your General Contractor. Many contractors do not allow you to be in the structure due to insurance concerns.

Do I need building plans prior to receiving a bid for lifting my house? No. We can provide you with a bid for the lift at any point, however it will be based on some assumptions and speculation of the structural work that will be performed. In some cases a bid will need to be updated following completion of the final structural plans if there are any significant changes we need to accommodate during the lifting process. 

My house is on a crawlspace. Is it possible to put a basement under it? It is not only possible, but very common. In these instances we will need to know ahead of time how deep the excavation will be. Sometimes the shoring locations can be dug out ahead of time to save time (and money) with return trips. Other times additional site visits are required to relocate our shoring equipment to facilitate the excavation. In some cases, if there is enough room on the site, it is more cost effective to move the house out of the way while the excavation is completed and then return to move it back to its original location.

What kind of damage will there be to the house from lifting? The only damage you may see will be cosmetic and will be directly related to the amount of settling and patching or remodeling that has taken place over the years. Many times we suggest digging out visible patches (especially in plaster) to allow cracks to close up during the straightening process. Doors may need to be adjusted if they have been previously altered due to settling. Windows that have been replaced, installed level and plumb, may need to be adjusted. In some cases with extreme settling we suggest removing trim and shims prior to lifting to allow the windows to relax.

What does your insurance cover? We carry one of the most comprehensive insurance policies available for the raising and moving of buildings including an all-risk cargo insurance policy that covers the building and contents while in our “care, custody and control”. In other words, once we begin working on lifting your house, anything that happens to it is covered by our policy regardless of who is to blame, including mother nature. The only thing not covered is damage inherent to raising of a structure (cracks in plaster/drywall and repairs to doors and windows). We do suggest that when receiving bids from our competition that you contact their insurance carrier directly and verify not only that they are insured for raising your house, but also that your building and contents are covered once it has been removed from the foundation.

Do we need a General Contractor? Can we hire you directly for the lift? While it is most common for a General Contractor to be involved and hire us as a subcontractor for the lift, it is not required. We are more than happy to contract directly with a homeowner if you are performing the work yourself or if you are acting as your own General Contractor. If you are using a General Contractor you will want to discuss with them whether or not they require all subcontractors to be directly subcontracted by them. 

Can additions, porches and decks be lifted with the house? What about fireplaces and chimneys? Yes to all. Obviously this does add to the cost of the lift though. We are more than happy to include these as separate line items in the bid if requested so you can weigh your options and decide what makes the most sense for your individual situation.

Will I receive a written contract clearly showing me the responsibility of all parties involved in the lift? If you are contracting directly with us, details of the lift as well as responsibilities of all parties involved will be stated in writing for your approval along with payment terms and all other elements related to the project. No work will be performed without your written approval. We don’t believe in “surprises”. We want you to be aware of the operation from start to finish. If we are subcontracting with your General Contractor, we suggest discussing all terms with them and being aware of all details contained in our Agreement.

Can a brick or stone building be raised? If you hire the right company, yes. We are one of the country’s foremost specialists in lifting and moving masonry. 

House Moving FAQ

  

How much will it cost to move my house? Each house is different and many factors affect the cost of moving a structure. In most cases we can provide a budgetary move price over the phone with a little information and some online research of the structure and move route. In some cases, especially with larger or irregularly shaped buildings, a site visit is required before we can assess the associated costs. We are always more than happy to provide an estimate free of charge in our normal service area for most projects, however in some cases we do have a fee for a full feasibility study to determine obstructions and provide a full list of requirements necessary to facilitate the move.

Does moving a building reduce its structural integrity? When using a skilled and experienced mover (us), there is little-to-no-risk of harming your structure’s integrity. We have the knowledge, most up to date equipment and take every precaution to ensure that your building is moved with the utmost care and precision. We would be more than happy to walk you step by step through the process and the equipment we will be using. 

How long does it take to move a building? The amount of time it takes to relocate a house depends largely on the size and shape of the house along with the type of construction. Normally a house can be prepared to move in anywhere from a few days up to several weeks. The move itself is generally a few hours or less, depending on the distance and the move route. We will provide you with an anticipated timeline for the moving process as part of your bid.

What permits do I need? A building permit is required for the new foundation at the destination location along with various utility permits. Depending on the jurisdiction you may also need a Street Use Permit at the origination and destination locations. These will all be your responsibility or the responsibility of your General Contractor. We obtain the building move permit or oversize load permit and coordinate with the local jurisdiction for the necessary requirements, however the actual cost of the permit and requirements are passed on to you or your General Contractor.

How far can a house be moved? That depends on the type of building, where it is located and the route to the destination. As a general rule, the further the move the higher the price. Not necessarily for the move itself, but more so the cost of raising/lowering overhead utilities and moving obstructions. We typically recommend finding a lot within 2-3 miles, but in many areas a much further distance is feasible.

How do I know if my house can be moved? All houses can be moved, but not all houses are feasible to be moved. The size, height, location, accessibility, and move distance will all play largely into the feasibility. Many times the cost of raising/lowering of overhead utilities and moving obstructions can exceed the cost of the move itself. We can usually determine the feasibility of a potential move prior to a site visit and are always more than happy to provide an estimate free of charge in our normal service area for most projects, however in some cases we do have a fee for a full feasibility study to determine obstructions and provide a full list of requirements necessary to facilitate the move.

How much does it cost to raise or lower overhead utilities? Every utility company (electric, phone, cable, traffic signals) has their own method of pricing. In most cases we can provide you with a point of contact for each utility involved and a loaded height of the structure, but it will be your responsibility to contract direct for raising, lowering or disconnecting to facilitate the move.

Can the foundation be constructed before moving? In most cases we recommend that the excavation be performed prior to moving the structure but the foundation be built after the building is delivered to the new site. This allows the foundation contractor to form the foundation to precisely fit the structure. It also avoids additional time and costs involved with transferring the building from the equipment we use to transport over the road to equipment necessary to roll over the foundation. Each project is evaluated on a case by case basis and in some rare cases it may make more sense to have the foundation installed ahead of time.

Can you move a house over water? We can, however we have found that in most scenarios barging houses is cost prohibitive. We would be more than happy to discuss your situation and determine if we feel it is a viable option.

Do you move mobile homes and modular homes? If the mobile or modular home is being moved on-site, we are more than happy to move it with no dismantling necessary. If the mobile or modular home is being moved to another location over public roads, the structure will need to be dismantled to its original portions and a company specializing in transporting mobile and modular homes should be contacted.

Do you move sheds? As a general rule, we don’t move anything under 400 square feet in size. 

What other costs are involved above and beyond the bid for the move? This will depend on the size of the house, the move route and requirements from local jurisdictions. Generally you can count on utility fees for overhead wire lifting/lowering/disconnection, moving of obstructions (traffic signals, utility poles, tree trimming), sign fees (Road Closed, No Parking, Detour), traffic control plans/traffic control, escort costs and move permit or oversize load permit fees.