At Payne Construction Services, we’re so involved with the process of house lifting that we often forget that people are still worried about how much damage will be done to a house during the house raising process. Is the house’s frame compromised? Does the plaster fall off the walls? Once the house is on its new foundation, will there be thousands of dollars in repairs necessary?
Those are legitimate questions. After all, it seems odd that extensive damage wouldn’t happen to a house while it’s being raised between three and twelve feet off the ground (and sometimes higher). So we certainly understand why “how much damage will the house suffer during house lifting?” is one of the first questions that people ask when they contact us.
First, Let’s Get This Out Of The Way…
In most cases, the damage will be between “little” and “none.” It might be surprising to hear, but lifting a house is a very gentle process. Technically we are damaging the house when we destroy the foundation underneath, but the rest of the structure is treated very gingerly. The hydraulic jacks we use move the house skyward at a very slow pace, and they don’t shake the structure when they start and stop as some machines might.
In fact, we advise you to leave everything in the house during the lift; no need to move out and move back in if it’s not necessary. The typical house is already over 500,000 pounds, so another hundred thousand pounds of “stuff” isn’t a big deal!
So, what’s the damage? For the average house, the most damage that occurs tends to be minor drywall cracking. While the frame of a house can handle movement well, drywall is typically unyielding and tends to crack. Once the house has been settled on its newly-built foundation, these cracks can be repaired with ease.
Damage Depends on the Structure
You won’t be surprised to know that different structures require specialized lifting techniques. While they all might require hydraulic jacks, a wood frame house and a historic brick mansion are two very different beasts!
Age can also be a factor, as can the original quality of construction. Sometimes old concrete is crumbling, and other times it’s stronger than the day the building opened its doors. (Fun fact: the Hoover Dam, in operation since 1931, is stronger today than ever before thanks to the constantly curing concrete.)
We won’t lie, some structures might suffer more than others. But with enough planning, the damage can be reduced so that only the slightest repair is necessary after the structure lifting occurs.
It Depends On the House Lifting Company
In every industry, some companies are better than others. It’s just a fact that one company might have better equipment and more experience than another.
Can house lifting damage a house? Absolutely! If you go with the wrong company, you might have to worry about this (don’t click on that link). While such severe damage (as seen in that link, don’t click on it) is rare, a lesser company is more likely to leave you with damage such as twisted frames or severely cracked walls and siding.
Here at Payne Construction Services, we’ve been in the business since 1974. During those 45 years, we’ve amassed an army of equipment that supports your house properly. Of course, the experience we’ve had during that time — from building moving to bridge jacking to foundation underpinning — has informed our home raising. We simply keep getting better with each job we do.
It Depends On What You’re Willing To Risk
So now that we’ve scared you with talk of damage to your home if you go with the wrong house lifting company (you clicked that link above, didn’t you?), we hope we can calm your nerves by telling you that the risks of house raising are a much more palatable than the risks of your house flooding during heavy rains.
If you don’t have you home elevated, you’re risking so much. Not only are you putting your home at stake, but also everything that’s in your home as well. Floodwaters will destroy everything you hold dear, and moving it all out before the floodwaters rise is an impossibility. Even after the waters recede, you’re risking the chance of black mold taking hold in your house, which could cause physical ailments as well as neurological problems.
Contact Payne Construction
In the end, having your house raised is an easy decision. The damage will be minimal (if any), especially if you go with a reputable house lifting company. There’s also a very good chance that having the service performed will reduce your flood insurance, because your insurance company is less likely to have to replace your entire homes after flooding. Payne Construction Services is ready to help, and we’d love to answer your questions. Contact us today!