Lifting Your Home: A Step-By-Step

Take a drive up and down the New Jersey coast. When you’ve done it in the past, it was probably to do some sightseeing. You checked out the tourist spots, looked with envy at the gorgeous oceanfront homes of Seaside Park and Mantoloking, and enjoyed the sea air.

These days, the experience is a little different. Hundreds of homes have been torn down. Many thousands more are in the process of being repaired, being lifted, or both.

Those NJ house raising projects, in fact, are something you should expect to see a lot more of, because they not only help lower flood insurance rates, they provide the best protection from storms like Hurricane Sandy.

How do these projects happen? Are they as big as they look? What can you expect if you decide to join the thousands who are protecting their investment by hiring a New Jersey house lifting firm to get lifted to a higher foundation?

The process is easier than you imagine. Here’s how it unfolds:

  1. Plan Your Raise – Not all raises are made alike. While in most cases your home will simply be lifted up onto a higher foundation or pilings, but otherwise be left unchanged, in some cases you might choose or need to alter things like how your decks, porch and/or stairs are configured. Therefore, the process starts with planning.
  2. Secure Your Permits – A house lifting is a big project. Even though you won’t be changing the footprint of your home, permits are still required before you begin the process. In most cases, your contractor should be able to handle most or all of this process for you.
  3. Demolition Begins – Before the raise can begin, exterior features like stairways and attached decks will have to be demolished or moved. This is also the case for fixed structures, such as brick chimneys.
  4. Cribbing Is Prepared – “Cribbing” are stacks of tiered timber designed to hold up large loads. Prior to the lift, crews will prepare this underneath your home.
  5. The Structure Is Lifted – The main part of the job is the lifting. Most New Jersey house raising firms use computer-connected jacks to precisely lift a structure, inch by inch, until the desired height is reached.
  6. Foundation Expansion/Construction – After the desired new height is reached, your foundation will be reconstructed below your home, each portion replacing the cribbing that had been placed there. That means new concrete, new footings, and so on.
  7. New Porch, Deck & Stairs – In Step 3, your existing stairs and other structures were moved or demolished. At this point, they will be put back in place (with additions) or rebuilt entirely.
  8. Finishing Touches & Moving In – From here, your house lifting in NJ project is near complete. Minor things such as repairing cracked drywall will take place, but the bulk of the work is complete.

What surprises people is that this entire 8-step process can take as little as a few weeks, with the bulk of the work happening in a weekend. Most families are not displaced from their homes for very long, allowing you to get back to a normal life quickly – but this time with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re above the floods of a future Hurricane Sandy.