Homeowners sometimes find themselves in predicaments that require professionals to lift a house. Lifting a house can help you level the home, move it out of the flood zone, or even put in a basement. As crazy as house raising may seem, the cost to raise a house in some situations is affordable and the only choice that you have. Let’s take a look at the cost to raise a house in a variety of circumstances so that you have a general idea as to what to expect.
Cost to Raise a House
The average cost to raise a house is between $5,000 and $25,000. The price range of the total cost is so broad because there are a variety of different reasons to raise a house and factors that impact the total cost. Whether you are deciding to put in a new foundation or moving your home to a new plot of land, the costs can vary.
The lifting process will vary also depending on the current condition and type of your house foundation, the square footage, and the professionals needed to get the job done.
Average Cost to Lift a House
The average cost to lift a house will be around $20,000. However, large-scale and small-scale projects will have many different total costs. In addition, the size of your home and existing foundation type will play into this.
|Type||Home Type||Construction||Cost Per Square Foot||Average Cost|
|Small Scale Project||Single Story||Wood Framed, Pier and Beam Foundation or Crawl Space||$11-$21||$11,000-$26,000|
|Large Scape Project||Multi-Story Home||Brick & Stone, Concrete Slab||$16-$32||$15,000-$45,000|
Pros and Cons of Home Lifting
Some homeowners find that raising a house is necessary because of things like the base floor elevation or foundation repair. However, for others, this is a personal decision to change the look or functionality of the home. Here are some of the pros and costs of lifting a house and the factors you should consider before you jump into this process.
Pros & Cons
- Can help move out of a flood zone
- Allows for addition of a basement, or increased ceiling heights in basementt
- Increase in resale value in most situations
- Will help lower insurance premiums in some areas
- Renovations and updates to homes can be cheaper than moving
- High costs
- Structural damage can make the process more costly
- Large team of people needed to complete the process
Cost to Raise a House by Size
As we have mentioned, the cost of raising a house will be primarily impacted by the size of the home. As you can imagine, a larger home is going to require much more work, time spent by a structural engineer, and a larger crew of both equipment and people. Smaller homes, especially those that just need to be leveled, will be considerably lower in price.
Remember that when you look at these average costs of raising a house by size, there will still be additional costs involved with repairing or rebuilding the home foundation.
Cost To Raise A House By Size
|1,000 sq ft||$11,000-$26,000|
|1,500 sq ft||$16,000-$36,000|
|2,000 sq ft||$21,000-$46,000|
|2,500 sq ft||$26,000-$55,000|
|3,000 sq ft||$31,000-$60,000|
Cost to Raise a House by Home Type
A small wood frame single-story home is much easier to work with than a large concrete slab home that is already more than one story. In addition, older homes with more unique details and maybe different original construction practices will also change the scope of the work. Here are some examples of how much it costs to raise a house by the home type.
It’s important to remember that the ultimate goal of raising the house will also impact the pricing. To escape flood damage and get to base flood elevation, you may only need to increase the height of the home by a foot or two. In other areas, to keep flood insurance in check, a full 8 feet is needed.
|Home Type||Construction||Cost Per Square Foot||Average Cost|
|Single Story||Wood Framed, Pier and Beam Foundation or Crawl Space||$11-$21||$11,000-$26,000|
|Multi-Story Home||Brick & Stone, Concrete Slab||$16-$32||$15,000-$45,000|
Cost to Raise a House by Foundation Type
The foundation that your home currently has in place will impact the total costs of your house raising or lifting project. The cheapest of these is going to be the home on pilings as it is much easier to work with. However, home improvement companies that lift houses will be able to help regardless of the type of foundation you already have in place.
The cost to raise a house on a slab is easiest when the slab and the home can be moved together. If the old foundation stays in place and the new one can be built or repaired underneath, the project costs will be considerably lower. Expect house lifting costs for slab foundations to be in that same $11,000-$25,000 range we have seen across the board.
Raising a house on pilings will lower the overall cost of the project. It is much easier to hydraulic jacks and to ensure the current condition of the home because of the exposure that you have to the house. The national average for this type of raise will still be in the same $12,000-$18,000 range, depending on how high you need to move the home.
Other foundation types, including stem wall foundations, crawl spaces, and pilings are all in the same general price range. The cost of raising a home with a basement can increase a bit because of the digging involved in this process.
Cost to Elevate a Home by Purpose
Now we get to the big question, why are you trying to raise your home in the first place? If you are tired of water damage or need a new foundation, your project’s costs will change. Home raising can go from a very simple jack-up of about six inches to completely raising a house to add a basement. Here is a general idea of the costs involved.
Cost To Raise A House By Purpose Type
|Purpose||Low-End Costs||High-End Costs|
|Raising Above Flood Zone||$20,000||$80,000|
|Raising a House To Move||$15,000||$60,000|
|Adding a Basement||$45,000||$150,000|
Raising a House Above Flood Zone Cost
The cost to raise a house above the flood zone will range from $20,000 to $80,000. Those with piling expect more significant costs, while the pier and beam and columns have lower costs. The other factor that will come into play here is the floodplain and how high the house needs to go to get into a safe zone for FEMA. One of the things to remember here is that your insurance premiums are going to be significantly reduced, and it will help to offset the costs slightly.
Lifting a House to Reinforce Foundation Cost
Sometimes the purpose of raising a house is simply to reinforce the foundation to add a second story to the home. Most of the time, this does not require a complete foundation rebuild and instead will require a structural engineer to come in and make decisions about the best way to work on the home and fix the overall issues involved. Expect these costs to get as high as $30,000 but be as low as $7,000.
Cost to Raise a House to Move
The cost to raise a house to move will vary quite a bit based on where you are moving the house and the transportation costs involved in this process. In addition, you will have building costs at the new site that end up adding thousands of dollars to the total pricing. Keep these average costs in mind when raising a house to move.
- Permits and Transporting Approvals ($500-$2,500)
- Structural Engineer Inspection and Report ($1,000-$3,000)
- Raising and Transporting of The House ($20,000-$60,000)
- New Foundation Costs ($5,000-$20,000)
Cost to Lift a Home to Replace Foundation
The costs to lift home and replace a foundation can get as high as $100,000. The biggest thing to consider here is the size of the home and the accessibility to the area where it needs to be lifted. Foundation replacements generally fall in the $25,000 price range, but the addition of the living is what puts this into a much higher category or price point.
Raising a House to Add a Basement Cost
The type of basement you decide to put in will be one of the significant cost factors that impact this process. In addition, if you have a beam foundation or a slab foundation, you may see extra costs involved with the lift. Most of the time, raising a house to install a basement will cost closer to $150,000. This is a major project and will impact the overall size and value of your home.
Cost to Raise a House by Elevation Lift
As you can imagine, the higher the house needs to go, the more work it is. Of course, the price per square foot will be higher, as you need to move the home higher up. In addition, more equipment and more personnel are needed to get the home up higher. Here are the average costs to raise a house by the elevation lift.
Cost To Raise A Home By Elevation Lift
|0 to 5 feet||$12,000-$30,000|
|5 to 10 feet||$17,000-$40,000|
|10 to 15 feet||$30,000-$50,000|
How Much Does it Cost to Jack up a House?
Jacking up a house is not nearly as expensive as lifting a house. You can expect that the scope of work involved with mudjacking or underpinning is also going to be considerably less extensive than entirely raising a house. The average cost here will be between $3,500 and $7,000. Another thing to remember about jacking up the house is that it typically does not need to be done across the entire home. Based on soil conditions, only one corner of the home may need it.
Factors that Affect Jacking Up a House
The main factors that affect the cost of jacking up a home include things like the severity of the damage, the location, and ease of access to the area where the home needs to be jacked up. The joists that are installed as reinforcement can also impact the total price that you pay for jacking up a house. The good news here is that not as many personnel or experts are needed, so plumbers, electricians, and architects may not need to get involved.
Cost to Level a House
Leveling a house is typically less expensive than the complete process of lifting a house. Of course, this will depend on exactly what needs to be done and whether or not there are significant areas of the foundation disconnecting from the home itself. Here are some of the basic costs to expect when looking at the total to level a house.
Cost To Level A House
|Underpinning A Corner||$3,500-$7,000|
|Underpinning A Large Portion of the Home||$15,000-$20,000|
Home Lifting Labor Costs
A company that helps you with your home lifting project typically involves quite a few contractors. Everything from landscaping to structural engineering will be needed to complete this project. Here are a few of the people that will be involved with the cost of raising a house and how much they often charge. The more experienced and skilled the team is, the higher the costs you can expect.
Home Lifting Labor Costs
|Structural Engineer||$100-$250 per hour|
|Architect||$125-$250 per hour|
|Plumbing||$45 – $200 per hour|
|Electrician||$75-$150 per hour|
|Excavation||$40-$200 per hour|
|Laborer||$15 per hour|
|Heavy Equipment Operator||$25 per hour|
How to Prepare to Raise a House
Unfortunately, the process of raising the house will be pretty involved and require quite a few steps on the part of the homeowner and crew. When you are looking to prepare to raise a house, here are some of the key factors you need to consider and will have to work on to be ready.
- Hire A General Contractor: For a complete lift project, you will have to deal with engineers, architects, permitting, and repair; the general contractor can help manage all of this for you.
- Empty Anything Under The House: If you have a current basement or crawlspace, it needs to be cleared out. The good news is that everything in the house can stay in place.
- Disconnect Utilities: All utilities need to be disconnected; the most important, of course, are the water, electricity, and gas.
- Call in plumber and electrician: Plumbers and electricians need to remove and clean up any wiring or pipes below the house; if you have a general contractor, they will help with this process.
- Contact Local Utility Companies: Call before you dig; a significant factor here must be considered so that issues with power and water in your area are not impacted.
- Remove Anything Connected To The House: If you have shrubs, fences, porches, or even decks currently connected to the house, they will need to go.
- Secure Fragile Belongings: If you have anything in the house that you are very concerned about, you can remove it or secure it. Most of the time, there are no issues with things inside the home, but it’s worth securing something like a tall clock.
Does Raising a Home Cause Damage?
For the most part, raising a house will be done without damage. The professionals completing the raise for you are very well versed in what it takes to get this done. In addition, the overall process moves very slowly. The house does not just jump eight feet overnight. The small movements help decrease the drywall or tile issues that some homes have experienced in the past.
How Long Does it Take to Lift a House?
Expect your home lifting project to take about six weeks. However, the actual process of lifting the house will likely only take about 5 days. There is a lot of prep work involved in this process, permitting that it takes some time and then, of course, the repairs and the finishing off of the area once everything is complete.
Final Verdict: Is Raising a House Worth the Cost?
Homeowners must be cautious when deciding if raising a house is worth the cost. Sometimes there is no way around it as the house is flooding, and it’s the only option. Other times this is a preference for adding a basement or a second story. Take a look at the costs involved as well as the costs and inconveniences involved in moving and see which makes the most sense.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you raise an existing house?
A home can be raised, and a new foundation can be installed underneath. The cost of lifting a home is typically in the $11,000 to $30,000 range, depending on what you are looking for and the process involved.
What are the benefits of lifting a house?
The benefits of lifting a house can include moving it out of the flood zone, taking the house to a new location, fixing foundation damage, and leveling it.
Can a house on concrete be lifted?
A house on concrete can be limited. Sometimes the lifting is done with the concrete attached to the home, and other times it is separated from the home before moving.
How much does it cost to lift the home and replace the foundation?
To lift the home and replace the foundation, you will likely spend close to $80,000. The process here involves a relatively high lift and then the foundation rebuilding costs. Without lifting the home first, foundation replacement would be in the $30,000 range.
How many feet can you raise a home?
Most homeowners that are getting involved in the home-raising project will raise the home an entire story. This is done so that the usable space under the home can be turned into a living space. FEMA even recommends that if you need to raise the house by four feet, you may as well raise it a complete story.