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How to Raise a House?

How to Raise a House?

Exterior renovationsHow to Raise a House?

Lifting a house is a common practice in Canada—especially in Quebec. After assessing whether the project can be done, a contractor will proceed by safely raising the house to carry out the necessary work on the foundation. This renovation method can be a worthy option if you’re looking to expand your home or fix any foundation-related problems. 

Practically any and all houses can be lifted, provided that they not be too old. Raising a building involves underpinning work, which means that the labourers will have to work under significant loads. For this reason, an engineer’s plans will have to be meticulously followed to avoid injuries and damages. 

Methods Used to Raise a House

Source: Canva

To learn more about the reasons behind house raising and the costs of doing so, check out our article on the subject matter: How Much Does it Cost to Raise a House?

Little a known fact, but residents of cities and regional municipalities that have an agreement with the Société d'habitation du Québec have access to financial assistance for this type of renovation work. To learn more about it, check out the SHQ website (the Housing Financial Assistance Program page is in French only). 

Raising a house is all about prep work since the procedure involves emptying the entire building of its dwellers, all furniture, and the hot water tank. Besides, the water supply and gas system will have to be disconnected. A plumber is usually tasked with disconnecting the utilities during a house-raising project. 

The lifting route often requires the use of steel beams, a hydraulic lift system, and hardwood lumber.

House Lifting Steps

Source: Canva

Managed and supervised by the worksite foreman, a team of experienced labourers will have to meticulously follow an engineer’s plan to transfer the structure's loads. 

Rigid steel beams will be slid under the floor of the first landing, with the purpose of setting up beams under the house’s framework, according to the direction of the floor joists and the weight of the load-bearing walls. 

The hardwood lumber pieces will be used to build support structures (cribbing), which are vital components used to lift and secure the steel beams. The height of the structural supports will evolve throughout the process, up until the building has been lifted to the desired height. 

Once the building has been lifted and secured, the workers can start excavating or demolishing the existing foundation. 

Once done, the walls and floors will be rebuilt. 

Steps to Follow Prior to Undertaking a House-Raising Project

Source: Canva

Lifting a house is no easy task, be it from a technical or administrative point of view. For these two reasons alone, there are numerous steps to carry out prior to undertaking this renovation project. Besides, note that the most common factor that may either impede or delay the process of lifting a house is budgetary constraints.

Inquire regarding urban planning regulations

The first step will obviously be to contact your municipality to make sure that you can actually proceed with the project at hand. Urban planning regulations differ based on your geolocation. Besides, certain zoning regulations may prevent you from adding another landing or second storey. 

Note that, if you want to raise your house to eventually move it, a lot of factors risk preventing you from doing so, like the legal dimensions and distances on the property that must be respected, as well as the hard-to-obtain permits. 

Obtain contractor quotes

Since raising a house is a large-scale project, you’ll definitely need to compare several quotes obtained by skilled contractors before making a final decision. Most people say it’s best to weigh your options based on 3 to 4 quotes from different contractors. 

Assess the project’s feasibility

Before providing you with a quote, each contractor will travel to the potential worksite to assess and determine what kind of repairs can be done. In the case of an expansion project, it would be wise to hire an architect to draw up plans that reflect the new floor that will be built. The documents you’ll be given will be helpful when you submit a renovation project permit request. 

Select a contractor and request a permit

Once assessed, the various contractors who are willing to commit to the project will be able to give you a detailed timeline of the work to be done to lift the house. At this stage of the project, you’ll have received all the related documents to request a building permit from your municipality. After that, you’ll simply have to decide which contractor quote, everything considered, seemed most appealing based on your personal preferences.

To conclude, Steve Fallon—Les Entreprises Steve Fallon—is keen on setting your mind at ease: There won’t necessarily be post-lift consequences, nor will there be additional renovation work resulting from the lifting process. The contractor will ensure that the work is done correctly. However, you can discuss possible landscaping options.  

Get 3 quotes for your house-raising project

RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your house-raising project. By submitting your project, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes) and get estimates from trusted professionals.

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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