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House Lifting Cost Guide
Updated: August 18, 2022
Raising a house can be a big project with many surprising benefits. Whether you live in a flood zone and need your home elevated, want more space and cannot expand laterally, or need to move your existing home to a new location, lifting it safely off its current foundation is the first step. Lifting a home has numerous variables involved that affect the final cost. How far the house is being lifted, the foundation type, and the reason for the lifting all impact your final cost.
The national average for raising a home is between $25,000 and $100,000, with the average homeowner spending around $50,000 on raising a 1,500 sq.ft. wood frame home 6 feet and building a new basement foundation beneath it. The low cost for this project is $15,000 for raising a 1,500 sq.ft. home 3 feet and repairing the foundation below it. The project’s high cost is $125,500 for raising a home more than 10 feet, building a second story, and adding a new slab foundation below it.
Cost to Raise a House
|House Lifting Costs
|National average cost
Cost to Raise a House by Purpose
There are many reasons why you may need to raise your home. Your foundation may be unstable and needs replacing, or maybe you want to add onto your home, and raising your home is the best way to do this. In each case, the costs to actually raise the house do not vary tremendously. Instead, the cost of what you do to the home during the lift drives your final costs. These costs are influenced by a few things, including the square footage of your home’s footprint and how high it is going to be raised and for how long. Costs have a range per square foot, which does not include your home’s height but rather the footprint. Square homes cost less than long, rambling homes to lift. In addition, your total costs will include the cost of the work after the raising. For example, raising to repair a foundation costs less than raising to replace a foundation, even if all other factors are the same. Below are the costs to lift a 1,500 sq.ft. home based on the reason for the lift.
|Average Costs for a 1,500 Sq.Ft. Home
|Repair a Foundation
|$15,000 - $25,000
|Move a House
|$15,000 - $200,000
|Reinforce a Foundation
|$25,000 - $35,000
|Raise a House Above the Flood Zone
|$25,000 - $40,000
|Replace a Foundation
|$30,000 - $100,000
|Add a Basement
|$30,000 - $100,000
Jacking Up a House to Repair a Foundation
The cost of lifting a house to repair the foundation averages $15,000 to $25,000. Costs vary depending on the foundation type and level of repair. For example, slab foundations usually cost less to repair than full basements. Stem wall foundations and crawl spaces are usually the least expensive. Your costs could be higher if the basement needs significant repair or must be replaced. Your costs can also be higher if your home has “wings” or other features. If your home needs to be temporarily moved to reach the foundation, your costs will also be higher.
Elevate a Foundation to Move a House
The cost to elevate a home to move it is between $15,000 and $200,000. This includes disconnecting utilities, jacking and stabilizing the home, and readying it for the move. It does not include transportation or the cost of a new foundation if one is necessary.
Smaller homes can be easily transported, while larger homes may need to be raised and transported in pieces. You will need to have a new foundation built at the new site. It is common to raise the home, load it onto the truck, move it to its new location, set it on temporary supports, and then build the foundation beneath it. This will raise the total costs of the project based on several factors, including how large the house is and how far you need to move it. The more pieces the house needs to be in, the higher the costs.
Reinforce a Foundation for a Second Story
The cost of lifting a house and reinforcing the foundation ranges from $25,000 to $35,000. As with repairs, costs vary depending on the foundation type and level of reinforcement. The more substantive the work, the higher the costs. Also, the foundation height and how far it must be moved influence things. For example, slabs and stem walls cost less to reinforce. If you need to move your home completely away temporarily to reach the foundation, the costs will be higher. If you have an oddly shaped home or are reinforcing in an earthquake zone, prices may also increase.
Raise a House Above the Flood Zone
The average cost to raise above a flood zone is $25,000 to $40,000, depending on how high you need to lift it. If you live in a flood zone, your home is at risk for water infiltration. If you are unsure if your home is in a flood zone or not above the right elevation, start by visiting your municipality and finding out what your zone and Base Flood Elevation are or what the finished living level of your home should be above. Crawl spaces, supports, and other structures may be below this level, so you may find that you only need to raise your home a few feet to achieve the correct height.
If you have already experienced a flood, your home may need structural repair before the elevation can begin. In other cases, you may need work done after the elevation on the lower portion of your home. These factors are determined onsite by your contractor and impact your final costs.
Lift a House and Replace a Foundation
The cost to lift a house and replace the foundation ranges from $30,000 to $100,000. Costs are mostly dependent on the current foundation type and what you replace it with. Slab foundations cost less than full basement foundations, while stem walls and crawl spaces can be much less. If your home needs to be moved temporarily while the new foundation is poured, this impacts your final costs. The shape of your home can also play a big role in this project, with longer homes costing more than square homes. The depth of the foundation and your soil type also affect pricing.
Lift a House and Add a Basement
The cost to lift a house and add a basement averages $30,000 to $100,000. Costs range greatly when adding a basement due to several factors. You may need to temporarily relocate your home. Your soil may require blasting to excavate for the basement. The basement depth and size also impact your total costs, as is how many stories the home has and how much weight the basement must hold. In addition, the basement type you have affects costs because it will need removing.
House Lifting Cost by Type of Foundation
The current home foundation, and the one your home will have after raising is complete, impacts the total project cost when raising your home. For example, slab foundations are among the cheapest to build, while a full basement is more costly. In addition, the timber, framing, and the portion of the house that will be above the new foundation all impact the project cost. The higher the house is jacked, the more space you gain for building, so some foundations require more height. This means a house can be raised to repair or install a slab foundation for less than a crawl space, which is less than a full basement. There are many types of foundations you can build beneath a home. The following costs are for the new foundation, in addition to the costs of raising the house.
Costs solely for raising start at around $10 to $35 a square foot just to lift the home. After that, you have additional costs for what you plan to raise it for. Repairs, relocating, reinforcing, or replacing the foundation have different costs. It is common for the total cost to raise the home to range from $14 to $60 a square foot once you consider the foundation’s cost. Below are the average costs for a new foundation based on the type and total costs for lifting a home to install that foundation style.
|Foundation Costs per Sq.Ft.
|Total Costs per Sq.Ft.
|$4 - $14
|$14 - $49
|$5 - $16
|$15 - $51
|$7 - $10
|$17 - $45
|Pier and Beam
|$9 - $12
|$19 - $47
|$10 - $25
|$20 - $60
Raised House and Slab Foundation
The average cost to raise a house and build a new slab foundation below is between $14 and $49 a square foot. The cost of the foundation alone is $4 to $14 a square foot. This is the cost to lift the home, stabilize it, and pour the new foundation. Slab foundations come in different forms, from simple monolithic slabs to thicker Alaskan slabs, influencing costs. Costs can be higher if the home needs to be moved temporarily for grading or additional work. If you have an old concrete foundation that needs to be broken up first, this can further increase the costs. This is a common project in areas where homes were not built on foundations. If you need a foundation later, this is the easiest one to add.
Stem Wall Foundation
The cost of raising a home and building a stem wall foundation below it ranges from $15 to $51 a square foot. The cost of the stem wall alone is $5 to $16 a square foot. This does not include any costs that may be necessary to remove an old foundation. If the house needs to be temporarily moved until the foundation is complete, this can have higher costs. Stem wall foundations are relatively easy to build and help add height to the home. This foundation lifts the house slightly, which can be enough to help reduce water damage.
Crawl Space Foundation
The cost to raise a house to add a crawl space foundation is $17 to $45 a square foot. The cost of the foundation alone is $7 to $10 a square foot. Crawl space foundations can also lift a home above a flood plain while leaving some space for utilities. Crawl space foundations are generally inexpensive to build and can be done in a range of styles. A crawl space foundation is a good choice if your home has a current slab foundation and you want to lift it a few feet. They are particularly popular in the South, where full basements are not very common.
Raise a House on a Pier and Beam Foundation
The cost to raise a house on a pier and beam foundation is between $19 and $47 a square foot. The foundation alone costs between $9 and $12 a square foot. A pier and beam foundation is an older method used to create a crawl space. Depending on how high it is, this can also be done to get the main level of the house above a flood zone. The area below can be used for storage, and in some cases, it can even be used as a garage. Pier and beam can be done with either wood or steel pilings. Your total costs are dependent on how high you raise the home and how large a crawl space you create. You may not be able to use this foundation, depending on your soil. A stem wall or true crawl space foundation may be a better choice.
Raise a Home to Build a Basement
The cost to raise a home to build a full basement beneath it averages $20 to $60 a square foot. The cost to build the basement is $10 to $25 a square foot. Often to build a basement, the home needs to either be raised high enough for excavation, or it needs to be temporarily moved. Moving the home can increase your costs slightly. The depth of the basement and the height of its walls can also raise prices. Some people choose a more shallow excavation with higher stem walls to raise the home slightly, while still having a basement. However, this is not a good solution for those dealing with flood issues.
Cost to Jack Up a House by Size
Your existing home size plays a large role in how difficult it is to raise your house and the total project costs. Because many services are priced by the square foot, the larger your home, the higher your total costs are to jack it up. In addition, the taller a house is, meaning the more stories it has, the more difficult it becomes to keep the home stable once it has been lifted. Therefore, more jacks, equipment, and contractors are required onsite for two or three-story homes to ensure that your existing home is not damaged during the lifting process. Single-story homes and smaller cottages are the easiest to jack and the least expensive. Ranches are very common to elevate because their single-story slab foundations are easy to work with, but a rambler spanning 3,000 sq.ft. on a single-story home may be even harder to jack than a 1,500 sq.ft. two-story home. Older homes, which tend to be heavier due to the materials used to build them, also cost more to raise. Homes with porches, wings, and other unusual features are also more difficult and expensive to lift.
Costs for only the raising process, not moving or rebuilding a foundation, start at $10,000 to $35,000 for a house with a 1,000 sq.ft. footprint and increase, depending on which other services are involved. This costs $10 to $35 a square foot, depending on the height, weight, and other factors.
When calculating the cost of raising your home, consider the square footage not of your entire home but your home’s footprint. The smaller the footprint, the lower the costs. So, a 1,500 sq.ft. home that is square in shape will cost less than a 1,500 sq.ft. home that is long and sprawling with “wings.” Below are the average costs for lifting a home by its footprint size. These costs do not include any finishing or foundation work and are only for the costs related to raising the home. They include the preliminary work of unhooking the utilities and usually include the cost of the permit, which can be as much as $5,000 in some areas.
|Average Costs to Raise
|$8,000 - $28,000
|$10,000 - $35,000
|$12,000 - $42,000
|$15,000 - $52,500
|$20,000 - $70,000
Cost to Raise a House by Amount of Elevation
The height you raise your home to can impact the project’s cost. The higher a house needs to go, the more stabilization it requires, increasing the amount of labor and costs.
The amount of elevation your home requires is determined by several things. A home being moved to a new location only needs to be elevated a few feet to get it onto the truck. A home having a new first floor built below the existing structure needs to be elevated 8 to 12 feet. Homes being elevated due to flood risk have varying amounts of required elevation. These amounts are determined by what is known as an Advisory Base Flood Elevation (BFE). This number is determined by the flood zone your home sits in and the ground elevation. If your BFE is 10 feet and your crawl space and first floor are at 5 feet, then you need to elevate your home another 5 feet to be out of the flood zone.
Like with the overall home size, your costs can vary based on factors like the home shape and additions. Square homes cost less to elevate than sprawling homes, regardless of the height. Below are the average costs to elevate a home based on the number of feet being lifted.
|Cost per Sq.Ft. to Raise
|1 - 8 ft.
|$10 - $15
|$15 - $20
|$20 - $35
Labor Costs to Raise a House
There are many components to raising a home beyond jacking it up off its foundation. The house must be disconnected from utilities before it can be raised, and the property must be assessed to ensure it is being supported properly throughout the process. The proper permits must also be pulled.
Lifting the home and lowering it costs between $3 and $5 a square foot in labor, with the rest of the $10 to $35 a square foot costs being taken up with the labor to assess, disconnect, and add supports. After that, you have other costs for building or repairing the foundation and adding a new set of stairs. This creates a wide range of costs based on the lift height, home condition, soil condition, and the reason for the lift.
Below are various labor costs that are associated with the project.
|$2 - $4/sq.ft.
|$3 - $5/sq.ft.
|$4 - $25/sq.ft.
|Building New Stairs
|$40 - $100/hour
|$40 - $120/hour
|$75 - $150/hour
|Assessing the Property (Structural Engineer)
|$100 - $500/hour
|$4,000 - $6,000
When building another story below the original or lifting your home above the floodplain, you may have additional costs. Keep in mind that none of these costs involve interior finish work, removal or storage of belongings, or living expenses when you must vacate the home.
Steps to Raising a Home
The lifting of the home may be the simplest part of the process. The work before the home has been jacked up and after it has been lifted are some of the more complex parts.
Before you can begin, permits are required for this project, which means submitting your plans to the municipality the home is in. Once approved, your permit is issued, and the work can begin.
A structural engineer visits the site to determine the best method for lifting the home. The home sometimes must be disconnected from the foundation, but at other times, a slab foundation can be lifted with it. Porches and decks may need to be disconnected or lifted with the house. The engineer also determines the correct amount of support for the property based on the new height.
Next, the utilities are disconnected from the home, and underground utilities in the yard are marked. The basement is emptied, and the landscaping is cleared to allow access to the house by the heavy equipment. The home is also disconnected from the foundation and additional structures if required.
The next step is to jack up the house. The home may be moved, stabilized for temporary work, or stabilized for long-term work as a new foundation is built, depending on your goal. Once the work is complete, the home is lowered, connected to the foundation, and the utilities are connected. The finish work happens now if needed.
Cost to Raise a House on Pilings
There are many ways to raise a home onto a new foundation. One of them is to raise it onto pilings. This costs between $10 and $60 a square foot, depending on the height, size, and other factors.
The pilings may be temporary or permanent, depending on the location and final needs of the home. Pilings can be used to support a home while the new foundation is prepared. Other times, the pilings may become part of the foundation. In this case, it must be finished around the pilings, creating higher costs.
Other Raising Projects
Many attached buildings and additions may need to be raised with the home. This can include attached garages, porches, decks, and other structures, which may settle on their own. This is particularly true for large and heavy structures like garages. They may sink and need to be raised to meet the home’s position.
In other cases, you may need to raise these structures after you raise the rest of the home so that they match in height. These projects often have lower costs because they are smaller, have fewer utilities to disconnect, and are less complicated to raise. Below are the average costs to raise the various structures.
|Raise a Porch
|$1,000 - $3,000
|Raise an Addition
|$4,000 - $10,000
|Raise a Garage to Replace a Foundation
|$5,000 - $10,000
|Raise a Garage Floor to Match the House Floor
|$5,000 - $10,000
Raising a Porch
The cost to raise a porch ranges from $1,000 to $3,000. Porches can often sag over time, which may cause them to begin to detach from the home. This makes them unstable and dangerous to use. Raising usually lifts the front of the porch so that it can be stabilized and leveled, eliminating the sag. The back of the porch is then reattached to the home and reinforced. Sometimes, a porch can also be raised along with the rest of the home. In this case, you will have additional costs to build a new set of stairs to its new height and for new concrete pillar foundations.
Raise an Addition
The cost to raise an addition averages $4,000 to $10,000. Additions often have their own foundation that is separate from the rest of the home. This means that sometimes their foundation needs separate work, or it may sink separately from the rest of the home. If this happens, the addition needs to be lifted to help prevent future damage. This process is usually minimally invasive, only lifting the structure slightly. It can sometimes be lifted from below the foundation using mud jacking or foam jacking. Lifting it too high could cause issues with the rest of the building, so the addition will only be lifted enough to make the necessary repairs.
Lifting a Garage to Replace a Foundation
The cost to lift a garage and replace the foundation is between $5,000 and $10,000 on average. Most garages are on a slab foundation. This makes the cost of lifting and replacing less than if this were a structure with a pier and beam or stem wall foundation. In most cases for a slab foundation replacement, the structure only needs to be lifted a few feet. It can be stabilized in place, while the old foundation is removed and the new foundation placed beneath it. Costs can be higher if the old foundation is particularly difficult to access to remove.
Raise a Garage Floor to the House Level
The cost to raise the garage floor to the level of the house ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. This assumes that the garage is less than a few feet below the house. If the garage needs to be lifted more than this, it will mean moving it offsite and extension grading work done first. If it only needs to be moved a few feet, then a raised foundation can be poured below it, lifting it to the necessary height. If the garage has only sunk or settled, costs can be even lower because concrete jacking or foam jacking may be able to lift it. If this is the case, costs can be as much as half of what is needed to lift the structure and raise the foundation.
During the lifting process, all your outdoor stairs and structures are removed. Then, the house is lifted to its new position, which changes the structure’s height. You need a taller set of stairs than you had previously to access the house. This may be temporary until the process is finished, or you may want to construct permanent access immediately, depending on if the home is raised to its final height right away or lowered slightly after work is complete. This usually means installing new stairs or a ramp, with an average cost of $1,500 to $2,000. If your home has a front porch, expect to add another $15,000 to $35,000 to the project.
Keep in mind that when adding a new basement or first floor, you also need to add stairs to the new lower part of your home, with staircases costing around $1,100 to $3,200.
Pros and Cons of Raising a House
Raising a house is not a simple project, nor is it one that gets done regularly. Raising a house can mean vacating it during the process, putting your fragile belongings in storage, and potentially devastating your landscaping. But there are times when the pros of raising a house outweigh the cons.
If you live in a flood zone and have already experienced some damage, raising your home gives you the ability to better repair that damage and helps get your home out of water height, preventing future damage.
Raising a home can also have other benefits, such as allowing you to build a basement or put another story on your home beneath the one you already have. This last project is a popular way of adding onto ranches, which often have vaulted ceilings that are difficult to build an addition above without ruining the rooms below. If you need to move your home, lifting it lets you preserve it so that you can relocate without having to sell.
Keep in mind that any time you lift a home, you can weaken the structure. Things inside can shift and break, so there is often more work finishing the interior after you are finished.
There are also more considerations when raising a home than many people see at first glance. This includes how to complete the new foundation, how to match the exterior of the old structure, and where your new entryway will be once the house is elevated. While raising your home can allow you to make repairs, gain space, or get a new foundation, it is not a project you want to undertake without serious consideration.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Adding a New Story or Structure
If you want to add square footage to your home, a good time to do it is during an elevation. It is very common in some types of homes, such as a ranch, to raise the home and build the new addition below the existing structure. In this case, expect to pay between $80 and $200 a square foot for the additional area.
Before raising your home, it is a good idea to have it inspected for structural issues that may impact the elevation process. This includes checking the existing foundation for cracks, looking at the wall structure, and inspecting for any damage that raising may worsen. Structural engineers can do this while they work on the plan for raising the home. Expect to pay between $2,000 and $5,000 for the inspection.
Sometimes, house lifting is done to help repair an existing foundation. While the house is raised, it gives better access to the area. In that case, expect to pay around $5,000 to $10,000 on average for general repairs, in addition to the lifting costs.
Hiring an Architect
If you have major changes done, such as building a completely new story or new addition onto your home, you may want to hire an architect for the project’s planning stages. Architects can help plan the layout and make the new addition match the home. Expect to pay an additional 12% to 20% of your total budget for these services.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Older homes. If you have an older home, it may need additional care and reinforcement, particularly because many older materials are significantly heavier than those used today, while others are more fragile. This adds to the project cost.
- Insurance. Make sure that every contractor you hire has liability insurance, and that it is up to date.
- Utilities. Mark all utility lines before the lifting company’s arrival, including your personal lines. Call 811 or your local utility company to assist. Some lifting companies assist with this, but you need to check.
- Flood zones. If you live in what is known as the V Zone, or a specific type of flood zone, you need piling or a concrete beam and pier foundation to raise your home above flood zones.
- Insurance premiums. Raising your home to the recommended height if you live in a flood zone can lower your homeowner’s insurance by thousands of dollars, helping offset the project cost.
- Grants. If your home is located in an area prone to floods, grants may be available to help pay for the cost of raising your home. Speak to your local municipality for more information.
- Value. Raising your home does not necessarily increase its value, but it can help it maintain its value, particularly in a flood zone, by helping to reduce potential damage.
- How much does it cost to raise a house in a flood zone?
The costs to raise a house in a flood zone start at $12 to $20 a square foot but can go much higher, depending on the scope. If you have a completely new foundation built, this can increase costs to as much as $60 a square foot. Most projects cost between $25,000 and $40,000.
- How long does it take to raise a house?
The raising process of lifting the house takes several hours, while rebuilding the foundation and the finish work can take up to several weeks.
- How much does it cost to lift a house and build underneath it?
The average cost to raise a house and build beneath it is around $50,000.
- Can a house on a concrete slab be raised?
Yes, you can either raise the house without the slab or raise it with a finished slab. This depends on the slab’s condition and needs to be assessed by a structural engineer.
- How much does it cost to lift a house and replace the foundation?
The average cost of lifting a house and building a foundation is around $50,000.
- How much does it cost to raise a house on pilings?
The average cost to raise a house and put it on pilings is around $25,000 to $35,000, but it can be more if you finish around the pilings.
- How much does it cost to raise a house 3 feet?
The cost to raise a house is roughly $10 to $35 a square foot. If you need foundation work or other work after raising it, your costs can increase to between $14 and $60 a square foot in total.