House Lifting Cost

The average cost of raising a house is around $35,500​.

In this guide

Pros and cons of raising a house
Size
Amount of elevation
Type of foundation
Home inspection
Steps to raising a home
Labor costs
Access
Raising a house above flood zone
Raising a house to transport it
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to raise a house?

Raising a house can be a big project with a lot of 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. The average homeowner raising their 1,500-square-foot home and building a new basement foundation beneath it spends around $35,500 on the total project. 

Pros and cons of raising a house

Raising a house is not an easy project or one that you should undertake lightly. It must be done very carefully to avoid structural damage to the rest of the building and is usually only done if necessary.

You may want to raise a house if you live in a flood zone and have already experienced damage to flooding. Raising your home could prevent future flood damage. 
If you love your home but not its existing location, raising your home enables you to move it to a new lot. By lifting it safely off its foundation, it is possible to load it onto a flatbed truck and move it to a new area.

Raising your home is also a consideration if you do not have a lot of space and cannot expand in the current location. By raising your home, your existing roof stays the same, which can save money over building a second story on top of your existing home. This keeps much of the existing character and style of the home intact as well, only giving you a new first floor.

Raising a house has drawbacks, however, which makes it less than desirable if you have other choices. Any movement of the structure can weaken it. You need to secure or remove all interior belongings to avoid damage, and even then, you may see some shifting of walls, cabinets, fixtures, and other items.

There are often 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.

Size

The size of your existing home plays a large role in how difficult it is to raise your house and the total costs of the project. The taller a house is, meaning the more stories it has, the more difficult it becomes to keep the home stable when lifted. Therefore, more jacks, equipment, and contractors are required onsite to ensure that your existing home is not damaged during the lifting process. Single-story homes and smaller cottages are the easiest to jack. Ranches are very common to elevate because their single-story, slab foundations 1 are easy to work with. Older homes, which tend to be heavier due to the materials used to build them, also cost more to raise.

Costs for only the raising process, not moving or rebuilding a foundation, start at $10,000 for a single-story, 1,500-square-foot house. They can go as high as $30,000 for a two-story home. Many factors impact the cost, but both the size and weight of your existing home play the biggest role.

Amount of elevation

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 is a number 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.

Keep in mind that for up to 8 feet of elevation, the costs are relatively the same for one structure. After that amount, costs begin to climb because additional stabilization is required.

Type of foundation

The type of foundation your current home has and the one your home will have after the raising is complete impacts the total cost of the project. Slab foundations 1, for example, 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 cost of the project. The higher the house is jacked, the more space you need to be building with below. There are many types of foundations that you can build beneath a home. The most common with a raised structure include:

TypeDescriptionCosts
Stem WallSupporting walls 2 joining a foundation to the home above.($3 - $5/sq.ft.)
Pier and BeamShallow, slab foundation with footings 3 that includes a crawl space.($3 - $5/sq.ft.)
Crawl SpaceShallow foundation that allows room beneath the home.($3 - $5/sq.ft.)
Slab on GradeConcrete slab 4 poured directly on the ground.($5 - $10/sq.ft.)
Full BasementDeep foundation with raised walls, may be finished or unfinished.($10 - $100/sq.ft.)

Home inspection

Prior to 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 structure of the walls, and inspecting for any damage that raising may worsen. Expect to pay between $2,000 and $5,000 for the inspection.

Steps to raising a home

Much preparation needs to take place before a home can be raised even though the crew is able to work around a lot of utilities and wiring. In many cases, they are able to lift the house slowly enough not to upset fragile interiors, but care must be taken first.

Any ducts, pipes, or wires that extend into the current crawl space or foundation must be disconnected or removed. The utilities to the house should be completely shut off, including gas, electricity, and water. The basement or crawl space must be emptied completely.

Porches, decks, and outdoor stairs are completely removed from the structure. Any outdoor buildings that connect to the house, such as carports or lean-tos, also must be removed. A lot of landscaping and fencing around the house needs to be removed as well. Large shrubs or rocks should be taken out, and you may need to get access from your neighbor’s yard if your property is close to theirs because the jacks and trucks needed to lift a house are very large.

All utility lines in the yard must be clearly marked. Most companies make the call for you and mark private utility lines, but if you have buried wires, septic tanks, or well pipes of your own, you must mark these clearly.

From here, the process changes depending on what type of raising you are having done. If you are moving your home, the structure will be lifted from the foundation and set on a truck. If you are raising it for a new foundation, foundation repair, or to lift it from a flood zone, it may be placed on temporary supports while construction occurs.

In most cases, however, the process involves using jacks, which are inserted beneath your home. They are raised very, very slowly over the course of hours. This is done to help prevent any structural damage from occurring to your home during the process. The entire length of time is determined largely by how high your house is being lifted. Up to 8 feet does not take added support, while going above that height needs support to ensure the structure stays stable. During the lifting, your home is monitored for signs of structural stress. In most cases, the slow pace is enough to prevent any damage to the home or interiors.

Once the house is lifted, dirt is cleared away from below your old foundation. If you are not moving the house, then the old foundation may also be removed or repaired. Steel beams are installed to help hold your home, and the new construction begins. This varies depending on what you want your final results to be.

Labor costs

Labor costs for raising a home start at around $10,000. This may be higher or lower depending on how high you elevate the house. Remember that it goes up slowly over many hours, and the workers need to be present the entire time to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Larger buildings need more workers present as well as more equipment, so the costs rise along with the size of the structure and how high it is being lifted. It is not uncommon for labor costs to reach as high as $30,000 for a large or heavy home.

Access

During the lifting process, all your outdoor stairs and structures are removed. Then, the house is lifted to its new position. At this point, any old stairs will no longer reach the new height of the doors, so entryways will need new access. This may be temporary until the process is finished, or you may want to construct permanent access immediately. This may mean installing new stairs or a ramp. If your home has a front porch, expect to add another $21,440 to the project.

Keep in mind that if you are 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 $1,500.

Raising a house above flood zone

If you live in a flood zone, your home is at risk for water infiltration. This is one reason why people may wish to raise their house. In most cases, you should 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, then your home may need structural repair before the elevation can begin. In other instances, you may need work done after the elevation on the lower portion of your home. These factors are all determined on site by your contractor.

Raising a house to transport it

In some instances, your home may be located in an area where it cannot remain or in a less desirable area. If you wish to keep your home, it is possible to move the structure to a new location.

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.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Adding a New Story or Structure

It is common during home elevations to use this time to add square footage to the home. If this is the case, expect to pay about $90 a square foot for the additional area.

Landscaping

Your landscaping will likely need to be removed or dug up during the process. You will, therefore, need to include the costs of new landscaping in your project. Complete landscaping of a yard can cost as much as $13,200.

Foundation Repairs

Sometimes house lifting is done to help repair an existing foundation. In that case, expect to pay around $5,000 to $7,000 for general repairs.

Hiring an Architect

If you are having 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 planning stages of the project. Expect to pay an additional 10% to 17% of your total budget for these services.

Additional considerations and costs

  • If you have an older home, it will need additional care and reinforcement, particularly because many older materials are significantly heavier than those used today. This can add to the cost of the project.
  • You will need a permit to raise your home. The cost of this permit starts at around $2,000 and may go as high as $5,000 depending on your area.
  • Make sure that every contractor you hire has liability insurance.
  • Mark all utility lines prior to the lifting company’s arrival, including your personal lines.Call 811 or your local utility company to assist.
  • If you live in what is known as the V Zone, you will need piling or a concrete beam and pier foundation to raise your home above flood zones.
  • In most cases, raising your home will not damage your interior or belongings, but you may wish to secure any fragile or tall pieces and lay them down for the duration.

    FAQ

    • How much does it cost to raise a house in a flood zone?

    Costs to raise a house in a flood zone start at $10,000 but can go much higher depending on the scope of the work.

    • How long does it take to raise a house?

    The actual raising process of lifting the house takes several hours, while the rebuilding of the foundation and the finish work take several weeks.

    • How much does it cost to lift a house and build underneath?

    The average cost to raise a house and build beneath it is around $35,500.

    • 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.

    • 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 $35,500.

    • 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.

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    Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

    Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
    See full cheat sheet.
    1 Slab foundations: A layer of concrete, poured over a prepared surface of soil or gravel, that supports a house or other building structure
    2 Supporting walls: A wall that supports the weight of the house, transferring it to the foundation
    3 Footings: A support for the foundation of a house that also helps prevent settling. It is typically made of concrete reinforced with rebar, but can also be made of masonry or brick. It is usually built under a heavier part of the house like a wall or column, to distribute the weight of the house over a larger area.
    4 Concrete slab: A flat area of concrete that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as a patio or a driveway

    Cost to raise a house varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

    Labor cost by city and zip code

    Compared to national average
    Columbia, MD
    +26%
    Deerfield, IL
    +41%
    Deland, FL
    -23%
    El Cajon, CA
    +8%
    Grand Prairie, TX
    +6%
    Lakeside, CA
    +8%
    Marble, NC
    -37%
    Maryville, TN
    -15%
    Puyallup, WA
    -1%
    Savannah, GA
    -12%
    Tracy, CA
    +4%
    Wauseon, OH
    -12%
    Winston Salem, NC
    -1%

    Labor cost in your zip code

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