At Abry Brothers Foundation Repair, we are committed to providing high-quality work and excellent customer service. We’re the most dedicated home repair service in the Houston, Texas area, and our extensive experience and levels of expertise has led us to providing solid foundations and repairs for thousands of homes across the state. We have been providing Texas homeowners with repairs and foundation work for nearly two centuries. We offer lifetime warranties for all of our projects, and our clients have always been satisfied with the lasting and high-quality work that we provide.
If you’re seeking a reliable company to trust with the process of house raising, let us be your first call. And, if you think you need your house raised but aren’t quite sure what goes into that process, keep reading! As you might imagine, there’s a lot that goes into the process – but the good news is, we’ll take care of most of the logistics and complicated details. We’ll help you understand the process and provide transparent information and helpful tips into our work.
Read on to find out more about house raising, and what is involved – both for you, as a homeowner, and Abry Brothers Foundation Repair, as your preferred house raising contractor.
What is house raising?
House raising is the process of temporarily separating a building from its foundation and raising it up through the use of screw jacks, typically in order to build a new foundation underneath, expand a basement or crawlspace, or to lift up the house in order to meet required Flood Protection Elevations (FPE). Lifting houses in order to keep them from flooding is something that’s fairly common in the area, and we have lots of experience helping homeowners avoid a flooding disaster. Just a few inches can mean a lot in keeping you and your family safe during the next flood or hurricane.
The home raising process can be lengthy, complicated, and even a little bit messy. We’ll need to get up close and personal next to and inside of your home, which may involve a little work on your end ahead of time to prepare the area so that our equipment can fit and move around easily.
It’s recommended that you vacate the home before we start our work. You’ll want to have a temporary place to stay before the work begins.
Why do I need my house raised?
If you’re living in a flood zone, or you have reason to believe that your home could flood during the next natural disaster, then raising your house is a necessary move. In the Houston area, it’s common practice to raise houses to keep families in their beloved homes and neighborhoods, while making sure that they remain safe from flooding. Raising your home to keep it from flooding also lowers your flood insurance rates – saving you money in the long run.
Many people also want to add a basement, or raise the height of the ceiling in their existing basement, which requires lifting the home. If your basement ceiling is too low to serve as anything but a small storage area, or if you want to add a basement to your home, we can help with that.
How long does it take?
It depends on the size of your house and the limitations of your specific structure. Contact us for an estimate on how long the process will take from start to finish. Occupants will need to leave the home in order for us to complete our work with the least amount of interruptions or distractions possible.
What is involved in the project?
Some amount of prep work by the homeowner is needed before we begin our project. Evaluate your yard and the surrounding areas to make sure that there isn’t debris, trees, fences, steps, bushes, sidewalks, decks, patios, shrubs, or other greenery that will impede our work or get damaged in the process. It is important to remove anything around your house before the project begins, in the interest of saving time and preventing you from paying unnecessary labor costs. Our equipment and process might damage anything that’s too close to our area of work, and it’s best to remove everything so that we don’t encounter any obstacles when we go to start the lifting process.
It’s also helpful to pack up or remove any valuable or breakable items from your home, in case they get jostled or broken in the process. We do our best not to disturb anything in the process of lifting, but there is the chance that something may break or fall while we’re working. There’s also a chance that your home may accumulate a layer of dust from the move – that’s to be expected, as your home shifts during the lift.
How much will it cost?
For most customers, this is the most important question, and the one they want to know the answer to first. The cost of raising a house depends on many different factors, especially the size of your project. The more square footage you have, the more you’ll pay – the project mostly depends on the weight of your house, so if your home is two stories or has significant square footage, you will end up paying more. Call us for a free estimate before you start your project, so we can determine exactly what you need, and how much your project might cost.
Here’s a list of other common costs that you’ll incur during the home raising process.
Depending on the size of your project and how many laborers need to be involved, paying a significant chunk for labor is something you can expect right off of the bat. There’s a lot that goes into the process, and we want to hire the best talent to get your job done. The cost of labor might also go up if you have a time frame that you’re working in to get the job completed – the sooner you’d like the job done, the more labor that we’ll need to hire in order to meet your deadline in time.
Your general contractor should be able to give you more information on your permit for lifting your home, but you should expect to pay a decent amount for the permit to lift. The prices for these permits vary per city, but your contractor can guide you through the local rules and regulations around lifting your home so that you know what to expect. Some people might expect to pay up to $3,000 in permit fees, so it’s best to find out before you begin the process so that you know what to expect.
The amount of time that it takes to raise your home is varied upon the size of the home, the number of laborers involved, and your deadline. If you have a fast turnaround that you need, then you’ll incur more costs, due to the company’s need to hire more labor. However, most projects can take just a day or so.
If your foundation or any other part of your home is damaged externally, those repairs will need to be made before we come in to lift your home. It’s risky to lift a home that’s damaged, and we don’t want to cause further damage to your home in the process of raising it up. So, make sure that your home is in good shape first so that we can get started quicker. Get all repairs done before you call our team to get started on our end of the work.
There will be miscellaneous costs incurred during the process, so be prepared to pay for things that you might not expect, such as repairs that might need to be made to your home before and after the work starts, permit costs, which can vary depending on where you’re located, the fees for hiring a general contractor to supervise and manage the work that’s being done, and other small things that can crop up at any time.
What people most often don’t expect is the costs of preparing the home and the surrounding yard area for the house raising process – if you’ve done all of your prep work in your yard and made sure that your home is completely ready for machines and laborers to work right up next to your house with no obstacles in their path. Once you’ve done that, you’ve saved yourself lots of time (and money!), and you’ve also saved the time of our team, who can then dedicate all of their time to getting your home raised instead of clearing a pathway to get there.
If you have any more questions about the home raising process, costs, timelines, or general questions about how we’ll go about lifting up your home, please give us a call today. Or, schedule a consultation with one of our trusted foundation repair FAQ specialists to learn more about whether or not you need your home raised, or if it’s safe from future damage.
House Raising 101: Everything You Need to Know
While it may seem like something out of a fantasy story, there are many practical ways of and reasons for temporarily raising your home up from its foundation. It also may sound like a scary endeavor to lift your home in the air, but it’s actually a relatively common process, especially in areas like Texas where flooding is a regular occurrence.
Before you choose to have Abry Brothers raise your home, make sure and read through this article to have a full understanding of the process. We have included many common reasons for getting your home raised, many of the logistics of the process, and what to expect once it is all finished and you’re back in the comfort of your own home.
Reasons for Raising My House
There are numerous reasons you may want to raise your home. Sometimes it simply stems from a desire to open up your home and create extra space, which in turn leads to an increase in the value of your home. An added bonus to this is you’re not taking away from the square footage of your outdoor areas.
As stated above, another common reason for raising your home is if the home is located in a flood zone. Many areas of Texas, especially in the Houston area, are prone to flooding. As we recently saw with the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey it is imperative for the safety of you and your family to make sure your home is well above Flood Protection Elevations (FPE).
Also, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently said that homeowners who choose to not raise their homes won’t receive their flood insurance claims. Speaking of flood insurance, an added bonus to raising your home to protect from floods is it lowers your flood insurance rates, which will save you money over time.
Other reasons for raising your house include:
- Repairing home foundations
- Adding a new basement to an existing home
- Adding additional stories to an existing home
The Cost of Raising Your House
This is possibly the most quickly and commonly asked question when it comes to raising a home. It is also an extremely complicated question because numerous factors weigh into the answer. The short answer is, it is estimated to run between $80,000 to $150,000. But, the best way for you to have an idea on the cost of raising your home is to call us for a free estimate.
Here are a few of the factors that we look at when it comes to raising your home:
- Your home’s size.
- Square footage is a major factor in the cost. Larger, heavier homes will cost more.
- Your home’s layout.
- If your home is multiple stories it will significantly affect the cost.
- Non-standard floor designs can alter the process of raising a house.
- Cost of permits
- Permits vary widely depending on location.
- You can expect permits to fall between $2,500 to $5,000.
- Raising a house takes time and labor.
- If you want a rushed process it can significantly raise the cost due to more laborers and heavier-duty materials.
- Your home’s foundation
- If your foundation is damaged it can raise the cost.
- You will need to have your foundation inspected and if it is damaged it will need to be fixed prior to a house raising.
- House raising requires massive machinery which can, and most likely will, damage your landscape.
- Due to this it is best to have fences, trees, decks, flowers, etc. removed before the housing raising begins.
- The cost of removal and storage of these items add to your cost.
- House raising requires massive machinery which can, and most likely will, damage your landscape.
- You’ll have to have many of your home services like power, plumbing, gas, etc. disconnected and reconnected.
- While your house is being raised you will need a place for you and your family to live, which can add to the overall cost.
- You will need to move and store the belongings in your home or get builder’s risk insurance if you leave them in the home.
- While out of the home you will need a vacant under renovation insurance policy.
- There will undoubtedly be unexpected costs, so be prepared.
What To Do Before Your House Raising
Okay, so you’ve decided to raise your home for any of the reasons stated above. Now, it’s time to get ready for the raise. House raising, while rather common, can be a lengthy and complicated endeavor. Before you any work starts here is a quick checklist of things to do.
- Call us for a free estimate on cost and amount of time it will take.
- Schedule a consultation with one of our trusted foundation repair FAQ specialists.
- Have your foundation inspected to determine whether a new foundation will be necessary.
- Research for government financial assistance to see if you qualify for any grants to help fund your house raising.
- If raising for flood protection, go to FEMA’s website and find your FPE using the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).
- Get your required permits.
- Find a temporary living situation for you and your family.
- Remove and store fences, trees, bushes, flowers, etc.
- Remove your personal belongings from your home and put them in storage, or get builder’s risk insurance.
- Have your utilities shut off and disconnected.
How House Raising Works
There are different factors that play into how we raise your house. But there are, in general, two options. We can either do a house raising with the slab-on, or with a slab-off. All in all it is a process of slightly raising the house, supporting it and then raising again.
- Slab-on Elevation Process
- The contractor tunnels beneath the home
- Using Deep Drive Technology we use piles to lift the structure
- Once BFE is reached we pour a new steel reinforced foundation
- Slab-off Elevation Process (Less Common)
- Remove all doors, cabinets, plumbing
- Remove lower four feet of sheetrock from all walls
- Release framing from the slab
- Use piles to lift the structure
- Once BFE is reached construct new floor or slab
- This process requires significant interior renovation and can cause damages to home.
For a full rundown of how we do our house raising please give us a call and one of our experienced team members can give you a detailed description of the process.
Once You Home is Raised
House raising is a time consuming and rather expensive process, but in the end you and your family can move back into your home knowing that you are in a safer space. Especially if you live in a flood-zone you can go to sleep with a peace of mind that your home is safe and that even if a flood does come you are protected and your home is above the BFE.
Worried about floods or raising water levels causing damage to your home and foundation? Abry Brothers have been performing house raising for well over 170 years! Our professional contractors have the proper knowledge and experience to raise houses to a proper level and protected from potential damage. House raising is a complicated task that is often best left to foundation and construction professionals.
Slab Elevation Process
1. Elevate the Slab with the House
First, the contractor must tunnel beneath the house to start the elevation Then we utilize the Deep Drive Technology to drive piles to refusal and continue lifting the structure until it reaches the new base flood elevation or desired height. Last we will then pour a new continuous steel reinforced foundation (with a masonry skirt to hide the old slab’s scraggly bits). Finally comes the aesthetic covering whether it be stucco, brick, or stone and re-connection of your utilities.
2. Separate the Slab from the House
As one might imagine, this method will require a significant amount of interior renovation once the home elevation has been completed. For option two, our first home elevation step will be to remove all doors, interior cabinets and plumbing fixtures. He will then remove the lower four feet of sheetrock from the walls throughout the house. After which he will cut the bolts attaching the studs to the slab to release the framing.
House Raising Benefits
There are many benefits to having your home raised. If you are living near areas where high water levels are common each year, then having a raised house can protect you and your family from potential water damage. Additionally, it can also protect your home from heavy storm and rain damage which occurs each year.
House raising allows you to regain your insurable status by bringing it up to the base flood elevation saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars in reconstruction costs should there be a loss due to flooding.
Abry Brothers History of Excellence
Abry Brothers work tirelessly to maintain and build on our long history of remarkable foundation work. Whether you are a homeowner that needs foundation work or an industrial sized commercial company who requires foundation fix, we are here and ready to lend you our expertise. Trust the company that has been raising houses since 1840. Give one of our trusted foundation repair specialist a call today!