Anyone had a house raised?

karinlMarch 9, 2011

Our 1905 Victorian house has a 6.5 foot high basement which is just enough to make it bearable to be down there, not enough to avoid having to duck under ducts. The neighbourhood we live in has many houses of similar age and many are being raised.

I'm curious whether people on this forum have had this done or enquired into it, and if so what it was like, what it cost, what it entailed, was it worth it, etc? Any unexpected outcomes, good or bad?

It could be happening here because house prices are so high that having a nice mortgage helper is almost essential - Vancouver is becoming technically a city of duplexes. I'm not sure we want to go this route (and DH doesn't!) but I am curious what it is like to have it done.

KarinL

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civ_IV_fan

i have never done this but worked in a town where this was being done. super-shallow (think 2-3 feet) rubble foundations were typical. some folks put a new basement under their +- 1500 square foot house. it worked wonderfully and doors closed that hadn't closed in years. the cost was about $100,000.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 10:52AM
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worthy

If you have a rubble foundation wall, fugettaboudit! If it's blocks, there are two common approaches depending on how much further down you are going. You can use a "bench" around the existing walls, or underpin a section at a time . You shouldn't be paying anywhere close to $100k.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 12:04PM
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powermuffin

My neighbor has a twin of our house, circa 1908, and he dug out the crawl space, after bracing the house with huge beams, and now has a (full) 9' finished basement. He did most of the work himself, and he did a great job. He had a structural engineer advise him all through it. It cost him about $25,000 in materials and a bit of labor that he contracted out. Our foundations are stacked stone.
Diane

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 2:11PM
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karinl

Wow, stacked stone and rubble... makes me think our foundation may have been redone at some point as it is concrete, perhaps by the process you describe, Worthy.

Interesting point that one can go down as well as lift up. As one end of our basement is walk-out I think it would be logical to lift and retain that. I look at some of the houses being done locally, though, that are underground all around, and see they are having to do extensive drainage work to keep the space dry.

Encouraging that doorways etc may even become more square - I was wondering if windows or walls would be at risk of cracking. Stupid of us to do so much interior work before even considering this, but I don't think we could have coped with that magnitude of project from the outset - although we ended up doing a full gutting, wiring, plumbing, new kitchen, new stairs, we nibbled our way into it and didn't have either the experience or the energy to make a big plan in advance. Oh, the benefits of hindsight!

I guess one would also have to empty the house and move out.

KarinL

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 11:26AM
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