Replacing Foundation on Shed/Cottage
We recently bought a brick home built in 1962. It came with the nicest "shed" I have ever seen in the backyard. It's approximately 25x25 and has stairs inside up to the second floor loft. The shed currently has no utilities or sheetrock, but has 4 windows on each floor and some insulation. It's approximately 30 years old and was built by the only other owner of the house who was a carpenter.
Our plan is to turn this shed into a 1 bedroom cottage to rent out for extra income. The problem is that the foundation is a series of 6x6 pressure treated posts presumably on concrete footings and most of them are rotting. I believe the cause of the rot is a combination of the lack of gutters so that the roof water falls directly down to right next to the posts as well as the slight grade of the small yard towards the shed. I realize that these issues will need to be addressed.
The current "crawl space" is VERY tight. On the lowest side it is only an inch or two from the ground and the highest side is a little over a foot. Since I need to run plumbing, I would like to lift the shed when replacing the foundation and have a proper sized crawl space.
Should I replace the posts with new 6x6's and then put up skirting of some type for aesthetics? Or should I use a block foundation? What are the pros and cons of each?
Is lifting this building something I can do with some friends and jacks, or do I need to hire a house moving company?
What other aspects should I be considering? Any guess at the ball-park cost of replacing the foundation?
Thanks in advance for your knowledge and help!