Lifting a house to add a basement

memoOctober 21, 2009

Can a house with an addition generally be lifted as one unit to have a full basement dug out and poured beneath the two parts of the structure?

When the house has an addition on one side and is attached to a garage on another side, can the house be lifted leaving the garage where it is?

Is it less expensive to build a new foundation and move the house to it than to lift the structure and dig below it in the original location?

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macv

Moving the house involves not only lifting but it moving along steel rails and is therefore by far the most expensive option. However, it does reduce the time the mover's lifting equipment is on site.

Houses are lifted by putting long beams through the foundation under the sill beams and constructing temporary railroad tie cribs to support the beams. The house is gradually lifted with hydraulic jacks until it is higher than the new foundation and then the new foundation is constructed and then the house is lowered onto it. This is a common practice in the Northeast. Call a company who does it.

Separating the garage from the house is possible but an added expense.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 9:06AM
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joed

Can a house and addition be lifted? Sure not problem with the proper equipment.

Not sure about leaving the garage behind. I suppose it would depend on the structure. Might be better to lift it all and have a high ceiling in the garage. The garage door could be filled in at the top and sections added to the bottom of the walls. Or you could have a high door for tall vehicles.

I would suspect much less expensive to lift and dig then to lift and move.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 9:14AM
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donseco

Several years ago a neighbor dug his basement by starting a ramp under a sidewall. Then used an old corn conveyor slightly modified to transport the diggings to a small dump truck parked in the yard. Lots of this was hand dug, but a skid loader is sure a possibility. You'll have to do a lot of shoring up along the way, but it isn't impossible. Pray you don't come across a boulder, too.
HTH,
Don

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 5:15AM
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brickeyee

"Moving the house involves not only lifting but it moving along steel rails and is therefore by far the most expensive option. However, it does reduce the time the mover's lifting equipment is on site."

I do not recall seing any house movers using steel rails.

They build a steel frame under the house, and then attach wheels (often on aircraft struts) and use rubber tires and a highway tractor (the trailer arrives with all the gear on it).
The aircraft struts each have hydraulics in them to allow adjustment for height and keep the house level despite ramps it may need to travel up, the crown of the road, etc.

You can lift just about anything if you want to spend enough $$.
Moving on the same prpoerty is usually not very hard.
Longer moves run into power, phone, cable tv, etc. lines that must be dropped (rarely raised) to clear the house plus the added trailer height (usually at least 5-6 feet).

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 10:34AM
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memo

Thanks for your prompt replies. My thinking is on track. I will be talking to a moving company very soon, as soon as I know my financing for this project is in place. The yard is 1/4 acre so there is plenty of room to move the house into place on a new foundation. Currently the garage is only connected to the house on one corner, just enough to allow entry to the house. I don't think it will take much to seperate them, move the house east eight feet and set it back to line up with the east end of the garage rather than just touching each other on the south east corner of the garage. We'll see what the expert says. Aesthetically it will be a much more normal layout. The roof lines will have to be changed to make them all similar, each is a different style now. But it all needs a new roof at this point anyway so just a little more work to change the layout. Should make for a great before and after project.
Thanks, MeMo

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 3:50PM
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weed30

I've always wondered about moving houses....don't the ceilings, walls and floors end up getting cracks from the move?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 10:33PM
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brickeyee

"I've always wondered about moving houses....don't the ceilings, walls and floors end up getting cracks from the move?"

Not if the movers know what they are doing.

I have had a masonry house with plaster on wood lath moved.

The only thing taken down were the two chimneys.
It helped with clearance more than anything.

The house is picked up and kept level no matter what the terrain it is moving across is.

The very low speed (4 MPH is really streaking) allows for on the go adjustments as things creep along.

The guys I used had a specially built tractor with very low gears.
With the engine screaming he was doing all of about 2 miles an hour.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 4:20PM
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donseco

You might try contacting a fellow on the Tool Shed Forum with this question. His handle is xhousemover and he was a house mover.
Ain't it funny how these things pop up when you need 'em?
Luck
Don

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 10:35PM
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live_wire_oak

Enough money can solve a multitude of problems.

But, it'd be far easier (and probably cheaper) to just find a house you like with the feature's you need and move than to do this project. Especially now that the market's dropped in so many places.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 11:41PM
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sierraeast

Uneducated guess for the dinero to do this project would more than likely head towards six figures. Do you want to sink that kind of money into the house. I agree with live wire. It never hurts to get estimates, though, but on a project like that, expect the final costs to be above the estimates. Get more than one from reputable movers/foundation contractors, check references, and ask to see current/past projects and most importanrt, make sure they are licensed, insured, legal, etc.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 10:28AM
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brickeyee

"But, it'd be far easier (and probably cheaper) to just find a house you like with the feature's you need and move than to do this project. Especially now that the market's dropped in so many places."

But not in all places, and not in some of the more desirable places.

Parts of the market in Norther Virginia have started back upwards, often the most desirable school areas and neighborhoods.

In a built out area moving is not always a very good option.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 3:42PM
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