raising a house 3 feet

ismail86December 20, 2010

Hello all. I'm not sure where to post this so I posted it in a few different locations. I'm looking into buying a home that has a 6 foot basement. I'm 6'4 so obviously it just wont work. We'd be getting a great deal on the house so that is why I'm looking into this. The home is a cape, 1,865 square feet, and built in the 1950's. I want to get an estimate on how much it would cost to raise the house 3 feet. If I have to provide more info on the house, I'm willing to do so. I'm not very familiar with this so I apologize for my lack of knowledge on the subject.

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You may be better off lowering the basement floor 3 feet. Sounds cheaper to me.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 2:33PM
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Why not get some actual estimates from area contractors? You are under no obligation since you don't even own the house. And this might give them motivation to give you a deal since you won't buy if the cost is too high.

My dad actually lowered the basement floor nearly 3 ft in our old home where I grew up. With a shovel! But it was sand, making it easy to shovel, but tricky to keep in place. It was many many years ago, before TV, when people did things like that.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 3:24PM
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It'll automatically mean redoing your plumbing drains and maybe the electrical drop to the house. When you touch the plumbing and electrical, that may mean bringing everything up to current codes. Ask your local building department about what permits might be required. It won't be a cheap project, even if you don't have to touch anything else. You'd better be getting a really good deal on the house and be prepared to drop about half again on the project.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 7:48PM
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You'd be spending a small fortune on this -- permits, disconnecting all the plumbing/electrical, jacking up the house, rebuilding the foundation, stairs, etc, then re-doing the plumbing/ electrical, grading, landscaping.

This is probably only cost effective if you got the house for free, you'd never re-coup the cost.

Look at other options.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 3:10PM
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Bryan Scott

It would be cheaper and easier to buy a brick to carry around on your head in hopes that it will make you shorter!

Definitly, if you are to raise the house, you will have to extend all of the necessary utility runs, which, could also mean bringing up to code. I agree that if this is a must for you, to try lowering the basement floor. But, since you are talking about extending structur support for the basement walls and the house itself, you still are going to spend a nice chunk of change.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 12:57PM
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Many years ago I supplied the engineering for a customer who took an 1880s family home and raised it up and added an entire new first floor and basement.

Even 20+ years ago it was VERY expensive (nearly as bad as moving a house).

We duplicated the older first floor porches and exterior on the new first floor, and used them as second story porches on the final build.

If you saw the house now you would think it was built that way.

The house was inherited, so it cost essentially nothing to start with.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 1:37PM
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I lived in San Francisco for many years. If people want a garage, often they dig out the basement, that is to say, they make a garage under the house, with a steep little hill in the driveway.

I often wondered why they didn't raise the house itself, but now, reading the comments above, I can see why.

BTW, having a garage in San Francisco is literally worth it's weight in gold, so they would definitly recoup their expenses.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 9:48PM
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