Elevating your house can be a daunting task. If it’s your first time doing this, then there are quite a few things you should know beforehand. To help catch you up on some of the important things to remember, we’ve put together this helpful list of 10 things to know before elevating your house. With the help of this guide, you’ll be ready and hopefully less stressed about going forward with this project.
1. The foundation on which your house is built is incredibly important information. The type of foundation your house is built on determines which methods of elevation you can and can’t use.
2. All of your house’s utility lines (electric, water, gas, etc.) will have to be disconnected before elevation. Don’t worry though, they’ll be reconnected once the elevation is complete.
3. Lifting a masonry house is particularly difficult. The reason for this rests on a few factors. These factors are the weight, construction, and even the design of the masonry structure. Although it is difficult to lift masonry houses, it is far from impossible.
4. If you’re looking for a way to keep costs down during the elevation process, try to use as much of your current foundation as you can. This isn’t possible to do with all elevation techniques, but it is possible to do with many of them.
5. Certain areas, due to weather conditions, require inspection by a design professional before a house can be elevated. The design professional will determine whether or not the building can remain structurally sound after the elevation process.
6. When elevating a house, you’ll typically have to construct a new entry point, depending on where your current entrance is. In some cases, building a new staircase or ramp will be necessary for entry.
7. Multistory homes can be elevated but they do come with their own set of issues. For instance, the number of lifting tools required for the job increases based on the structure’s dimensions and weight.
8. If you are elevating your home more than 4 feet above the existing grade, you should consider elevating the home an entire story. This isn’t a requirement, simply a suggestion. By doing this, you can create a new space below the house that you can use for any number of things such as storage, parking, etc.
9. There are a couple of elevation techniques that can simplify the process of elevating a masonry house atop slab-on-grade foundation. One of these techniques is taking the home’s current walls and extending them upward. Then, you can simply construct your new elevated floor directly above the original slab.
10. BFE stands for Base Flood Elevation. If the height to which you’ve elevated your house is below BFE, you’ll run into a couple of problems. Not only will your home be less protected but your flood insurance rates will either be unaffected or very minimally decreased.
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