I asked you at the beginning of the year, if you had any questions you’d love answered. I received lots of fantastic questions which I will be answering over the coming weeks. One such of these was about the process of lifting an existing house and building in under. We did a lot of these when we were building, as they are a great way to add space to your home without changing what you love about your existing home. Let’s take a look at the process.
Lift And Build – The Process
Let’s start with why you would consider this for your home. If you’ve outgrown your home and you’d prefer to stay where you are, you have three real options. You can extend out but if you’ve no room to do so, you can look at a top floor extension, or a lift and build. Each option is personal choice, although some house styles simply do not suit a top floor extension or a lift and build. Queenslanders for example are a great choice for a lift and build.
Plans and approvals are where it starts for a lift and build. Homes are only able to be lifted to a height determined by your local council and your builder, architect and engineer will work together to develop plans to suit. Your home will be able to be lifted x meters from Natural Ground Level. Generally surveyors will be used to find the N.G.L and then assist with finding the right height for you lift. Soil tests will be taken to determine what needs to be done with the restumping of your home. All this information is sent to the council and once the plans have council approval and your contract is finalised, you’ll move into the lifting phase.
The very first action you will see on site, will be the completion of a thorough demolition checklist including the disconnecting of all services, including plumbing and electrical. At this point a safety plan will be developed to ensure the safety of all workers entering site. You’ll see signage go up and fencing installed.
If you ever get the chance to witness house raisers at work, I highly recommend that you do. It’s a fine art jacking up a house, and a balancing act to ensure minimal disruption to the existing home. Your house raiser and builder will work together to jack up your home 150mm at a time using timber styes and temporary steel beams to lift the house. It is an amazing process, as each of the jacking points are wound up in turn. You’ll hear creaks and growns from the house as it begins to move up! There will be a series of checks and measures to ensure the correct height is reached.
Footings & Posts
Once your home has reached its new position, footings will need to be prepared for the posts to secure your home. These will be inspected by an engineer to ensure that they are compliant. Once the posts are in place and the concrete has cured, your builder will attach the house to its new posts. From there the house raisers will be back to remove the styes and your home will come to settle in it’s new place.
Once your home is in place, your builder can commence the process of building in under your home to create your new living space. It is common to find once your home has settled, some small cracks or other signs of disruption may appear. All of this is very normal and will have been taken into account by your builder. Your house raiser and builder will have worked to minimise this disruption.
This is a simplistic view of the process, but with the right builder and house raisers in place, it is all you need to know. If you are considering this option to provide more space in your home I recommend you find yourself a builder with experience in this type of renovating for the best results.
Have you raised and built in a home? What kind of extension would you love for your home?