Making the best choice for your foundation repair can be difficult, especially when you’re unaware of the options available. Lifting your home sounds like a wild magic trick performed by Chris Angel on his old MTV show Mind Freak.
It isn’t magic. Lifting your home is a real option for you to consider. What are the benefits of lifting your home? What do you get out of it?
Will lifting your home bring you closer to your peace of mind?
Dalinghaus Construction has inspected over 10,000 homes in Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada, doing foundation repair projects for over 2,000 homeowners by lifting or stabilizing the home. We have seen what multiple homeowners get out of choosing to raise their homes and understand what they look for with their foundation repair. Having done many foundation repair inspections and projects, Dalinghaus Construction understands what homeowners look for to be closer to their peace of mind.
Identifying foundation settlement
Before figuring out whether you want to lift or stabilize your home, check to see if you’re seeing signs and symptoms of needing your foundation repaired. You might be experiencing foundation settlement, where a portion of your home sinks into unstable soil.
- Drywall cracks
- Stucco cracks
- Concrete slab cracks
- Ceiling cracks
- Tile cracks
- Chimney cracks
- Leaning chimney
- Sloping floors
- Doors and windows are hard to open and close
- Water leaks
These signs and symptoms on their own aren’t an indicator your home is dealing with foundation settlement. If you experience more than one sign, you’ll want to schedule multiple foundation evaluations with different companies.
For a better understanding of these signs and symptoms and what they mean, you need to check out our Ultimate Guide to Signs and Symptoms of a Home in Need of Foundation Repair.
Benefits of lifting your home for foundation repair
The benefit of lifting your home is the area affected by the foundation settlement will be close to the level as when it was first built.
There is no guarantee everything will be back to level. We only lift as much as the structure lets us, or what is referred to as “optimal recovery.” Lifting more and trying to have things leveled 100% can cause more damage to your home.
When lifting the home, you’re relieving pressure off the rest of the house, whether it’s the ceiling, joists, roof, etc.
It depends on what you, the homeowner, are looking to achieve. When all is said and done, the decision is up to you and what you want in your foundation repair. After all, we want your peace of mind.
If your home has sunk half an inch or an inch and a half, it might be in your best interest to stabilize your home instead of lifting it. Compare this to five or six inches of sinking, where your floors feel like you’re about to experience a rollercoaster drop with your arms in the air. Lifting the home might be to your benefit.
All houses experience foundation settlement differently. If your home has settled three inches and is causing damage to your walls and slab, you would probably want to lift that portion.
Think of lifting your home as equivalent to a “bonus.” It won’t move anymore, and the lift is aesthetically pleasing since everything is as close to level as can be.
Drawbacks of lifting your home for foundation repair
Lifting your home takes more time and is labor intensive. It’s not as cheap as stabilizing. The price increase is about 20-30% more compared to if you decided to go with stabilizing for your foundation repair.
The production time can add a few more days compared to stabilizing. There might be more piers that need to be installed onto your concrete footing for the lift, extra excavation time for those additional piers, and a polyurethane void fill to keep your home stabilized after the lift.
Lifting the home can be intimidating. You hear creaks, cracks, and various sounds during the lifting process. You might think your house is about to collapse when materials are placed back together. This is not the case. The sounds are a temporary drawback.
Think about it: your house has been experiencing foundation settlement for years, if not decades. Foundation settlement (99.99% of the time) is a slow, extensive process. When you lift your home for your foundation repair, parts that haven’t been fully connected since before the birth of Millenials come back together in a matter of hours.
That said, lifting you home can be totally awesome and leave you in amazement. Again, your home is being lifted in a matter of hours. You might see it as mesmerizing. You’re watching the equivalent of Wonder Woman using her super strength.
(Well, Wonder Woman can throw buildings, but that’s beside the point.).
Lifting your home has the possibility of resulting in more cosmetic damage. The goal is to prevent further damage, but it can happen. Everyone’s foundation settlement situation is different. That said, you don’t need to worry about long-term damages after your foundation repair is completed.
Your home will be habitable and foundation settlement-less (if that’s even a word).
If you decide on a lift after completing a home remodel (in the area affected by foundation settlement), expect those new kitchen cabinets and backsplash to get damaged. After years and years of settlement (going unnoticed), old and new homeowners make adjustments and remodels.
If you lift after remodeling, everything new will need to be replaced. Adjusted doors will have to be addressed after your lift, especially if you shaved down a part of your door after years of your home settling. Lifting would leave a gap between your doors and doorframes. You will need to adjust your doors again if you, or someone else, took the liberty of performing a quick fix to make the door operational.
Feel lifted by reading our article Lifting vs Stabilizing My Home For Foundation Repair (Pros and Cons)
Sometimes lifting the home gets rid of signs and symptoms of foundation settlement.
Again, every situation is different. Sometimes lifting the home will put the organic materials back together.
Every case is different.
When a house has been settling for years only to then have your home lifted in a matter of hours, there’s never a guarantee the organic materials will blend back together. Sometimes cracks can heal up, diminish, or look a little worse. Thankfully, that is cosmetic damage, not structural.
The benefits depend on what you want out of your foundation repair
What matters is your peace of mind and positive outcomes to your foundation repair. Some homeowners are okay with stabilizing an area of their home that has sunk two inches. Others would be uncomfortable with that amount of settlement and prefer to have their home lifted to have it as close to 100% as when it was first built.
There is no right or wrong answer. Do what is best for your well-being.
Also, if your house settled five inches, you can elect to lift only a couple of inches. Fun fact for you if you want that route.
If you’re unsure what you should do, talk to your project design specialist. They will offer recommendations based on what you’re looking for.
You can still add additions whether you stabilize or lift for your foundation repair
What matters is if you beef up your footing. Both stabilization and lifting fix the underlying problem.
So long as the problem with your foundation is corrected and the footing can handle the additional weight, you’ll be able to add another story. So long as everything is up to engineering specifications.
Remember, stabilizing your home is the ultimate goal when it comes to foundation repair.
You now know the benefits of lifting your home. Receive bids from multiple foundation repair contractors for expert opinions.
You’ve learned about the benefits and drawbacks of lifting your home. Dalinghaus Construction has completed thousands of foundation repair projects to understand what lifting your home can do. Even with all of this information, you still might not have made a decision. The next course of action is to receive opinions from multiple foundation repair companies.
By receiving multiple opinions and bids, you can take in more information and compare what other companies have to offer. That way you can make the best decision and be one step closer to your peace of mind.
If you’re looking for a place to start, consider scheduling a free 60-90 minute foundation evaluation with a project specialist at Dalinghaus Construction.
Read our article Should You Get Multiple Foundation Repair Bids? How You Benefit to understand why you should receive multiple bids.
Expect to find new information by reading our article What to Expect When Lifting a Home (Cosmetic Corruption & Functionality)
For any additional questions, call (877) 360-9227 or click the button below to schedule your free evaluation today!