Wood Beams Stabilizing Homes in America

Foundation installation

A new foundation.

Just the words provoke a sense of optimism.

A new foundation.

In personal transformation, a new foundation means a sturdier way to live life. A way to draw on principles and values that bring along with a personal sense of purpose or power. A new foundation.

However. Consider the implications this phrase has for homes. A foundation of the home rests on the ground, fortified by stone and dirt, incapable of moving. Then think of the following storms:

Hurricane Harvey.

Hurricane Sandy.

Hurricane Irma.

Evacuations. Flooding.

It takes about 22 mature pine trees to build a 2,600 square foot house. And every time there’s a major storm, a little more damage is enacted to those 22 mature pine trees. Wind, pounding rain, lightning strikes, hail…all damage a home and can even threaten its foundation.

About 90% of all major disasters declared by the President of the United States involve some sort of flooding. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, floods are the number one source of disaster in the United States, averaging over $3 billion in claims per year.

Flooding poses a hazard for most foundations. If a bottom level of the home is flooded, the water eats away at the wood of the floor. And beneath the ground may have rotted beneath.

House raising is the process of separating a building from its foundation. Its often called house lifting, house jacking, barn jacking, or building jacking. The idea behind house raising is simple: separate the building from its foundation using a complex set of cribbing and hydraulic jacks. The actual workings are not that simple.

House raising costs. The costs of house raising are not small. Much depends on the size and layout of the house. Generally, two story houses will cost more than one story houses to raise. The more square footage is likely to cost more money. Part of this is simple. More square footage requires more equipment and heavier equipment to boot. More square footage requires more manpower as well.

House raising considerations. House raising considerations include the status of the house and the status of the foundation. If there has been flooding, as with the above examples of the hurricanes, excavation may have to be done at the lower level to provide a secure enough bearing to lift the home. If foundation underneath the home has been damaged, as again in the case of flooding, a new foundation will have to be laid.

This new foundation can be in the form of concrete or helical piers. Helical piers are cheaper than concrete and this option is much more affordable for those looking to transport to a new location.

House raising possibilities. Flooding is a natural reason to raise a home, as it gives the opportunity to place a new foundation and excavate the lower level, which has been damaged by flooding. Others choose to raise their homes for different reasons. New foundation installation will give birth to a whole new level in the home. Others are looking to move their home altogether.

How do house raising companies do this?

House raising companies and contractors use a series of hydraulic jacks that are synced together to raise the home at an even rate. Because of the possible damage to a home, the hydraulic jacks lift the home only a few inches at a time. They settle and the contractors or workers come in and lay cribbing down on the bottom floor.

This cribbing is made out of wood beams that interlock and provide stability to the walls as the house gets raised. The wood beams are then used repeatedly as the home gets raised higher and higher. The cribbing is there to keep both the walls stable so that they do not collapse inward. The wood beams accomplish this goal.

Sometimes it’s necessary to have wood beam repair. Wood beams support your home once its been raised and having wood beam repair can promote the life of the raise. Wood beam repair can be employed before or after house elevation, if there are wood beams in your home that need repairing. Wood beam repair can help your home structurally before a lift.


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