House Elevation: Building the Foundation

As fate would have it, next door to our temporary apartment, the house is also being lifted. It too suffers from the occasional rising whims of the little brook near our house, about two miles down stream from our house. With my new knowledge base on this subject, I’ve noticed a few things about this elevation that the casual observer would be likely to miss. 

Style  One – Build Foundation Up to the House

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Another house elevation under way

When you look a little closer, you can see some strings. It makes perfect sense that you would want to make certain the foundation was going to match up with the house. This technique was not utilized in our project and they had great difficulty matching up the pieces.

Would it have mattered? Who knows. A spool of yarn could have come in handy is all I’m saying.

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A little piece of string ties it all together

Another area where this project deviates from ours is they are building the foundation up to meet the house, unlike our scenario where the house was lowered back down onto the foundation.

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Rising up to meet the house –


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Foundation meets the house – steel beams still in place

Although this technique makes it more challenging for the lifting company to remove the steel beams, logically if makes sense. When I asked my builder about this different technique, he said either way works. Ok – but I’m guessing one house will suffer more than the other. When a mega ton house is lowered, no matter how gingerly it is accomplished, there is bound to be some collateral damage.

I don’t know the end result for this house, but our house suffered numerous cracks in the walls (minor) and a permanent slight shift in a bank of kitchen cabinets where a shim of wood was left in place atop the foundation while the house was being lowered.

Style Two – Lower down onto the new-built foundation

Flood Savvy
Sill plate in construction is the bottom horizontal member of a wall or building to which vertical members are attached.

This would be a question I would ask a construction about. Which is better? I don’t know, I’m not a builderI do know our house did suffer impact cracks when it was lowered back down on every single wall in the house. They were mostly cosmetic in nature and minor, but required the walls to be painted. 


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