I have heard of some people digging out their basement for increased
headroom. But whether you could do that may depend upon status of
existing basement walls, foundation, soil/rock under floor, and ground
water (a possible recent California issue).
This is Turtle.
I can only speak as to price of something like this in Louisiana on a wood frame
house of 1,800 sq. feet. My Mother in law raised here house up 40 inches above
the regular 12" pier blocks. The total highth went up 40" from the 12" level and
now it is 52" from the ground now. She had a preoble of flooding during the high
river times and got tied of it and just raised it up to stop the flooding. This
was also on a home with no basement and just a wood frame home on 1 foot piers
and raised it to 52" level. The company that did the work was called a house
movers and house raisers. A lot of the house movers will raise houses also or
atleast in this part of the country.
They have a computorized lifting system that all the hydrolic hoses connect to
it and then all the hydrolic jacks are attached to a hug I-Beam running under
that house. this house was 1,800 sq. feet and it took 5 I-Beams that reached
from one side of the house to the other and then there was 3 -- 50 ton jacks
attached to each beam. There was 15 Jacks and 5 I-Beams to lift it all together
at one time. The computor would keep the house rising all to gether and level
ever inch of the way. The Computor took about 2 hours to lift it 40" because of
if one side did not rise with the other sides. the other side would wait for the
low point to catch up. Also the house had to be jacked up 45 inches to be able
to get the tall piers under it. then the Computor would let it down on the
Now the price of this job was Louisiana and would diffently cost less than
California and maybe double what it would be here. The cost to do it was
$6,250.00 Turn Key Job and they furnish the Concrete Piers. The 52" piers are
not made for regular use and the tallest made to use is 42". The House lifter
had to get a concrete company make these 52" piers special order for this job.
Now they had some other bidders that did not have the computor system to lift
with and used plain Jacks and Rail Road ties to work with. We went with the only
contractor that had insurance and the computorized system which cost more.
Now a note to tell you here. When you lift a house the floors and walls may
become out of wack so don't do any repair to the walls or floor till after you
had it lifted. Most will not but some will.
Now to this job being in California. It could be $12,500.00 or more but you need
to talk to some of the house movers / House raiser to get a price normal to your
Also it is $34,000.00 for the computorized house lifting system. Now this is if
you want to buy one and do it you self.
I suspect that in CA they will require upgrading the foundation and the way
the house is attached to the new foundation rather than just setting it on
pier blocks. This will of course mean that the siding will have to be
removed to attach the earthquake straps and such so it would be a little
more costly than in LA.
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
This is Turtle.
You said Earth Quake straps and getting it ready for a earthquake. Here in
Louisiana we are in a Earth Quake zone too but it has been in active for 5,000
years and none since. There is some talk of this becoming a fact again but will
be estimated to happen in another 2,000 years from now. You can buy Earth Quake
insurance in Louisiana for $6.00 a year for $50K worth of coverage. I think I
will just wait a few more years till it get closer to the year 4,000 A.D. to
take the coverage out. There is a very small Fault line down the Mississippi
River from North to South and could become a problem in a few more years like
the year 4,000 A.D. .
I have been listening to prices of stuff in California verses Louisiana and it
seems that it is double in California verses Louisiana.
Exactly the same as the likelihood of the "Once in a 100 years on average"
Immediately following the last 'event' the next one may happen any time;
from year one (1) to maybe year two hundred (200). So you may have a one in
two hundred chance of damage/injury/death.
So if you live somewhere where the last tragedy; lets' say it was the 1906
San Francisco Earthquake and the average likelihood of the next one every
200 years, I'd say, "Yes time to update ones life insurance".
Uh, oh! We were talking 'life' insurance were we not? Like those idiots who
live below a mountain of mud!
The last significant 'tidal wave' (Tsunami) that affected this area was
1929, before that 1700 and a major one in 1755 (due to the Lisbon
earthquake, 60,000 dead). So likelihood here appears to be around once every
200 years? So, at an elevation of several hundred feet; rocky terrain with
shallow topsoil, we might be OK.
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