The arrival of hurricane Sandy in 2012 gave many people along the Jersey Shore a serious wake up call. Even if your own home was lucky enough to be spared, you saw the damage and flooding all around you. Many homes were completely destroyed and swept away.
Since then, many homes have been built anew. Severe damages have been repaired. People have gotten on with their lives. And yet, amazingly, many people have rebuilt their homes exactly as they were, without considering protective measures for the next big storm. After all, if it happened once it can happen again.
Others have taken serious measures to protect their homes from damage or flooding in case of future hurricanes and superstorms. House lifting has become a serious consideration for many people, and no shortage of companies have popped up to provide this service.
What is house lifting, and does it really protect your house?
Basically, a team of highly skilled professionals lifts your entire home using a sophisticated system of metal beams, unified hydraulic jacks, and timber support structures. The foundation of the home is then thoroughly checked over, existing damages are systematically repaired, and the foundation is lifted above the flood line. Once this new foundation is complete, the house is safely set down atop the new foundation.
You now have a safer, stronger foundation that keeps your house above the flood line and out of direct danger in case of severe flooding.
Most people will say, “fine, that sounds great, but does it really work?”
One way to tell that house lifting has real protective benefits is to look at how home insurance companies manage their businesses. You’ll generally see lower insurance rates for homes that have been lifted, while homes along the Jersey Shore (and other flood prone areas) that are built below the flood line will pay higher rates. For the companies who insure these properties, it’s a simple question of numbers. It’s only a matter of time before another big storm rolls in, and once that happens, there are going to be huge costs all over again.
Will the lower insurance premiums quickly pay for the cost of a professional house lift? Not right away—but those lower premiums aren’t the only benefit. The market value of the property will also be “lifted,” which benefits the owner in the long term, whether or not they actually sell.
There’s also the question or protecting valuables and other irreplaceable property kept in your home, and protecting your family itself from raging storms and floods.
Are you ready to take the next step?
Obviously, deciding to subject your property to a professional house lift is not something to be taken lightly. It’s a huge decision, and it merits careful consideration from all angles. If you decide it’s time to reach out and contact a house lifting specialist, there are a couple of important things to look for. Obviously you want someone who is experienced, and has many successful house lifting projects under their belt. You don’t want anybody “learning the trade” on your time. You also want someone who has:
- Plenty of confirmed feedback from happy clients
- The latest house lifting technology
- Clear and honest fee structure
- Written guarantees you can rely on
As long as you find a contractor who meets these qualities, you’ll get a valuable dose of perspective, whether or not you actually decide to go forward with the project.