How Much Does It Cost to Raise a House?

Typical Range:

$3,147 - $9,885

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 867 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated April 5, 2022

Reviewed by Ezra Laniado, Expert Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Average Cost to Lift a House

The typical cost range for raising a house is $3,147 and $9,885. The national average is $6,466. Less extensive projects could cost about $850, while more extensive ones could reach $14,000. This is just for raising the home. The cost to lift a house and replace the foundation is between $25,000 and $100,000.

Foundation Raising Cost Calculator

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National Average $6,466
Typical Range $3,147 - $9,885
Low End - High End $900 - $20,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 867 HomeAdvisor members.

the average cost to lift a house is $6,100 or $900 to $18,000

Raising a foundation is an extreme form of repair in which a house is lifted, the old foundation may be removed and a new one built or added to the existing. This is done in situations where the house is intact, but the supporting structure has extreme damage. This is also the way historical buildings are moved to new locations. The house is lifted, a new foundation is built in a new location, and the house is placed on top of the new one. Other common reasons for homeowners to pursue this project are to lift it above the flood zone, to build a basement, or to keep it from setting in poor soil conditions. As you can imagine, this is a large and expensive job. It is difficult to anticipate the exact costs, but here are a number of factors that will have an effect.

Cost to Raise a House Factors

There are many factors involved when calculating the cost of raising a house. Not only will you have to consider the typical prices for labor and excavation, but you will also have to adjust for size and condition of the structure being raised.

House Lifting Costs
FactorCost
SizeVaries
Condition/Age of HouseVaries
Structural Engineer$100 – $200 per hour
Architect$125 – $250 per hour
Plumbing$45 – $200 per hour
Electrician$50 – $100 per hour
Excavation$40 – $150 per hour
Condition of FoundationVaries
Permits$1,200 – $2,000
LaborVaries
Patch and PaintVaries
InsuranceVaries

Size of the Home

One of the largest cost factors is the size of your home. The larger it is, the more it weighs and the more complicated the process of raising it or transporting it will be. Most companies that do this kind of work will be able to give you a cost estimate based on the square footage of your home, but every price will be different based on other details such as the condition of the house and foundation. The best way to get an accurate quote for your particular project is to consult and hire a foundation contractor.

Labor

The cost of labor is difficult to nail down. The best way to get an accurate figure is to get in touch with reputable foundation contractors in your area. The cost could vary depending on the complexity of your project and the wage expected in your area.

  • Average hourly rate for a laborer: $16 per hour

  • Heavy equipment operator: $22 per hour

Condition and Age of House

Older homes are going to need extra care and reinforcement during the process. This is because of their age and the fact that older homes were built with heavier materials. This will take more equipment and time. Your contractors may need to move the house at a slower pace if it is older and more vulnerable.

Plumbing and Electrical

Licensed electricians charge $50 to $100 per hour, while plumbers charge $45 to $200 per hour. These utilities will be disconnected for the process and then reconnected upon completion, which requires expertise and time.

Patch and Paint

When the home is raised, inevitably there will be some cracking in the drywall at the interior of the house and in the exterior finish as well, especially around doors and windows. “One should factor in the additional cost of patching and paint,” said Ezra Laniado, Expert Contributor and Founder of Landmark Construction & Development Group. “This cost will vary depending on how much cracking occurs and if the paint color and sheen can be matched well enough.”

Excavation and Grading

Excavation costs $1,450 to $5,000. The demands will vary from one house to another, and your cost could grow if special equipment and extra time is needed.

Condition of Foundation

The average cost for foundation repairs is about $4,500. Repairs or accommodations that need to be made to stabilize the home can add significant cost.

Building Permits

Building permits will usually cost $1,200 to $2,000. The permit for this project can be sizeable, especially compared to the cost of a regular building permit.

Structural Engineer

Hiring a structural engineer will cost $800 to $3,000 on average. Having your home inspected for structural integrity before and after raising is extremely important and should not be skipped.

Architect

Architects charge $125 to $250 per hour. An architect may be the best investment you make for this project. They have the knowledge and experience to ensure that the money you spend doesn't go to waste. They can help you get the right permits, meet zoning requirements, and achieve the optimal design.

Insurance

Expect insurance expenses, which should cover at least $100,000 to $200,000, to be factored into your cost. Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you are adequately covered. Make sure your foundation pro has adequate insurance as well.

Landscape and Cleanup

Trees and landscaping can inhibit access for laborers. Therefore, you need to include the cost of removing then replanting or rebuilding your landscape when budgeting for the project. Contractors will need a lot of space for their equipment and for excavating around the work area. 

As such, you may wish to remove trees and landscaping in order to replant them afterward, or you may choose to scrap your landscaping and start anew after the lift. Removing a single tree can cost $700, while rebuilding landscape could cost $1,400 to $5,500.

Cost to Jack Up & Replace a Foundation

"If you are moving your house from one site to another and you have a mortgage on it, you have an obligation to inform the bank holding your note as they have a financial stake in the property."

Cati O'Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor.

Your cost to replace, due to structural failure or unmanageable repairs, will depend on the kind of foundation you choose. The range is anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000, on top of the initial cost of lifting. This includes such costs as excavation, grading, equipment fees, permits, and the cost of a structural engineer at $100 to $200 per hour.

The type of foundation you choose is of key importance, especially if you're experiencing failure. It is likely that rebuilding the same type will result in similar problems, down the road. Be sure to analyze the cause of your damage in order to select the best option going forward.

Cost to Replace a Foundation
TypePrice Range
Stem Wall$7,000 – $21,000
Pier & Beam$8,000 – $15,000
Crawl Space$8,000 – $21,000
Basement$10,000 – $175,000
Consult With a Foundation Specialist
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Cost to Level a Settling Foundation

Leveling is necessary when a house is losing structural integrity through sloping and sinking. A few signs that your home is settling are cracks in the walls, ceilings and floors, as well as doors and windows that either stick or won't close correctly. If you wait too long to level it, your repairs will only get more complicated and costly.

One of the most popular methods is to excavate around the house, lift it with hydraulic jacks and install piers, or underpinnings, where lift is needed. On average, piers will cost $1,000 to $3,000 each, and repairs tend to demand eight to 10 piers.

Soil or Ground Movement

Helical piers, specifically, are considered a great option for issues caused by ground or soil movement. These piers are embedded far below the surface into bedrock and used to secure the foundation, and they cost $1,400 to $2,100 each to install. A lot of settling issues are caused by poor soil or ground movement. If you are rebuilding in the same area where the old structure became damaged, then you must change the way it is built or the same damage will reoccur with the new one.

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Price to Lift Floor Above Flood Zone

Those who are in flood zones can greatly reduce their risk of flood damage by raising their home above the flood zone designated for their area. When properly raised, the lowest level of the home will be above potential water levels. Check the Risk MAP provided by FEMA to see if you are in a flood zone and if raising your home would lower your risk and your home insurance. Pilings and posts can form stilts to keep your home safe in flood conditions Options include:

  • Piers: Reinforced concrete or masonry blocks and footings. Can be installed over original so will have a lower price point.

  • Posts/Columns: Drilled into holes and reinforced with concrete or concrete pads. Original must be removed, adding excavation costs.

  • Pilings: Driven deep into the ground with no concrete pads or footings. Original must be removed and house must be "set aside" during installation of pilings. Requires heavy-duty equipment. This is the most expensive option.

comparing a post foundation to a piling foundation

Building a Basement

The average cost to build a basement is $18 per square foot for an unfinished space. A basement can increase your property value while providing extra storage and even living space. If the lift cost alone runs around $5,000, you're looking at substantial added costs to install a basement underneath your existing home. Homeowners could spend anywhere from $10,000 to $175,000, depending on the size of the project, material choices, and whether they want the space finished. Still, the return on investment and the convenience a basement offers could make it worth doing.

Building a Second Story

The average cost to build a second story starts at around $500 per square foot. The total cost you’ll pay can depend on many factors including the type of materials you choose, your location, and the foundation work required.

All in all, a partial addition to your second story can run you around $80,000 to $250,000, while adding a full second story can run from $100,000 to $600,000 or more.

Elevating Foundation to Transport House

Raising, repairing, and rebuilding the foundation, then replacing it is much less expensive than moving your home to a new location where a new foundation has been built. On average, homeowners spend $12 to $16 per square foot to move their entire house. However, other factors will come into play which could raise your overall service price. These include:

  • Distance to transport

  • Special permits

  • House dimensions

  • Difficulty of transport (road conditions, obstacles)

You will also need to hire a structural engineer to approve the stability of the home for transport. Then, on the other side of your move, you need to have a new foundation ready for placement. Building a new one costs $4,200 to $13,200 on average and can get significantly more expensive if you're considering a basement.

The cost of transporting a home is expensive and multi-faceted. However, companies that specialize in moving homes will be able to give you an accurate bid based on the size of your house.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does raising a house add value?

Yes, raising a home can increase its value to potential buyers. With this process, you can prevent damage from flooding, increase storage possibilities, and allow for more living spaces, all of which can add value.

How long does it take to lift a house?

Depending on the work required, raising a home usually takes a few weeks, usually up to about two months. This timeframe includes the entire process, from prep work to any work you’ll do once the house is lifted.

Does FEMA pay to raise a house?

If you live in an area with a high risk of flooding, state officials may be able to apply for flood mitigation grants through FEMA that would partially pay for you to raise your home. The funds are provided by FEMA but these programs are usually tackled on the state and local level. Contact local officials if you live in a flood-prone area and are interested in learning more.

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