How to Jack Up Your House to Repair the Foundation

Foundation repairs sometimes require raising the building.
This creates a work space for the foundation repairs, and also allows the home to be permanently raised by building a higher foundation before lowering the home. The process involves multiple pieces of heavy equipment and large steel or wood beams. The task is commonly contracted to licensed builders with experience in the field.

Step 1

Disconnect the home from all utilities. This includes water and sewer pipes and electrical service. Any utility structure that connects the house to the ground needs to be disconnected.

Step 2

Remove any nuts on the anchor bolts between the foundation and the home. Check for any other structures that connect the house to the foundation.

Step 3

Place steel or heavy wood beams under the floor joists of the home. This often involves creating holes through the foundation walls. Place the steel beams perpendicular to the floor joists. Place a beam about every 10 to 20 feet depending on the width of the house.

Step 4

Set a hydraulic jack under the end of each beam. Raise the jacks so the beam is tight against the floor joists.

Step 5

Raise the jacks all at the same time. This requires a little teamwork. Raise the house about an inch and check the beams to make sure everything is in place and the house is not slipping.

Step 6

Pile blocks of wood beams under the end of each beam. Lower the jacks to allow the beams to rest on the blocks. Place additional blocks under the jack and continue to raise the house as needed.

Things You Will Need

  • Steel beams
  • Hydraulic jacks
  • Wood blocks

Tip

  • While living in the house even while it’s jacked above the foundation may seem possible, it is not advised. Keep in mind the utilities are disconnected and the home may be unstable.

Warning

  • Most house-raising projects are performed by licensed construction professionals. There is always possibility the home could slip from the jacks and beams and fall. This is not a task for do-it-yourselfers.

About the Author

Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.