Your House Lift Price Questions Answered
With rising land values and a low stock real estate market in Victoria, BC, the cost to lift a house and build downwards is becoming a popular alternative to moving.
If your family needs more living space or your foundation requires a repair or upgrade, a house lift might be the most cost-efficient solution.
Whether you want to add a new basement or protect your home against potential damage from severe floods, the total price of raising your home will vary based on the scale of the project.
The best way to determine a house lift price and ensure a smooth process is to consult experts for an estimate. However, if you’re still weighing your options, a rough idea of the lifting process and expenses might help you make a decision.
This post will cover some of the most common home lift price questions and the factors that determine project costs.
Is Lifting a House Worth It?
According to the Victoria Real Estate Board, the 2022 benchmark value of a single-family house increased by 19% in the Core over the past year alone.
Due to some of the fastest-growing house prices in the country and the unique charm of our Victoria neighbourhoods, many existing homeowners in the region are reluctant to move out of their current homes.
As a result, the cost of a house lift is often worth it for families who need a bigger home but don’t want to move or lack land space to build outwards.
Alternatively, raising your house for the purpose of strengthening its foundation could save you money in the future. One of the many unfortunate consequences of climate change is a higher flood risk in the low-lying areas of the Greater Victoria Region.
Findings from a report by the Capital Regional District (CRD) identified the following areas in the region as most vulnerable to flood risk in the coming years.
- Cadboro Bay in Saanich
- McNeil Bay in Oak Bay
- Tulista Park in Sidney
- Roberts Bay in Sidney
- Victoria Harbour in Downtown Victoria
Homeowners in a high-risk flood area would benefit the most from preventative measures such as house raising and foundation repair or replacement. However, reducing the risk of flood damage to your home is a worthy investment for any homeowner in Victoria.
House lifting can also increase your property value by creating an additional floor and preserving your existing yard space. If you plan to downsize and sell your home eventually, a house lift could improve your home’s market value.
Factors That Influence the Cost to Raise a House
A home lift price varies according to the scale of the project. Adding a fully finished basement to your home is a more extensive and therefore more expensive project than just replacing a foundation wall.
On average, the cost to lift a house ranges from $20,000 for a foundation repair to more than $200,000 for a spacious new basement. Here are several factors that affect which end of the scale your house lift price might fall closer to:
- Foundation Health: If your home’s entire foundation needs a replacement, you can expect to pay more than the cost of a partial repair. Moreover, older homes are likely to require a new foundation that complies with current BC building standards before any additions can be made.
- Size: It’s often a lot easier to raise a single-story bungalow than a heavier, multi-storey house. As a result, larger homes with greater square footage are more expensive to lift than smaller ones.
- Construction Materials: Since weight is a major factor, houses constructed from heavier materials such as brick tend to have higher house lifting costs. On the other hand, houses composed of lighter materials like wood are cheaper to lift.
- Age: In some cases, raising an older home could cost more as unexpected additional costs tend to be more common with older houses. However, working with an experienced contractor or custom home builder helps you stay ahead of these hidden costs.
- Project Complexity: Ultimately, the house lift price depends on the type of project and your desired results. Building another storey or a fully finished basement requires more labour, materials and funds than a simple foundation repair.
How Much Does It Cost to Lift a House to Put in a Basement?
One of the most cost-efficient ways to increase your home’s living space is by adding a basement. The average cost to raise a house and put in additional space could be as low as $80,000 for a crawl space or upwards of $200,000 for a finished basement.
While this may seem like a large sum, the price reflects the necessary labour, materials, proper permits and processes required for that home addition. Larger and more complex projects demand more time, steps and consequently, a bigger budget.
Older homes might also encounter additional expenses depending on their structural integrity. They may be more challenging to lift or require a foundation replacement before construction on the basement can begin.
If you’re considering adding a basement for extra space, the good news is that the cost to lift a house is more affordable than buying a new one. It’s also an ideal alternative for homeowners who have no desire to relocate.
Cost To Lift a House and Put in a New Foundation
Homeowners looking to simply fortify their home against flood damage can expect to spend significantly less than those planning a home addition.
It costs roughly around $20,000 to lift a house and repair a damaged foundation wall. However, if the structural damage to your foundation is more severe, a complete replacement can cost anywhere between two to three times more.
Fortunately, many insurance providers will offset some or all of these expenses. To determine if a foundation repair or replacement is covered by your insurance provider, check your policy for overland flood insurance coverage.
You may also qualify for a home warranty insurance claim if the damage to your foundation was caused by a construction defect. Home warranty insurance in BC protects homeowners against faulty foundations for at least five years after purchase.
The downside is that some insurance providers will only pay a fraction of the house value if your home is destroyed by flood damage. While financial assistance from the federal and provincial governments is available, these funds usually take time to process.
This is why it’s important to protect your home against possible flooding and fix any foundation issues as soon as they arise.
Is It Cheaper to Build Your House Up, Down, or Out?
While some contractors argue that building outwards is less expensive than building upwards or downwards, others claim the opposite.
Despite the lack of consensus, one thing is for certain: the cost to lift a house and build on an existing property is reasonable compared to the price of buying a new home.
Unsure whether or not a house lift is the right solution for your home? At LIDA Homes, our team of award-winning experts has been lifting homes and building gorgeous house additions in the Victoria area since 1998.
We pride ourselves in our ability to help homeowners get the most value out of their home. If you have any further questions about the cost to lift a house or want a more accurate estimate, contact us today.