phase one: Pre-Lift Planning Sequence
-Systems inspected under house (Electrical, Water, HVAC, Gas,)
-Other crawl space considerations: Height of crawl for I beams to slide underneath, chimney base condition if chimney is being lifted
-Shrubs, trees and bushes around house which may need to be relocated
-Porches and decks needing to be disconnected or supported
-Site visit by footer and foundation designer.
Note: Foundation drawings (Plan) required.
Note: Honeycomb foundation pattern now being used by FEMA as state of the art.
-Lifting Contractor Must have Class A Building Contractors license
-General Contractor's Due Diligence
-In the tidewater region, there are numerous variables, codes and ordinances which dictate house lifting/moving, remodeling and new construction. These variables may include, but are not limited to the following:
-Certificate of elevation
Note: The certificate of elevation and corresponding “mag-nail” will play an important role in determining the initial lift height and finished height of the floor.
-Inspections and estimates from General Contractor tradesmen to lift, dig footer, lay rebar and foundation piers, lower structure down onto piers, reconnect fittings, fixtures, appliances etc. once house has been placed on new foundation.
-These tradesmen may include, but are not limited to the following contractors: Hydraulics team, plumbing, LPG, chimney, water treatment, electrics, septic, landscaping, cement and masonry, mechanical (HVAC).
-Create lift plan and estimate(s)
-Lift proposal developed by General Contractor
-Secure lifting engineer and hydraulics team
-Lifting Contract presented, reviewed and signed by homeowner and General Contractor
-Engineered drawings of footer and foundation reviewed
Note: In Mathews County, VA, any property located in a VE zone, must have an engineered footer drawings approved by the Building Department before any permits are secured.
phase two: Pre-Lift Site Prep Sequence
-On Site Prep
-Create a parking area and plan for heavy equipment and contractor vehicles
-Hydraulics contract signed with lifting engineer
-Hydraulics deposit made to hydraulics engineer's account
-Must have power (temp power pole) County inspection required; Contractor build, Dominion install
-Must have water (temp frost proof hose bib)
-Soil core sample and test dig to determine water table, soil type and soil carrying capacity data
-General Contractor responsibilities:
-Pull Zoning Permit P&Z (Permit fee)
-Pull Building Permit at Building Department (Permit fee): Will need foundation plans
-Post Building Permit on site, visible from the road.
-Site Preparation Prior to Lifting
-General Contractor responsibilities:
-Call Miss Utility (811) to mark underground utilities prior to digging (No fee)
-Flag and mark other underground lines and sensitive areas relevant to the lift (Electrical, LPG, Water, Septic)
-Arrange to cut power to residence and garage: Contact Dominion Power (888.667.3000)
-Homeowners vacate the structure. The lifted structure is not habitable until the lift process is complete, a final inspection provided by the — County and a Certificate of Occupancy issued to the homeowner.
-Arrange for temporary power pole with supports, meter base and 20A receptacles for on site power during lift and reconnection. Contact -Dominion Power (888.667.3000), Pull temporary power permit from County Building Dept.
-Arrange for temporary frost proof hose bib for emergency water
-Install rental porta-potty
-Locate and protect septic system.
Note: Temporary fencing is highly recommended to keep foot traffic and vehicles away from the distribution box (D-Box) and tank (and any pump system that may be used).
Note: If the existing septic system is located close to the foundation (as may be the case with old structures, special attention is needed in protecting the septic system from damage as tractors and heavy equipment will be used in this high impact area. Long (50 ft +) I beams, weighing several tons will be carried from the transport trucks to the lifting site.
-Drain and blow out all residence water lines, and winterize house
-Remove selected porches/decks according to lift plan. Note: Some porches and decks may be lifted along with the house.
-Remove brush, shrubs, trees, low lying branches and other living plants from around the perimeter of the house (called the “footprint”).
Note: Every effort should be made to save trees and shrubs. A “watering zone” may be established where valuable plants and shrubs could be relocated on the property during the lift process. A timed water system would keep them hydrated. The plants then may be returned to their original site after the house has been settled down in place on the new foundation.
-Prepare the parking area to accommodate large trucks and contractor vehicles. The parking area on the property may need to be expanded.
-Bring in 40 cu yard roll off for debris and foundation demolition
-Remove oil tank and oil lines adjacent to house
Note: Items which are recyclable will be stored on site, then taken to a recycling center. This may include items such as glass, metal, plastic etc.
-Arrange for LPG lines to be disconnected
Note: Deck ceilings and roofs may be supported during the lift.
-Remove soft and hard scape brick work that may be damaged during work around the footprint. These may include brick pathways, brick posts, fire pits, etc.,
-Remove existing structures that may inhibit work around the footprint. These may include trellises, decks, steps etc.
-Remove existing fixtures and appliances that may inhibit work around the footprint: These may include pump house, and HVAC units.
-Secure chimneys as per lift plan
-Photo document interior of house to assess pre lift condition.
Note: Lifting a house which has settled over the years may develop interior cracks, window and door alignment issues when set back down upon a new and level foundation.
-Remove foundation skirts
-Create crawl space access for I beams.
Note: This may require breaking holes in block and brick foundation walls so I beams can slide underneath the house.
-Cut and remove crawl space duct work, plumbing and wiring that would inhibit I beams from being placed underneath the house (Approximately 10-20 multi-ton I beams will be slid underneath the house to facilitate the lift).
-The bottom two or three courses of siding must be removed to accommodate the lifting I beams underneath the structure.
-Transfer “mag-nail” height and flood level data to the lifting site to establish a visual mark to determine the initial lift height and final floor height (County and insurance requirement).
Phase Three: Lifting Sequence
-Arrival of hydraulics transport trucks with I beams, tractors, cribbing (6”x6”x4' wooden beams), hydraulics and jacks
-Cribbing pits dug around house to place support platforms upon which the lifted I beams will rest while the old foundation is removed and the new foundation built.Chimney bases slotted and supported in order to be cut free for lift at appropriate time
-Under house I beams strategically slid through crawl space
-Lifting beams secured in place
-Lifting jacks installed in cribbing pits and hydraulic hoses connected
-Residence is hydraulically lifted and secured onto cribbing to a temporary height of approximately 8' above grade. This allows for excavator to work underneath the lifted house to remove old footer and foundation and to dig new footer.
-With the house up in the air and secured atop the cribbing, the following sequence will take place:
-Girders, floor joists and other structural components of the old house will be inspected carefully
-Create plan for structural repair/replacement (if needed)
-Old foundation piers excavated and removed
Note: General Contractor should make an effort to save and reclaim the old bricks used in the old foundation. They may be re-purposed for a different use.
-Survey site and install batter boards to outline new footer dig sites following the pre approved foundation plan
-Excavate the new footer
-Rebar installed in new footer according to pre approved plan
-County Building Official “footer” inspection
-Pour cement in footer
-Lay foundation block piers according to plan
Note: If bricks are to be used to cover the perimeter piers, this needs to be known during the engineered drawing stage
-Install anchor bolts to top course of block according to code
-Install sill plates according to code (treated lumber)
-County Building Official “projection” inspection
-Prep for lowering house down onto new foundation piers
Phase Four: New Foundation Sequence
Phase Five: Lowering House Sequence
-Hydraulics team returns, sets up lowering hydraulics and lowers the structure down onto the new foundation piers
Note: Pre lift inspections may document the evidence of significant settling of old foundations and piers. Therefore, an older house, over time, will adjusted to its current state of un-levelness. When the old house is set back down upon a level foundation, there is often a readjustment period. This re adjustment period allows the structural pressures associated of being on a new level foundation to manifest themselves. Repairs of interior sheetrock and plaster walls and ceilings may be needed. Doors which opened prior to the lift may need to be adjusted. Window sashes may need adjustments.
-I beams are removed, cribbing packed away onto transport trucks, disturbed soil leveled around footprint
-Sill plates and girders connected according to code
-Sill plates, girders and foundation/piers connected and secured with Foundation Anchor Plates (FAP), Foundation Joist Anchors (FJA) or Foundation Stud Anchors (FSA)
-County Building Official “secured structure” inspection.
Phase Six: Utilities Re-Connection Sequence
-Also Steps, Porches and Decks
-Before the house can be deemed habitable, the following work must be done for the Certificate of Occupancy to be issued by the County:
-Water lines reconnected. Pump house re established. Pressurized water re established inside house. Note: It is wise to inspect the interior of the house for any leaks while testing water pressure
-County Building Official water system inspection
-Steps and deck/landing constructed to access new entrance.
Note: Steps and decks subject to code (size and style tbd)Steps and landings are required for Dominion VA Power to reconnect meter base (which is now higher)
-Electric reconnection established to panel and new meter base
-County Building Official electrical inspection
-County Building Official LPG and oil inspection
-HVAC units reconnected and new duct work secured
-County Building Official mechanical inspection
-Septic tank drain lines reconnected
-Deck supports put in place according to code
-County Building Official “steps and supports” inspection
-Power transferred to residence: Dominion Power
-A Completion Plan created and completed. The completion plan may include, but is not limited to reconnecting bottom two siding courses, replanting foliage around house, re grading landscape, re insulate under house.
Note: Often times, the crawl space of an older structure is much lower in elevation than the surrounding grade. It is strongly recommended that the under house “pit” be back filled with dirt so as to eliminate any rain produced pooling and lakes underneath the house.
-County Building Official issues Certificate of Occupancy (Required document for homeowners to occupy the house)
-Punch list prepared during homeowner inspection walk through.
-Punch list completed and Homeowner Satisfaction Document issued and signed
Phase Seven: Home Improvement Plan
-Home improvements may include, but are not limited to repair or replacement of house items:
Appliances, fixtures, flooring, parging foundation block, roof repair/replacement, insulation and landscaping. A plan will be determined in advance and work will be done in a pre determined sequence.