There is no doubt raising your home is a big investment. It is something that requires careful planning and attention. Part of that includes asking the right questions when choosing a house raising company.
How many lifts have you done?
It is important to remember that each house lift is different. Just because a company may have done several lifts, doesn’t mean they are right for you. Homes come in different sizes, they are made using different materials and some may be in better condition structurally than others.
When hiring a house lifting company it is important to find one that has experience in lifting your type of house.
It is also a good idea to ask how many pictures they have which show their work. Any good lifting company should be able to provide some evidence of past work.
Do you have any references?
Most good businesses have one or two online reviews these days. They are a good indicator of a company’s trustworthiness. But house lifting is not something that should be entered into lightly. You want to be certain that the company you choose is right for you. One of the best ways be sure is to ask for references.
If a house lifting company is reputable and has customers that are generally happy, they should be able to provide you with a good reference.
By speaking to a past customer you can ask questions that are hard to answer in one or two online reviews. Use the opportunity to ask as many questions as possible:
- Were the contractors on time
- Did they keep to the agreed budget?
- Was their communication good?
- Were they happy with the finished product?
If you manage to get a reference to speak to, see if you can go and see the lift for yourself.
What is your level of insurance?
It is very important to determine exactly what insurance the lifting company has, if at all. It’s not enough just to have your own home insurance. In the unlikely event that someone gets injured, a worker or otherwise, the lifting company should be insured. Likewise, if any damage is caused to the property you don’t want to be claiming on your own insurance.
In the unlikely event that something does go wrong, you want to know what you will be properly covered. It is also a good idea to ask what and how much their insurance covers. Be aware that the larger your home the bigger the liability. Your house lifting contractor should have appropriate insurance to cover the size of your house.
What does the quote include?
It is easy to get caught out here. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, house lifting is a big job with a number of individual components and processes. Some of these include: building new foundations, extending plumbing and heating, putting in new stairs, removing fencing to access the premises and more.
As with other work you might have done on your house, you would want to know that the quote you are given is the final amount you will pay.
What might start out at a seemingly low price can soon escalate once you discover all the additional jobs that are required.
Experience with permits/grants?
While possible to manage yourself, it definitely helps to have someone with experience to help you through the process of obtaining grants and permits.
In areas at risk from storms/floods and hurricanes, there are grants set up by the government which significantly reduce the amount you have to pay for house lifting costs. Your house lifting company may be able to advise you on how to go about getting such grants.
The article was written by High Caliber Contracting, Connecticut based house lifters, and building raisers.