About Us

How to Lift a House
By Lance Olsen

In order to lift the house we first took out the concrete slab under the house and also removed the foundation under the load bearing wall going down the center of the house. I use the term "foundation" very loosely however, as it consisted of three layers of mortared brick (mortared is also used quite loosely).

Once the concrete had been removed and the plumbing disconnected, the professional house lifters came and took over. They spent all morning meticulously building up the lincoln-log-esque structures you can see here, which they called "cribs."

Once the cribs were built, they skewered our house with two enormous steel I-beams. Incidentally, the crane they used to lift the beams in had it's supports on the sidewalk and crushed our water main to tiny little pieces... with hilarious consequences!!! Once the beam was in place, they inserted jacks on top of each of the six cribs.

The jacks were controlled by a really cool machine on the truck that had a whole bunch of flashing lights and dials and a big shiny red button that we could hardly keep ourselves from pushing. Once all the preparation was done it only took about 30 minutes to actually lift the house, with two or three pauses to build the cribs up higher and reset the jacks. And just like that, we went from having an oppressive, dingy, six-foot basement, to having what will soon be a beautiful 8-foot living space.