Lifting your house and replacing the foundation is sometimes necessary to address structural issues, improve flood resilience, or enhance property value. This is a major renovation and isn’t cheap. Still, it can be essential for maintaining a home’s safety and integrity, especially in areas prone to flooding or where the original foundation has degraded due to soil or moisture problems. 

As Northern Colorado’s go-to choice for foundation excavation and backfill services, we’ve accumulated tons of knowledge on the costs and benefits of this type of work. Now, we’re passing that knowledge on to you.

The Short Answer: How Much Does it Cost?

The cost of lifting a house and replacing its foundation in Northern Colorado typically ranges from $20,000 to $100,000. This depends on factors such as the size of the house, the type of new foundation required, and the project’s complexity. You should expect a significant investment, but one that is essential for the long-term stability and safety of your home. Consulting with local construction and foundation experts is highly recommended for precise estimates tailored to specific circumstances.

Detailed Cost Breakdown

The cost of lifting a house and replacing its foundation can vary widely. One of the primary factors is the size of the house itself. Larger homes require more materials and labor, thereby increasing the overall costs. For instance, lifting and supporting a larger footprint involves more extensive use of beams and hydraulic equipment, which can drive up the price.

Another crucial factor is the type of foundation being installed. Options range from crawl spaces, which are generally less expensive, to full basements that necessitate deeper excavation and more concrete, making them pricier. For example, a simple crawl space foundation might cost between $7 to $10 per square foot, whereas a full basement could cost between $10 to $25 per square foot for just the construction of the basement itself​.

Local labor rates also play a significant role in the final cost. Additionally, the accessibility of the site and the complexity of the project—such as the need for special equipment to navigate tight spaces or preserve nearby structures—can further adjust the cost.

Process Overview

Lifting a house and replacing its foundation is a complex, multi-step process that must be carefully planned and executed to ensure safety and minimize risk. The process typically begins with an initial assessment conducted by a structural engineer who evaluates the condition of the existing foundation and the feasibility of lifting the house. This assessment is crucial for planning the scope of work and understanding the underlying issues that necessitate the lift.

The next crucial step is obtaining the necessary permits. Local building codes and regulations must be adhered to, and securing these permits ensures that the project complies with all legal requirements.

The house’s actual lifting involves using hydraulic jacks and other specialized equipment to raise the house evenly and slowly to prevent any structural damage. This phase must be monitored closely to maintain the integrity of the building structure throughout the process.

Once the house is securely lifted, the old foundation is removed. This involves demolition and excavation, which must be handled with care to avoid affecting the surrounding area. Following this, the new foundation is constructed. 

Potential Additional Costs

You should also budget for several additional expenses that can accumulate. One of the most significant extra costs is the need for temporary accommodation. Since the house will be uninhabitable during the lifting and foundation replacement process, you’ll need to find alternative living arrangements, ranging from renting nearby properties to staying with relatives or in hotels.

Another consideration is the cost of professional services. This includes fees for structural engineers, who typically charge between $300 to $1,000 for an inspection report, and architectural services if changes to the house design are required. Permits and planning permissions also come with fees that vary significantly depending on local regulations, often ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars​​.

Homeowners may also face costs related to restoring the landscaping and external features of the property post-construction. Lifting a house can lead to yard damage, necessitating new sod, plants, or even major landscaping work. 

Regional Considerations: How is Northern Colorado Unique?

Northern Colorado has varied soil types, ranging from heavy clays to sandy loams, which can significantly affect foundation stability. Areas with expansive clay may require deeper foundations to prevent shifting and damage over time. With its freeze-thaw cycles, the local climate also necessitates foundations being built below the frost line to prevent heaving.

Local building codes in Northern Colorado are designed to address these unique environmental challenges and ensure the safety and longevity of constructions. These regulations might mandate specific types of foundation systems or additional waterproofing and drainage solutions, particularly in areas prone to flooding. 

Hiring Professionals

Given the complexity and risks associated with lifting a house and replacing its foundation, it’s imperative to engage qualified professionals to prepare the site and carry out the foundation replacement. 

Start by hiring a reputable structural engineer to assess the current foundation and oversee the project to ensure it meets all safety standards. It’s also crucial to work with licensed and insured contractors who specialize in house lifting and foundation work. 

Final Thoughts on Lifting a House and Replacing the Foundation

Lifting a house and replacing its foundation requires careful planning, a clear understanding of the costs involved, and the engagement of skilled professionals. You can manage your projects effectively by considering the detailed cost breakdown, understanding the process, and preparing for additional costs and regional considerations.