Raising a home can add living space without sacrificing your yard.
If you're looking to add an extension to your home, building up or out usually seems the logical solution. However, sometimes building underneath is the most viable option. For situations where building up and out simply won't work, home raising can be the solution.
What is home raising?
Home raising involves using jacks and supports to raise the height of a house. This opens the area under the house for construction.
Home raising is generally viable for houses built on stumps. It won't work for homes on a concrete slab. It also won't work for brick or brick veneer homes. The practice is particularly common in Queensland, where the architectural style lends itself to home raising.
Once the home is raised, you'll have freed up space to build underneath. You could use the newly created space for parking, storage or build a full extension.
Why would I raise my house?
Home raising works well when circumstances prevent you from building up or outwards. You could face council restrictions on the footprint of your house, or you could have a particularly small block of land and want to extend your living space. Your house may not be structurally suited to adding a second storey.
Raising your house enables you to add living space without increasing the footprint of your home on your existing block of land. You can choose to retain the existing layout of your home and add additional living space in the new area you've created below. Alternatively, you could use the opportunity to do a complete remodel of your home's layout.
How does home raising work?
Raising a house is an impressive engineering feat that requires careful preparation and execution. The process involves several steps:
- Plans are made for construction on the new space
- Existing stumps are replaced
- House is lifted by hydraulic jacks
- New supports are added
- Electrical and plumbing connections are made
- Concrete slab is added below
- If space is being used for additional storey, new walls and stairs are built
How much does home raising cost?
Because of the extreme precision involved, home raising can be more expensive than traditional extensions. Homes To Love puts the approximate cost of raising a home and building underneath at $250,000. The site estimates that raising a home can cost 10–15% more than a traditional extension.
If you're looking to fund a home raising project, you might want to consider a line of credit or home equity loan. These loans draw upon the equity you've built up in your home to unlock cash. Many line of credit loans will allow you to borrow up to 80% of the equity you've built up in your home, and you're only charged interest on the portion of the available credit that you use.
If you're thinking of undertaking a home raising project, make sure to consult a company specialising in the service. And compare your line of credit options in the table below to help fund your extension.