Frequently Asked Questions

 

What areas do you service?
Most of our work is on Long Island in Nassau and Suffolk counties but we occasionally take on interesting or historic projects throughout the East Coast.

 

What work do you perform?
We only lift or move buildings.

 

How do you know what can be lifted or moved?
Every house and building can be lifted or moved. There are no real physical limitations to what can be lifted or moved, there are only financial limitations.

 

How much does it cost raise or move a building?
Every structure is different. Cost is affected by site conditions, size, weight, shape, building construction, scope of work, and the required equipment and time.

 

Do you provide free estimates?
Yes.

 

Do I need permits?
Check with your local municipality for the required permits (typically a type of building or foundation permit). Homeowners are responsible for obtaining their own permits.  

What type of prep work is involved?
Prior to starting work we will meet with you to review the necessary prep work which could include; landscaping removal around the perimeter of the house, removal of porches/decks, removal of chimneys, disconnecting utilities (gas, water, electric), and other work specific to your home.

 

What type of insurance do you carry?
Our general liability policy is specifically for house movers with additional cargo and umbrella polices to provide you with extra coverage. We also have workman’s compensation insurance.

 

Do you work year-round?
Yes.  

 

Can you do the plans/soil testing/tell me how high the house needs to be lifted?
An architect or engineer will determine how high the house needs to be lifted and will be able to produce your plans. Let us know if you need a recommendation.

 

Can you be my general contractor and/or take care of my whole project?
We only provide house lifting or house moving services but we would be happy to provide you with referrals for general contractors, masons, architects or any other contractor you need.

 

What other contractors will I need?
You will need an architect or engineer to draw up the new foundation plans and elevations. You will likely need a mason, carpenter, plumber, electrician and possibly an excavator and piling contractor.  Some people prefer to hire a general contractor to run the entire project.

 

Can you recommend a mason, general contractor, carpenter, etc.?
Yes, please contact our office for a recommendation.

 

Do you install helical piles or wood pilings? Do you install foundations?
No, but we can provide you with recommendations.

 

House Lifting

 

My house was damaged in Hurricane Sandy, where do I start?
Start with an architect or engineer. They can provide you with the new foundation plans and elevations which tell us how high the house is being lifted and what type of foundation will be placed under it. All of the contractors will need these plans for accurate estimating and your municipality will need these plans for permitting.

 

Are you booked for years due to Hurricane Sandy?
No, for us it’s business as usual. We don’t ask you to sign a contract or take a deposit until you have or are in the process of getting your permit to prevent overscheduling.

 

Can you lift a split level house?
Yes.

 

Can you lift a house on a slab?
Yes. The interior lower four feet of sheetrock needs to be removed so that our beams can go through the walls and temporarily ledger to the studs. Once the house is lifted and the new foundation in place a carpenter will install a new floor system upon which then we lower the house.

 

Can you lift a house with an attached garage or converted garage?
Yes, in the garage area the lower four feet of sheet rock will need to be removed and our beams will go through the walls. Sometimes, depending on site conditions, homeowners will ask a carpenter to cut the garage from the house so the garage can stay at its current elevation.

How do you remove your equipment once the foundation is complete?
The mason will leave pockets for our steel beams so that when we lower the house we can slide the beam out from underneath. The mason then returns to fill the pockets.

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How high can you raise a building?
Check with your local municipality. If you are raising a structure in order to prevent flooding your architect or engineer will look at the FEMA flood maps and local regulations to determine the correct height for your lift. 

 

How long does it take to raise a building?
Every structure is different. It depends on the size, weight, shape and construction of the building as well as site conditions and the weather. Some projects take a day while others take several weeks.

 

How long will the entire project take?
Projects typically span two to three months. This time includes the curing time for concrete foundations which by engineering standards is 28 days.

 

Will my landscaping be damaged?
The landscaping around the perimeter of the house will need to be removed.

 

What type of damage can I expect from a house lift?
We use unified hydraulic jacking systems to prevent twisting, cracking, breaking or tweaking.

 

Will the lift affect my tiles/cabinets/wood floors?
Tiles, cabinetry, and wood floor should all be fine unless your house is on a slab (see above).  

 

Do I have to empty my house prior to it being lifted/moved?
You can leave everything in your house unless it is on a slab (see above).

 

Can I live in my house while it is up on blocks?
You can, but we certainly don’t recommend it.

 

My house is unique and I’m not sure it can be lifted?
There are very few houses that cannot be lifted. Call us, we love unique projects!

 

My house is brick or stone and I’m not sure it can be lifted?
Brick and stone houses can be lifted but require additional bracing and equipment due to their weight.

 

Can my fireplace or chimney be lifted?
A site visit is necessary to determine if it can be lifted with the house.

 

Can you lift my deck or porch?
It depends on how it is attached to the house. This can be reviewed at a site visit.

 

House Moving

 

Can you move my house over on its current property? Can you rotate my house?
Yes. We just need a clear path for the move or rotation.

 

I want to move a house to a new location…
How tall is the house? Is the house two stories? Utility wires are typically 13-14 feet high and our equipment takes up approximately 4-5 feet underneath the structure. A single story house will likely fit underneath the utility lines, but a two story house will not. If you are interested in moving a two story structure you should drive the route that the move would take and count the times the overhead utility lines cross the road. Then check with utility companies (phone, electric, cable) as per the cost to lower. An alternative would be to have a carpenter disconnect the second story and lift it off with a crane in order to be able to move the house in two pieces. A house with additions, wings, or bump-outs may need to be cut into smaller pieces to fit down the road.

 

How fast does a building move?
A building moves slightly faster than walking pace.

 

How far can you move a house?
It depends on the route and the size of the house.

 

Can you move a house on a barge?
Yes, but you will need to have water access at each end of the barge move.
 

30 Barteau Ave, Blue Point, NY 11715                                              Tel: 631-288-1881   Fax: 631-288-1811                                                      info@davisbuildingmovers.com