Best to raise house and dig up basement or build a new house?

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Posted by: from Peers
4/29/2015 at 1:14:00 PM

We bought a 1970s (kind of) home just over a year ago. 1/2 of the basement is slab/concrete foundation but the other half is 4' of dirt/gravel. We think the part of the house over the dirt is the original house and the original owners added the addition on with the slab foundation.

What would an estimated cost be to jack up our almost 1600 sq.ft house, dig out the dirt and pour new foundation for the whole house?

We have noticed that the house seems to be sagging indicating to me that we need a new foundation poured.

I guess on the flip side, what would be the cost of framing in a new house?

We live in the country on 10.5 acres.

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Daniel from Bow Reno in Calgary
Date/Time4/29/2015 at 2:35:12 PM


For you consideration, it is possible to increase the depth of basement without raising the house. You can underpin the foundation and excavate the basement. raising a 1600 sq ft home might not be as economical as underpinning. Also if the home is on a large parcel of land like yours, an addition is probably your cheapest option if the layout allows for it. Usually we only resort to lifting or underpinning if an addition is not a feasible option (lot size, city ordinance, etc).

That said, it is difficult to quote lifting a home sight unseen. Much of the costs depends on the way the home is framed it's layout. You also have to factor in such things as brick or stone chimney's, any underground utilities, etc. Similarly, estimating the cost of a new home depends largely on the exterior and and interior finishes.

Dan Carvalho

Bow Reno

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Sharon in Peers
Date/Time4/29/2015 at 3:36:12 PM

Thank you Daniel for your reply.

We have thought of doing an addition also. Our concerns with the dirt room are that it is uninsulated and not a full foundation wall, I think they are only 3' deep, which is probably not supporting the house. All the components such as water, and heating are in the "newer" portion of the basement and all of the duct work, plumbing and electrical run underneath the joists.

I have attached some pictures.

Best to raise house and dig up basement or build a new house?

Best to raise house and dig up basement or build a new house?
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Date/Time4/29/2015 at 7:42:08 PM

Hi Sharon,

You're going to need to call in a few experienced companies to go over your options. On a piece of property your size, it might be just worth your while to build a new house right behind your existing house, then when it's finished, you move in and demolish the old house.

It's not so much the cost of rebuilding, but the value of your existing house. If it's an older home like you're indicating, the upkeep and continued repairs and upgrades may cost more than a new home in 5 - 10 years. You need to look at the bigger picture because if you ever decide to sell later on, the newer home will increase the value of the property and the older home will likely lose a lot of potential value.

Hope I gave you some good food for thought.


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