New Foundation: Lifting an Old House

In one of those occupational hazards of restoring an old house, we’ve discovered that the two 120-year old foundation walls we’d planned to retain are not structurally sound enough to keep, and so will have to be replaced with new concrete walls. We’ll do this when we pour the rest of the foundation. It’s an unfortunate turn of events but gives us opportunities to make a better house.

Without the need to stabilize the old fieldstone walls, we can make the basement larger and deeper, with better-proportioned living spaces. The basement can also rest on one level, which makes construction easier and the resulting space more functional. It also makes it easier to thoroughly insulate and drain the basement, for a better and more durable space.

But how to replace the foundation with a house sitting on top of it? The GC and Project Manager Patrick tracked down Sylvester Building Movers from East Falmouth, MA, who conveniently had a pre-Thanksgiving opening in their schedule. Two and a half days later, they’d excavated and installed cribbing, placed beams, and lifted the house a few feet. It’ll sit there while we remove the old foundation walls, excavate the new basement, pour new footings and walls, and build a new first floor – then get placed back down on the new sill.