W. A. Building Movers : House Lifting and Raising Services

W. A. Building Movers & Contractors Inc. is long established as a full service General Construction company. In past years, we have built residential and commercial structures, including renovations to schools, institutional structures and commercial complexes etc.

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Worried about floods or raising water levels causing damage to your home and foundation?

W.A. Building Movers & Contractors has over 100 years of combined expertise! Our professional contractors have the proper knowledge and experience to raise houses to a proper level and protecting from potential damage. House raising is a complicated task that is often best left to foundation and construction professionals.

There are many benefits to having your home raised. If you are living near areas where high water levels are common each year, then having a raised house can protect you and your family from potential water damage. Additionally, it can also protect your home from heavy storm and rain damage which occur each year.  House raising New York allows you to regain your insurable status by bringing it up to the base flood elevation saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars in reconstruction costs should there be a loss due to flooding.

Hurricanes are happening more and more often. New York has experienced its share of hurricanes recently, including Bill, Irene, and of course, Sandy. There are as many in the first 13 years of the millennium as there were in the previous 24 years. As global warming continues, hurricanes will be getting more frequent and stronger.

Look at Irene and Sandy, two incredibly powerful and destructive hurricanes back to back. Sandy left 90% of Long Island without power and had winds over 90 miles per hour. Once again, these storms are predicted to get even more powerful. Wouldn’t you like to get your home above the flooding with house raising?

If your worried about the cost, you can look into FEMA’S Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs. They provide funds for projects that reduce the risk to individuals and property from natural hazards. These programs enable mitigation measures to be implemented before, during, and after disaster recovery. Local jurisdictions develop projects that reduce property damage from future disasters and submit grant applications to the State. The States submit applications to FEMA based on State criteria and available funding. The HMA programs include:

  • Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) – The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides grants to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. The purpose of HMGP is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during recovery from a disaster.
  • Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) – The Flood Mitigation Assistance program provides funds on an annual basis so that measures can be taken to reduce or eliminate risk of flood damage to buildings insured under the NFIP.
  • Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program (PDM) – The Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program provides nationally competitive grants for hazard mitigation plans and projects before a disaster event. States can receive PDM funds regardless of whether or not there has been a disaster declared in that state.

5f5a3-screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-10-06-52-amFor more information or questions feel free to contact us at info@wabuildingmovers.com or call our office at 908-654-8227. We look forward to hearing from you.

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House Lifting Q&A!

323-1W.A. Building Movers & Contractors Inc. offers services such as house lifting, house moving, foundation leveling, underpinning, and pile installation. We operate in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Considering the regions we serve, since super storm Sandy, our #1 most requested service is house lifting.

We get asked many questions about the House Lifting New York process, so here is a little Q & A! 

What is the first step in this house lifting process?

The first step is choosing an architect, securing your funds, and then selecting your general contractor.  We are available to meet at your home and then provide you with a free, detailed estimate when you are ready

How long does a house lift take?

A Start to finish house lift takes 3-6 months.  It often depends on the size of your scope of work. Are you doing a good deal of additional renovation?  Do you have a slab?There are many challenges we face that effect the schedule of a house life, inspections, scheduling the disconnect and reconnect of utilities, unforeseen conditions and homeowner decision making.

What kind of damage is caused by a house lift?

Most house lifts have minimal damage to their home i.e. tiny cracks in the drywall, door or window adjustments.

Where Do I live During My House Lift?

Homeowners will need to find a different place to stay during their house lift. They can return when we have completed building your egress stairs and the interior of your home is completed and livable.

Do I need to remove all of my belongings from the house?

No.  If your house has a crawlspace—the interior can remain untouched. If your house is on a slab, that area will need to be cleared out completely. We will always go over what can stay and what will go with you prior to the lift.

Will I Save on Flood Insurance By Lifting My Home?

Yes. Flood insurance has already gone up for almost all of Hurricane Sandy flood victims and there is strong evidence that it will continue to go up if you don’t lift.   Homeowners who lift their homes can expect to save quite a bit by lifting their home.

Can I lift my fireplace?

We feel that if your fireplace is important enough to you to lift, then you should lift it. Many architects and other contractors tell homeowners that fireplaces cannot be lifted.   Most fireplaces and chimneys can be lifted, depending on their condition and size.

What are helical piles?  And why are they necessary?

They are a steel screw-in piling and ground anchoring system used for building deep foundations. Screw piles are manufactured using varying sizes of tubular hollow sections for the pile or anchors shaft.

Screw pile foundations are still used extensively, and their usage has extended from lighthouses to rail, telecommunications, roads, and numerous other industries where fast installation is required, or building work takes place close to existing structures.

Most industries use screw pile foundations due to the cost efficiencies and – increasingly – the reduced environmental impact. ‘Screwing’ the foundations in the ground means that there is less soil displacement so excess soil does not need to be transported from the site, saving on transportation costs and reducing the carbon footprint of the project.

The main benefits of screw pile foundations include: shorter project times, ease of installation, ease of access, reduction of the carbon footprint, ease of removal when the foundations are no longer required, reduced risk to the workforce, and reduced costs.

For more information about getting your house raised or any other aspect of construction, please visit our website at http://www.wabuildingmovers.com or call our office at 908-654-8227.

 

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Preparing for a House Lift

W.A. Building Movers & Contractors Inc. offers services such as house lifting, house moving, foundation leveling, underile installation. We operate in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Considering the regions we serve, since super storm Sandy, our #1 most requested service is house lifting.

 

In order to provide useful information to homeowners just starting out with their house lifting project, we’ve put together a few videos and articles of what to expect before, during and after a house lift. Read below or watch the video to learn more about how to prepare for a house lift.

“The first step here is you have to talk with your local and town officials. Tell them what you’re going to do, see the requirements see the steps that you’re going to put in place where you be able to provide the necessary items to be able to be basically approved to lift your home.

The next step is to visit with an architect get a set of drawings prepared to go to present the new foundation, new stairs and new utilities – basically every item you’re going to need for your house to be able to elevate it and also meet the new FEMA guidelines just prevent future flooding.

Once you have that in place you also will be contacting utility companies, you do have to have all utilities shut off including gas, electric, sewer and water. This can be a very long part of the process as some of the companies will letter that’s going to be needed to put into the town to be able to be approved to shut off your, basically shut off utilities and have your permits approved.

Once the permits approved we will be meeting with the homeowner/contractor whoever is going to be running the show out there to be able to go over the prep that’s going to be needed prior to lifting the home. That can be as simple as clearing a crawlspace, removing items in a garage clearing landscape that’s in front, detaching the home from the foundation, removing stairs or just a number of items.

Once those items are completed we can now come on site and do our preparation to lift the home.

 

For more information or questions feel free to contact us at info@wabuildingmovers.com or call our office at 908-654-8227. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Flood Mitigation: Knowing Your Risk

Water mitigation refers to the process of preventing the amount of damage that water can inflict on a surface after a flood or leak. Learning more about how flood mitigation works and why is essential to your home.

Residents might be hearing the term “water mitigation” being used frequently as they start to clean and restore their homes following a huge storm or water event.  Water mitigation refers to the process of preventing the amount of damage that water can inflict on a surface after a flood or leak. This procedure might be more significant than most people realize. Learning more about how water mitigation works and why it is essential if your home has undergone water damage is essential.

Flood Mitigation: Knowing Your Risk

Floods usually strike without warning. In the U.S., floods are the most common severe weather emergency. They can tear out trees and destroy buildings and bridges. With the construction of more roads, shopping malls, homes and businesses, the chance of flooding increases. This has caused millions of buildings to be damaged over the last several years. People have lost their homes and belongings, and they never saw it coming. Are you insured against such a hazard? Truth is, you can live miles away from water and still be a victim of flooding. In fact, over 20-percent of all flood insurance claims come from areas outside of high-risk flood zones. It doesn’t take much to damage your property. Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Fortunately, flood insurance is available to almost everyone. The National Flood Insurance Program defines a flood as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties, one of which is yours. Flooding can occur anywhere at any time of the year. Whether they result from flash floods, mudflows, snow melt or heavy rains, floods can devastate communities.

Flood Mitigation: Elevation

Elevation is the most effective way to dramatically reduce your flood insurance rate and keep it low into the future while protecting your home. If your home is in a special flood hazard area, the primary factor in determining your flood insurance rate is the difference between your home’s lowest floor elevation and the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). If you elevate your home above the BFE, you reduce your risk, which minimizes your premium. If you want to qualify for the low rate after an elevation, the space beneath your home can only be used for storage, parking and access. Also, If your home is elevated above the BFE, your living space and utilities will likely be above water in the event of a flood, keeping your property and your valuables safe from flood damage. If you choose to elevate, you must raise your home at least two feet above the BFE in order to account for uncertainties in the flood maps and anticipated sea level rise.

In addition to these elevating your home, there are also small flood proofing measures that you can take to help prevent, or minimize the impact of flooding to your home and its contents. A few examples include:

●      Elevate your furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home, if you live in a high flood risk area.

●      Install “check valves” to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.

●      When practical, homeowners can construct barriers (such as sandbagging) to stop floodwater from entering your home.

●      Seal walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds.

Homeowners around the nation have taken proactive measures, like these, to reduce their risk of damage from flooding. Proactive communities work on Flood Mitigation Services through a combination of flood control projects and good floodplain management activities. In addition, FEMA hazard mitigation grants across the country have helped homeowners and communities affected by flooding, prevent future damages.

The process of raising houses is done due to many factors and reasons. Flooding services can take care of your house very well because it has the team of experienced staff. The house lifting New Jersey is also done to add some extra space and helpful in future for any home.

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Foundation Leveling in New Jersey

Foundation settlement can lead to major structural problems within your home. Luckily there are ways to repair a concrete foundation without having to tear it out and start from scratch. There are two general classes of foundation repair: deep and shallow. Deep repairs involve underpinning while shallow repairs involve slab jacking. 

Do you have cracked walls? Doors that won’t close? Bulging floors? Any of these can be signs of foundation problems. Foundation settlement can lead to major structural problems within your home. Luckily there are ways to repair a concrete foundation without having to tear it out and start from scratch. Foundation settlement and movement requiring foundation repair can be caused by building on expansive clay, compressible or improperly compacted fill soils, or improper maintenance around foundations. “How do I know if my foundation is in need of repair?” you may ask. Here are the top 10 signs that you may have a foundation issue:

  1. Uneven or sloping floors
  2. Cracks in exterior or interior brick
  3. Displaced or cracked moldings
  4. Wall rotation
  5. Cracks in walls or bowing of walls
  6. Cracks in floor, tiles, or foundation
  7. Doors and windows that won’t open or close properly
  8. Separation of doors, windows, and garage doors
  9. Spaces between wall and ceiling, or floor
  10. Walls separating from house

If you spot cracks in your foundation, there’s no need to panic; what’s important is the nature of the cracks, because all foundations have a few. Hairline cracks are usually nothing to worry about; these are probably due to concrete shrinkage. Small cracks (1/16 inch wide) can be easily addressed by painting over with waterproof concrete paint – just make sure you check to make sure the paint hasn’t cracked. However, stair step cracks in masonry joints, a bulging wall or a crack bigger than ¼ inch are more problematic and may indicate moisture problems. In this case, you’ll need to talk to a Contractor or Builder who can advise you on what needs to be done. The most serious types of cracks are horizontal ones, which could mean that water-saturated soil from outside has frozen, expanded and broken into the foundation. A worst-case scenario could mean having to get a new foundation. Before doing anything, you would want to consult a Contractor or Builder to advise you on your options.

foundation-leveling_article

There are two general classes of foundation repair: deep and shallow. Deep repairs, sometimes referred to as underpinning, mostly involve pushing or screwing steel piers into the ground to transfer the support and lift structural elements of a foundation().  Shallow repairs can be used to address slab-on-grade foundations such as floating slab floors which have settled. Soil modification is a mid-depth repair typically performed in conjunction with shallow repairs.

  • Deep repairs are most frequently used for lifting concentrated loads, such as footings, and for bypassing unstable layers of soil which are causing recurrent problems with a foundation.  Deep foundation repairs or foundation leveling involve transferring the foundation’s weight to a different layer of ground than it was originally built to sit on. Helical Piers are screwed into the ground to transfer the weight of your foundation to a more stable layer of soil. The weight of the structure is transferred to the deep soil by the helices of the piers. Push piers are pushed into the ground against the weight of your foundation. Push piers are primarily designed to be end bearing, so they are pushed into the ground until the tip of the pier runs into a layer of soil hard enough to push against to lift the foundation. Push piers can either be eccentric (mounted on the side of a footing) or concentric (installed under the center of the foundation).
  • Shallow repairs are best for lifting non-concentrated loads such as slab floors.  There are two methods for performing a shallow foundation repair – Foam Jacking and Slab Jacking. Foam Jacking is used to raise and support slab portions of the foundation, such as interior floors. High density polyurethane is injected under the foundation, where it expands and pushes the foundation back into place. Slab Jacking is used to raise and support concrete slabs, generally outside. This method repairs settlement by injecting sand-based grout below the concrete to fill voids and raise the concrete.

If you’re ready to find a solution to your foundation issues, and house lifting in New Jersey give us a call at 908-654-8227 or email info@wabuildingmovers.com!

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Underpinning

There are many benefits to underpinning your foundation. For example, if your foundation is failing, this process can be used to strengthen and/or repair it. Underpinning can also be used to increase the depth of your basement, adding more space to your home. During the underpinning process, it also opens up the hidden mechanics of the home and makes them accessible for inspection, correction and improvement. This article expands on all of these benefits and more.

What considerations come into play to decide that your home’s foundation can benefit from the construction process of underpinning? It is either necessary to stabilize structural problems that have developed or it is desirable to meet a whole wish list of living space and economic requirements.

Foundation wall underpinning becomes a necessity when the existing foundation is shifting so dramatically and substantially that it is unable to safely support the house above it. In some cases, the original supporting construction was inadequate for the area climate, soil conditions or types. All or part of the original foundation rested on marginal land with a bearing capacity insufficient to hold up the building. In other cases, interference with the structural integrity of the foundation by people that tried to do it themselves and created the damage. Early warning signs include changes in the shape of walls, sinking, bulging or sagging, structural cracks, and discrepancies in the alignment of windows and doors. In all instances of underpinning necessity, professional assessment and design are required and the work must be done promptly before further damage or loss of investment can occur. Underpinning the foundation walls in all these cases stabilizes the home and gives increased strength to the building.

Now let’s talk about other reasons to underpin your foundation. First, the process of underpinning the foundation opens up the hidden mechanics of the home and makes them accessible for inspection, correction and improvement. As underpinning is usually undertaken in older homes, older household plumbing, electrical and insulation systems can be replaced or upgraded with modern technologies. All these can be brought up to Building Code and the most contemporary standards. Changes will have to be made to the waterproofing systems along with the underpinning so the life of the usable, dry space will be enhanced. Overall, you will see long term savings in energy, safety and comfort of the entire house. You also gain the benefits accruing to the necessity underpinning, namely, stabilization, improved strength and increased value.

Second, foundation underpinning dramatically alters the usability of the below ground space, up to fifty percent of the available room in your home. The vast majority of basements were originally conceived as a location for household mechanics.  Later, as laundry rooms, kids play rooms, and recreation rooms. Because of this, ceiling height and lights arose as concerns. These obstacles are removed by the engineered solution of underpinning. Greater headroom makes the space attractive to be in for a longer period of time as you don’t get that cramped, boxed in feeling.  Modern recessed lighting can be introduced to enhance attractiveness. In the process of opening up the basement for underpinning, unnecessary walls may be eliminated and bearing walls supported in different ways so that the basement is no longer a bunch of small dark rooms but can be open space for any function needed.

Successful underpinning requires proper design and proper installation of materials. Always be sure to call a qualified and licensed contractor who will be able to explain your options as well as explain the process. All in all, it is clear that whether your plans arise from necessity or adding more livable space, underpinning the foundation walls of your basement enhances the value of your home for yourself and future buyers.

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