Lifting the House A Chronicle of Mayhem and Plunder


In the fall of 2003 we embarked on an ambitious remodeling plan for our 97-year-old West Seattle house, which included lifting the house about 3 feet, replacing the foundation, enlarging the basement, adding a covered porch and enlarging the main floor.

The basement enlargement includes a rec room, office, laundry room, storeroom, half bath and guest bedroom, adding about a thousand sq ft of living space -- if you don't count the old basement as "living" space, which it wasn't. It was a dark and dingy realm of musty concrete and massive timbers, seemingly slapped in at random by the previous owners during the 1940s.

The main-floor enlargement pushed out the back corner of the slightly L-shaped house, making it rectangular again. Basically the main floor plan was U-shaped and now it is O-shaped, which has given it a much more open feeling.

When I first started putting this project on the web I posted step by step pictures and comments as we went along. As the website grew and people emailed me with qestions and comments, I reorganized it with a menu. Some of the topics are just collections of pictures, others have commentary. If you are thinking of lifting your house, hopefully you can get familiar with how it is done and take advantage of some of the lessons we learned along the way.

Who was your contractor?
This is the most frequently asked question when people email me about this project.
The lifters were Seattle Stabilizations -- contact Mike Drake (206) 730-1207. They lifted the house, replaced the foundation and did other construction not directly related to the lift. I thought they did nice work and they were great guys.