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House raising in New Jersey is doing very
well, but that wasn’t always the case. After the
devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
released new elevation standards for areas that were
affected or could be affected in the future. These were
called Base Flood Elevations (BFE) and are the
computed elevation to which floodwater is expected
to rise during a base flood.
Flood insurance rates increased dramatically for those whose houses weren’t above the
BFE. Consecutively, the demand for house raising in New Jersey also increased. House lifting
companies started popping up all along the east coast. Many were legitimate, created in the
hopes of helping New Jersey residents lift their houses to new heights. However, there were no
laws or regulations for house lifters at the time. Other companies saw the demand merely as an
economic opportunity. Inexperienced and underqualified, these companies cut corners and as a
result, dropped houses.
Less than a year after the storm, three
homeowners experienced losing their homes all over
again. One house in Little Egg fell in the month of
July, 2013 where three workers were injured and two
houses in Highlands fell in August and September,
2013. A bill centered on making home lifting safer
was already going through legislation at that time.
Long established house lifting companies such as
W.A. Building Movers, among others, were huge proponents of the bill. They argued that not
mandating expertise in the house lifting field would invite even more tragedy. The bill finally
passed and was put into effect a little over a year later on October 15, 2014.
Since then, companies were and are required to register annually with the New Jersey
Division of Consumer Affairs. In order to register, contractors need to meet the following
●They have at least two years of experience as a home improvement contractor
●The person actually performing the elevation has at least five years of experience in
●They carry at least $1 million of commercial general liability insurance per property
and an additional $500,000 of insurance to cover the contents of the home being
●They use a home elevation-jacking machine that can lift the entire structure at once
These requirements have successfully filtered out inexperience and ill-equipped
companies. Before the bill went into effect, there were almost 100 contractors offering house
lifting services in New Jersey. Today, less than half of that number are registered, licensed and
active house lifters. Homeowners in New Jersey can now have peace of mind knowing that their
houses are in safe hands.
To check the status of a house lifting company and to verify their license, click here.
For more information on house lifting, click here.
Other resources: Home Elevation Regulations, Home Elevation Law, Elevating Your House
Topics: house lifting, house raising, new jersey, house lifting new jersey, house raising new jersey