Hurricane Matthew’s winds drove floodwaters into Helen and Bob Payne’s home, which was built on low-lying North Calibogue Cay Road in Sea Pines. Afterward, the couple had to decide what to do with their slab-on-grade house that was built in the early ’70s. The choices were to fix it as is, to lift it above flood level, or tear it down.
They eventually chose to raise the 5,500-square-foot home in hopes of avoiding future storm flooding. The lift also would include an attached roof covering an indoor pool.
To do the work, they hired local house lifting firm, Atlas Lifting and Demo.
Atlas cut holes in the house and inserted steel beams through the building to form a lifting structure. They then used 20 hydraulic jacks controlled and synchronized by a Unified Jacking System to raise the 250,000-pound house. As the structure rose in a series of individual lifts of 6.5 inches, workers assembled wooden cribs out of four-foot long timbers to stabilize the building.
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The house raising began on Friday afternoon, continued all day Monday, and finished on Wednesday.
Now that the lift is complete, a new foundation and floor system will be constructed at seven feet above the ground and the house lowered onto it. The finished structure will be above the current flood elevation.