What’s It Worth? How much does it cost to put a house on “stilts?”

The cost of elevating a house depends on factors like topography and weight of the structure.

Photography by Courtesy of Joel Koetje Construction

Joel Koetje Construction elevates its Hale Moana homes with concrete columns

What's it worth? $5,800 +

Along Hawaii’s coastal areas that are prone to flooding, you can often spot houses that are elevated several feet above the ground. Chances are those houses were built that way or put on “stilts” afterward by specialized companies, such as Joel Koetje Construction.

Many factors determine the cost of elevating a house, including soil conditions, topography and slope of the ground, and the weight of the house, says Joel Koetje, JKC’s general contractor.

Elevating a simple 500-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bathroom home that sits on flat land on Kauai costs about $5,800, excluding labor, he says. The stilts would raise the house two yards off the ground using 20 footings, Koetje says. He was not comfortable quoting the cost of labor because he says there are too many variables.

Raising a house protects against flooding and termites, and elevating one side of a house can be necessary if you are building on a slope. As global warming raises sea levels, more Hawaii homeowners may have to elevate their homes to save them from storm surges. Or you can move to the mountains.


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Hawaii Business,August