Frequently Asked Questions

From ‘how long does it take?’ to ‘how much does it cost?’
Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about the LIFTEX Roof Lifting process.

Have a question that you don’t see answered on this page? Don’t worry. A quick chat with our team will ensure all your roof lifting questions are covered. Contact us here to talk with a roof lifting expert.

What's the average cost per square foot of roof raised?

Every building has its own characteristics and nuances, which makes estimating based on the square footage of the building difficult to calculate. But for those looking for a quick, rough estimate “range” 80% of projects fall within $10-40 per square foot for roof lifting and re-support only. However, roof lifting is typically 30-60% of the overall project budget. Lifting and re-supporting the roof is just the main piece of a larger pie that encompasses the total cost of a roof lifting project.

The size of the roof and the height to which it is lifted typically influence the variable costs of a roof lift project (steel, lifting materials, and labor) and depend on the specific construction of the building. There are also certain fixed costs associated with each project such as preparation, detailing, engineering, lifting equipment, and permitting (permitting is not contributed as a LIFTEX cost). These costs need to be considered when estimating a roof lifting project, although they are not the same in every state or region. Be sure to compile as much information as possible about the property in question and talk with one of our roof lifting experts to get a more complete picture of the total costs of a project. 

How high can a roof be lifted?
How high the roof can be lifted will depend on the building type and the goals of the client. For reference, the average LIFTEX Roof Lift project is raised to a total of 28-36’ clear height.  This is simply our average range for “clear” usable space beneath the inside structural framing (joists or beams) of the roof. However, there is no hard and fast rule. The tallest lifts we’ve completed have gone to 44’. Heights as tall as 50’ are achievable, but economics are usually the deciding factor rather than capability. 
How long does roof lifting take?
While every project has its own unique timeline, roughly 75% of our projects are complete within 2-5 months on site. This timeframe includes preparation, lifting of the roof, re-support, and enclosure of the wall opening made from the lift.  Ultimately what will determine the length of the project is the size of the roof being lifted, how many lift points (columns) there are for the roof, and what kind of operations are continuing at the property, if any. Once the building is prepared for lifting, the roof itself is lifted at roughly 1 foot per hour, simultaneously at each lift point. For very large areas (greater than 100K sqft), the lifting may be broken up into multiple sections, and the schedule extended commensurately. 
Can a business stay occupied during a roof lift?

With minor adjustments many businesses can continue some form of occupancy while the roof is being lifted, minimizing and even eliminating downtime in some cases. Occupancy during a lift has been a shared goal amongst many of LIFTEX’s clients, sharing the common belief that the costs of completely halting all business operations or temporary off-site storage of equipment for a temporary period would be severely detrimental to short and long-term goals. Our team works closely with clients to develop a working plan that is as unobtrusive as possible, helping avoid delays or setbacks. While this may not be feasible with every client, we make every effort to allow continuous storage of materials and sometimes light-duty operations when possible. 

Is there a maximum or minimum size for roof lifting to be possible?
There is no maximum or minimum size (square foot) a roof must be to be a suitable candidate for roof lifting. For perspective, LIFTEX has lifted roofs as large as 680,000 square feet and as small as 3,000 square feet. That’s a fairly large range!

What we consider to be larger roofs is about 100,000 square feet or more, larger roofs than that are usually split up into smaller sections and lifted, which can actually be beneficial in larger buildings. 

What kinds of properties are the best candidates for roof lifting?
All kinds of commercial buildings can benefit from a roof lift! For nearly 50 years we’ve done roof lifts for many different kinds of clients and businesses, and every so often we perform a lift in a brand-new industry. The most common types of lifts LiftEx performs are warehouses, big-box retailers, manufacturing plants, and indoor rock climbing/trampoline gyms. These are usually businesses that require more cubic footage to store goods or conduct operations but do not want to sacrifice valuable square footage on ground levels or move into new spaces or new locales. 
What do I need to know about my building in order to get a quote?
We like to know three facts about your property to begin working on a quote:

  1. Current Clear height of the roof?
  2. Finished Clear height of the roof after lifting?
  3. How many vertical columns are holding your roof and what is the column layout?

The information listed above gives us a foundation necessary to develop a quote as accurately as possible. From this, we’re able to determine how much material, labor, and equipment will be needed, as well as the amount of personnel required to safely lift the roof. If you don’t have the answers to these questions, or you’re not sure what your roof lift goals are, LIFTEX is happy to help you through the process of learning these data points and setting expectations.

Does the roof stay intact?
Yes, the roof stays intact throughout the entirety of the roof lift! Roof replacements and recovers on commercial properties can cost well into the 6 (or even 7) figures depending on the size of the roof. That’s why keeping the existing roof intact throughout the roof lifting process is such a benefit to our clients. There will be some modifications needed at the perimeter edges to release the roof and reseal it at the new elevation, but ultimately the roof and its features will remain undisturbed. This means that the HVAC units and other mechanical equipment located on top of the roof will remain in place during the lift. 
Is roof lifting safe?
LIFTEX is proud to boast a 100% success rate for all roof lifting projects. That means we have successfully lifted every single roof to complete customer satisfaction. Our process involves using the correctly specified structural steel and continuously tested roof lifting methods. Additionally, our team has decades of experience designing, engineering, and structurally lifting commercial roofs for clients in varied industries. Curious about our safety certifications? Rest assured that our teams have OSHA 10-hour certifications, equipment training, and many are certified welders. LIFTEX is happy to discuss any questions or concerns regarding safety and efficacy with clients. 
How do you extend the columns?

We either replace the existing column with a telescoping double tube or we wrap the same H-shape columns that are already in place. Then, we expand the truncated column by telescoping the inner member up, creating a new, taller, clear height. The two sections are then permanently fastened together at the final elevation to create a sturdy structural column. Learn about this process in more detail over on our How Roof Lifting Works page.

How much weight can be lifted?

Roof lifts involve lifting extraordinary amounts of weight. Each structural column that we prepare with lifting equipment can bear a weight of up to 100,000 pounds. LIFTEX, by design, rarely sees a scenario of approaching that limit at a single column, as typical loads we encounter are between 10,000 to 50,000 pounds per column. The strength of our system means we don’t have to “cluster” our lifting equipment at each lift point while still maintaining a factor of safety between 1.8 and 3.


For a quick estimate, fill out and submit the quote form. While a firm quote requires a site survey, we’ll provide an indicative figure. Attach documents, drawings, or images to the lead form for better assessment. Thank you!