Raising Camp Dularge – Day 1

Inquiring minds, including mine, would really like to know just how they get these old houses and camps off the ground.

Today, Barry’s House Leveling took me to school.  Here’s what the day entailed.


‘Twas the morning of elevation, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring–not even a mouse.elevation2

The gas meter removed, pipes cut with great care, in hopes that Barry’s Raisers soon would be there.


Six jacks were then nestled all snug in their spaces


The men making haste to their respective places . . .

Ok, enough of the poem.  It’s taxing my brain to keep the theme going, and I just can’t figure out a poetic way to tell you that I failed to do several things I was supposed to do.

Because I didn’t remove the old Azalea bush, she was removed rather brutally, and it actually hurt me to watch.  Shame, shame, shame on me.


There she hangs from the winch, choked by a yellow strap.  They laid her in the ditch, and I don’t know if she’ll be replanted or not.  It’s a very large bush–too heavy for me to handle by myself.  We shall see.


After the house was jacked up a few feet and placed on 4×4’s, the iron beams had to go under the  house.


This is how they got them under the house.


These beams actually hoist the house up and keep it level, letting the house go up at once.


At this point, the lead man yells, “UP” and up they all go at the same time.  Then they start putting the cribbing underneath, which will hold six hydraulic jacks that will lift one side of the house about 4 to 5 inches at a time.

I left to run home and eat a sandwich and when I returned half an hour later . . .


this is what I saw!  Wow!  That was quick.


They continued jacking, and stacking the cribbing by voice command like a well-rehearsed dance.  I was really impressed with these young men.


Okay, the artist in me took over and I had to do this shot.  This is a view from the back of the house, the last stack, all the way through to the stack in the front.  I am OCD about things being perfectly aligned, and these guys were feeding my compulsion!  Do you see it?


When the last measurement was taken at around 9 feet, it was time to survey for “level”.  All six spots were surveyed, and had to be the same height.  They only had to adjust three of the stacks.  Pretty impressive.


At 1:45, they were cleaning up the site and packing up their gear.

Camp Dualrge is getting a face lift!!!

To be continued . . .

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Pretty exciting, huh? I was inthralled watching our old “Lovely Lady” go up. What kind of material will hold C.D. up when she’s finished? I bet the men will replant your bush for you if you ask them.

  2. Wheeeee… watch a few house moves in my time on the planet pretty neat stuff. They jacked up a bunch of houses in my hometown after the Jan.,2008 floods. Most opted for concrete walls under them as hurricanes not a factor.

  3. Fast work! You don’t have to be a “Rocket Scientist” to know they got paid by the job, not by the hour! LOL!

    1. I wish you could have been here, too! If there were any treasures, they found them first; and if there are any left, they are now totally covered in mud and packed down by a bobcat machine.

  4. That’s so weird! I mean – I get why you are doing this. But you house is floating in the air!!! How WEIRD that must be!
    So, What happens next? Will you be able to park under your house now? Screen it in and have a hangout space under your house like a screened in porch? How will you get to the front door? Don’t fall off the porch; that first step is a doozy.
    How interesting! More more!

    1. Well, it may seem weird, but for us here, most of the “camps” near the Gulf are built this way. Rebel is right when she says it’s “exotic” because that is the exact feel of Grand Isle with all the houses on pilings (or stilts as some people say). It’s a necessity, actually, brought about by a joint program between the National Flood Insurance folks and local parishes in “repetitive loss communities” to help us cut our losses, thereby saving National Flood Insurance claims payouts, etc. It’s going to be a major increase in value to the property, as well. Yes, you can have screened rooms and utility rooms downstairs, but no living quarters; and all the walls downstairs must be “break away” walls that give way to storm surge. You still would not want to have a bunch of valuables stored down there in that case. Does that help you grasp it a little more? You’ll just have to wait for the blow by blow to get the rest of your questions answered, Emilie!

  5. Wow. I always wondered how they did that. I’ve seen a lot of houses jacked up high like yours is gonna be down on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, here in MO. I always think that they look interestin’ and kinda exotic. Wow, you’re gonna live in an exotic house. I’m envious. Our house has a basement and its ceiling is about 3-4 feet above ground and that makes our house sit up higher, so we have steps goin’ down out of the house, but not 8 feet! I can’t wait to see more.

  6. Your poetic juices at the beginning were stupendous! Loved it!!!

    I also enjoyed the symmetry of the perfectly lined supports – “a thing of beauty is a joy forever!” 🙂

    This was an interesting and exciting posting, and I enjoyed it all! It’s quite amazing how many ways people have to generate income, and I’ve never thought of the amount of precision, skill, and work that goes into training a team of men to jack up buildings…yep, this was a really, really interesting post!

    Merry Christmas! Love you!

  7. Wonderfully done – both the post and the job!

    Since I’m accustomed to houses on stilts all around, that wasn’t so surprising. What I did enjoy was your comment about the men’s work: “They continued jacking, and stacking the cribbing by voice command like a well-rehearsed dance…”

    After Ike, I was lucky enough to have a couple of undamaged boats in Lakewood Yacht Club to work on, and I documented a good bit of the recovery effort. The crews that dove, lifted, trucked and floated all those boats were just amazing. They used hand signals a good bit – none of that electronic gadgetry for them.

    I was on one of the barges talking with one of the bosses and asked him about the lack of two-way radios and so on. He laughed and said, ‘This work is far too precise to depend on gadgets”.

    People, working together, still are one of the strongest forces in the world.

  8. Your post has been most helpful to me. My Husband and I are in the process of a very important move in our lives. My mother in law is handicapped. She lives in a rundown bayou house.. It now sits on 5′ pilings. It is completely not level. We like the way your contractors handled them selves very professionally. My story is that my mother in-law ask my husband and I to swap houses with her. Before we would feel comfortable living in this house it needs to be raised and leveled. My question is the contractor you used , did he have fairly good rates.