First houselift in Canterbury 'a success'

First home to be jacked up for quake repairs

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 08:29 28/05/2013
Houselift in Rolleston
SUPPLIED

LIFT-OFF: Denise Breen's Rolleston house is lifted to allow workers to fix its damaged foundations.

Houselift in Rolleston
DAVID HALLETT/Fairfax NZ
LOOKING GOOD: The new house lifting technology is deemed a success.
Denise Breen
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Fairfax NZ
SWEET HOME: Denise Breen says it is "just good to be home" after five months of repair work on her Rolleston house.

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Denise Breen "burst into tears" when she saw her earthquake-damaged home hoisted into the air, but now she couldn't be happier.

The house she owns with husband Phillip was the first to be jacked up for quake repairs on the foundations, and the couple are pleased to be home after the new technology was deemed a success.

They were able to move back into their Brookside Rd, Rolleston, home on May 10 after it was returned to ground level.

Smith Crane and Construction developed the new "high-lift jack plant" over 18 months, with the Breens' property used as a test case to see if it worked.

Breen, 57, said she was "terrified" when the company told her it wanted to lift her home of six and a half years.

"I said, 'No, what if it doesn't work?' [They] said, 'It's simple; if it doesn't work we will build a new one'."

She "burst into tears" when she saw her home lifted by the jack, but it was now impossible to tell the house had been moved.

"We couldn't ask for something better. The way it was left it was just like we hadn't been away. It was all just back together and all nice and clean," she said.

"It's just good to be home."

Building relocation manager Brent Smith said the technology had the potential to save hundreds of homes otherwise deemed beyond repair, and cost about half of what it would to rebuild.

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