Raising the bar on renovations

By Hester van der Straaten | posted on September 17, 2020

A WA-invented and created, game-changing, house-lifting jack has been put to use for the first time in Albany this week.

It is not a common occurrence for a single storey house to be lifted up in the air, ready for a new storey to be built underneath, but it may be something Great Southern residents will soon become accustomed to.

Matt Pocock of Pocock Building Company saw a story that spoke to him as the future of building, and he wanted in.

“I saw it on the news and thought, I need to talk to the guy that does this,” he said.

“The safety factor is amazing for trades. Think of being on top of a two-storey home, it’s not great up there. This eliminates that.”

The first building in Albany to take advantage of the jJack Building System is located on Melville Street. You don’t need the house number. The distinct look of a house raised up on jacks kind of gives it away.

Founder and CEO of jJack Systems, Phil Jenner, started his own building company, Great Living Homes, in 1992 specialising in the two-storey market.

Where most builders saw unavoidable problems, such as scaffolding, working at heights and weather restrictions, Mr Jenner saw problems that needed solving.

“We developed it for new houses to build quicker, safer and with less cost,” Mr Jenner said.

“It has been used for older homes. Want a view? Just jack it up and put a new storey underneath.

“We still use a little bit of scaffolding but for minimal time. Having the house elevated with no scaffolding means brickies can work in the rain, painters love it and it is cheaper and quicker with no waiting in between for scaffolding adjustments.”

Other purposes include houses in flood-prone areas that can’t get insurance and get regularly flooded.

With a lift and some adjustments, they can rethink the need to move or deal with the dire predicament of losing their house all together.

The word is getting out with wannabe clients calling in from far and wide.

“We have two jacking systems at the moment and we are looking to expand. We are getting calls from the eastern states, calls from Lebanon and the US,” Mr Jenner said.