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    House restumping

    Saggy floors and cracking walls are signs that your home's foundation is damaged. If this is the case in your household, it might be time to replace stumps,

    Alex | Oneflare

    What is restumping?

    Restumping is the process of replacing a house’s existing stumps, which are located beneath the house. Stumps are replaced when they become damaged or worn down. Depending on the state of the house, it may need to be either fully restumped or partially restumped by replacing only some of the stumps. The restumping process most often involves replacing the worn-out stumps with sturdier ones made of galvanised steel, new timber or concrete. Common causes of stump damage are rotted wood or damage caused by termites.

    How do I know if my house needs restumping?

    Uneven floors are a telltale sign that stumps need replacing, and this is because stumps keep a house level and even. When damaged, the floors will become uneven, sag or even slope in one direction.

    Cracking walls are a sign that a home’s foundation is damaged. Because stumps support the foundation, they may need to be replaced to prevent further structural problems.

    Doors and windows will often stick and not close completely when a home’s foundation is damaged. Cracks in the interior and exterior walls are also common problems that occur when windows and doors begin to stick.

    Benefits of a house restumping:

    An old house that has been sitting on wooden stumps for a long time is likely to have dry rot in places. This rot can make its way into the home, but replacing the old stumps with new ones can help rid the home of dry rot.

    When you wish to sell your house, restumping it can increase the value of the property. Fresh stumps are one crucial aspect of a strong foundation, which is essential to a potential buyer.

    One benefit of restumping is that it allows you to add extra rooms to your home. This gives your family more space and increases the value of your property.

    Floodwaters can damage more than just your home. Valuables inside a home are also vulnerable to water. Still, restumping will lift a home higher and help prevent flood damage.

    House restumping process

    Site area cleared

    The first step in the process is to clear the areas around the home. Boards around the house will also need to be removed.

    Jack installation

    Next, jacks are positioned and used to raise the house from the stumps. This enables workers to examine the old stumps and determine the extent of the damage.

    Damaged stumps removed

    If stumps are rotted, infested with termites or otherwise damaged, then they must be removed.

    Inspection

    A private surveyor or local council will then inspect the home. The home must pass inspection before the new stumps can be installed.

    Installation of new stumps

    Installing new stumps begins with using a level to ensure the home is level and even. Then, workers measure the holes to fit the proper size stumps. Adjustable house stumps can save time on installation, and they can be easily adjusted.

    Materials used in restumping

    Steel

    Using steel as a stumping material is advantageous because steel is durable even when exposed to the natural elements of weather. Unlike wood, steel won’t become infested with termites and does not rot. Also, there are adjustable steel house stumps which means you can easily level your home if the ground shifts or settles over time. However, steel is generally more expensive than timber or concrete. 

    The process of installing adjustable steel house stumps might seem overwhelming, but with the right team working with you, it can be straightforward and relatively quick.

    Timber

    Wood stumps are affordable and made of natural material; however, they are more susceptible to sinking, especially if the wood becomes infested with termites. Termites push up the dirt around the wood, which affects the weight distribution and can cause a home to sink or become uneven. Dry rot is another common problem with wooden stumps.

    Concrete

    If you are restumping concrete stumps, especially older ones, then the stumps might crack. In the past, dumped concrete was commonly used as a stumping material. However, newer homes are more likely to be built with sturdier material. If you have concrete, you might also need to consider the strength and condition of the reinforcing rods used on your home since they are likely to rust over time.

    Steel stumps vs concrete stumps

    While both options are sturdy and durable, they offer different benefits. Steel stumps are easier to install and adjust, making them a top choice for homes on sloping sites. Additionally, they are resistant to pests and moisture, reducing the risk of damage and costly repairs. On the other hand, concrete stumps offer excellent load-bearing capacity and can support heavier structures. Ultimately, the choice between steel and concrete stumps will depend on your specific needs, budget, and building site.

    How much does a house restumping cost?

    In general, the price for restumping a home in Australia ranges from $8,000 to about $25,000. Several factors impact the cost of restumping. For instance, the type of stumping material used and the size of the home are essential. For example, a smaller home might require fewer stumps to support it. In general, timber stumps are the most affordable material. Concrete stumps are generally less expensive than steel stumps. Also, in some cases, several existing stumps may be in good condition, whereas other stumps need to be replaced. Therefore, a partial restumping is often less expensive than replacing all stumps.

    How to hire a builder

    Licencing and qualifications

    Those who carry out restumping work generally need a builder’s licence in Australia. However, the qualifications and regulations vary from one territory or state to another. Some states require the worker to have a permit if the work carried out exceeds a specific monetary amount.

    Contact local building experts

    In Victoria, workers must submit a restumping or re-blocking application along with an application fee. The Victorian Building Authority may check your work experiences and references before approving your application.

    In Queensland, in most cases, a contractor’s licence is needed to perform restumping work when the cost of the work is more than $3,000. In some particular circumstances, work is exempted from the licence rule if the work isn’t deemed to be of a building nature.

    In Australian Capital Territory, builders must carry a license from the Planning and Land Authority, and there are four types of building licences available. Each type is suited to a particular kind of building specialisation and restricts builders by work type. For most builders, a license in the ACT must be renewed after three years.

    In New South Wales, the Fair Trading Agency regulates building work. There are at least three types of licences which workers can obtain. For workers in NSW, the government does not authorise builders to do any job costing more than $1,000 without a licence. A licence must be renewed every three years.

    The Building Practitioner’s Board is the authority on monitoring builders and registering them in the Northern Territory. The guidelines state that those making renovations that don’t increase floor space don’t require a licence.

    The authority in South Australia is the Attorney General’s Department. The definition of “builder” in South Australia encompasses contractors, demolishers, and renovation workers. Builder licences must be renewed annually.

    In most cases, workers need at least two years of work experience to qualify for a licence in Tasmania. Builder licences fall into three categories: builder, fire protection and demolisher.

    In most cases, to work as a building contractor or practitioner in Western Australia, you must register with the Building Services Board.

    FAQs

    How do you restump a low house?

    The first step to restumping a low house is to lift the house. Raising the house creates space so that foundation support beams and other equipment can be inserted beneath the house. However, if a home is shallow, excavation may be required to insert the beams underneath it.

    What is the difference between restumping and underpinning?

    Underpinning is a process typically used on houses with brick veneer and a concrete slab foundation. Over time, the slab cracks and the brick loses alignment, and underpinning involves using jacks to prop the damaged slabs. On the other hand, restumping involves stabilising a house using new beams or stumps to prop it up.

    How much does a house removal and restumping cost?

    There are many hidden costs associated with the total cost of house removal and restumping, such as roofing, rejoining, sarking and metal batons. Permits for this work can also add significantly to the cost. Most people pay between $8,000 to $16,000 for relocating a house, though this price can more than double if a house needs to be totally or partially restumped.

    Can you restump a house yourself?

    Attempting to restump your house as a DIY project is not recommended due to its inherent risks and complexities. Professional contractors should always be employed when restumping, as slight mistakes while installing adjustable or typical house stumps could have catastrophic effects not only on the structural integrity of the house but the safety of the people living in it.

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