Melbourne Restumping

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RESTUMPING,
REBLOCKING, AND UNDERPINNING

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between restumping, reblocking and underpinning?

Restumping, reblocking, and underpinning have one thing in common – they are related to the foundations on which the structure of a house rests. The terms refer to the process of replacements and repair of wooden or concrete stumps that support the structure. Although the three processes deal with the foundations of the house, they are not the same.

Restumping/Reblocking

These two terms can be interchanged while referring to the replacement of foundation stumps. The reason being that both processes have a similar approach. If the concrete or wooden stumps underneath a house start to crack, contractors replace the old stumps with new stumps. Restumping or reblocking involves placing jacks to support the floor as the worn out foundation is dug out and removed. Once the cracked stumps are removed from the base, new concrete stumps are inserted in its place. This process may cause minor damage to the floors and the walls of the house. Our contractors fix these damages after the new foundation has been laid below the house.

Underpinning

This process is used exclusively for homes in Melbourne that have walls of brick veneer and a foundation of concrete slabs. Over the years, the weather and ground elements cause the slabs to crack in certain places or sink in certain spots. When this happens, the brick veneer losses its tight alignment, leading to structural instability. The underpinning process uses jacks to prop up the cracked and slumped slabs, while a new coat of concrete is poured around the jacks. This stabilises the brick alignment and adds more stability to the structure.

The Difference

The major difference between the three processes is that while restumping or reblocking the foundation stumps are completely replaced, but in underpinning, the concrete slabs are not replaced, they are simply reinforced with new material.

GENERAL

The best way to monitor the foundation stumps that provide stability and security to the structure of the house is to check for the following:

  • If the plasterwork on the walls or the brickwork show any signs of cracking or deterioration.
  • If the floors have an unevenness about them or tend to slope towards a corner.
  • Apart from the walls and floor, the doors too could signal deterioration of the foundation stumps. Check whether any door has not been closing lately or whether they are tilting from their hinges.

These three factors are good indicators that the concrete or wooden stumps supporting your house need to be either repaired or replaced.

Melbourne Restumping generally advises homeowners to vacate their premises while we work on the foundation. This allows us to carry out extensive work on the stumps without any concern of disturbing the family members. If a homeowner cannot arrange for temporary residence elsewhere, they can stay back. The only time when moving out of the home is mandatory is when the height between the floors and the stumps is less than 400 mm.

Our contractors try to keep the modifications to the structure of the house to a bare minimum. One area that can be affected is the wall plaster. However, if there is any damage to the plaster we undertake any painting or re-plastering work the wall may need. In some cases, if the floor boards need to be removed, we re-lay the floors once we complete the project, for no extra cost to our client.

You do not need to apply for any plans or permits for a restumping project. We take care of all the paperwork on your behalf before we begin work on the foundation stumps. A building approval may be needed, but that depends on the local council. If the council needs to approve the repair work then we present a certifier with the drafts of our plans. The certifier can then approve the plans on behalf of the council.

Since the entire structure of your house rests on the stumps, it should be the first thing that you should do before you proceed to renovate the walls, floors, and roofs of the house.

ESTIMATES

As far as the time and budget estimates are concerned, it depends from project to project. We complete most of our restumping and reblocking work within a week. The budget falls between 3,000 to 5,000 dollars.

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