Underpinning is used in construction to strengthen foundations, which otherwise would be dangerous if no action was taken. Underpinning is often carried outto support an extension above an existing room, so the new weight can be supported.
There are plenty of reasons you could opt for underpinning, including:
This is extremely important to ensure the continued safety of your property, especiallyin older homes. If you’re planning an extension above an existingroom it’ll be worthwhile hiring a professional to investigate thecurrent underpinning.
When there is more pressure being placed on the property, the underpinning will need tobe improved. The use of the building could have changed, from a houseto a shop for example.
The ground underneath your property can often change, especially if there hasbeen movement or subsidence. This will put your safety at risk andunderpinning will immediately strengthen the building.
The building of newhomes can cause an effect on existing properties nearby. If there’sa new development it will be worth strengthening your underpinning toaccommodate any changes.
As the cost of landand property rises, it could be a good idea to strengthen yourexisting underpinning with a view to improving your home. Adding anextension or even a whole new floor, would require improved underpinning.
Things to consider before getting underpinning done
The most common reason that necessitates underpinning remedial work is subsidence. When you notice significant cracks in the wall and even more so when around the door or window frames, this is a huge sign of subsidence and should be tackled without delay. This subsidence may have been caused by erosion, a leaky gutter, or perhaps when the quality of the soil is too poor to support the weight of the building. On the other hand, underpinning might also be required in the event whereby you’ve made some improvements which increases the load on the foundation. Regardless of why you need to carry out an underpinning project, there are some things should be put into consideration before moving forward. In this post, we’re going to consider a few of these things in order to help you make an informed decision. Let’s take a look!
- Hiring an expert. When choosing a professional, it’s crucial to take adequate care. Underpinning can be a quite expensive project and the more reason why it should be done by a reliable and reputable contractor. There’s always the temptation to go for the cheapest quote, but it’s always advisable to choose a company that specialises in the underpinning method you’ve selected.
- Professional advice. Getting an expert opinion from a surveyor or structural engineer before making any decision is quite essential. It may be a minor case that’s not more than having drains fixed or a tree root uprooted but the building could still need to be underpinned.
What Qualifications or Accreditations do Underpinning builders need?
Underpinning a building is a very huge project which can cause a lot of damage if carried out by the wrong person and as such, the recruitment process must not be handled with levity. In fact, often times it pays to carry out your own research, even when an underpinning builder has been recommended to you, just to make sure they’re the right person or company for your job. Accreditations and qualifications are crucial as they represent a way of backing up knowledge as well as expertise – just like any other professional’s qualifications. So, even if you’re happy with the way your recommended underpinning builder has said they’re able to deliver a top quality job at a competitive price, do not forget to request their certifications. All reputable businesses would be glad to be selected for a job on this basis.
The type of building qualification certificates underpinning builders may possess includes the following: health and safety certificates (this would be more reliable if they’re from approved certifiers like Constructionline and CHAS), joinery certificates, wood occupation certificates, site carpentry certificates as well as electrotechnical technology installation certificates.
With that in mind, often times the most important thing would be to check that an underpinning builder is registered for the work which they’re going to be carrying out – underpinning. Most of these builders would be registered with NHBC which is known to be the leading independent standard setting body for building of new homes in the UK, so you can ask for this. In the event whereby you haven’t come across a builder through personal recommendation, you should make sure to ask for samples of similar works they’ve carried out recently.
How Much do Underpinning cost?
In the event whereby you notice a large unsightly crack in the brickwork of your property or you observe the sticking after easing of your windows and doors, then there’s a high chance your property is having structural movement and foundation subsidence issues. If this is the case, then underpinning of your property becomes crucial. In this post, we’re going to consider the cost of underpinning in order to help you set a budget and start to plan. Let’s take a look!
First and foremost, it must be stated that providing a short and accurate answer to this question is almost impossible as there are a number of factors that influences underpinning cost. These factors include the structural engineer hired, the scale of the subsidence, the cause of the subsidence, labour rates, insurance policy, party-wall agreements and lots more.
In general, the average cost of underpinning a property in the UK also depends on the method you use as well as the scale of the job. Underpinning is a process that involves several stages, however on the average, the following price range applies:
- Structural engineer will charge within the range of £50 to about £100 per hour.
- For a concrete material, you should expect to incur £1500 to about £2000 per m3.
- Piling will cost within the range of £2400 to £2700 per m2.
- Resin inject will cost within the range of £1000 to about £1500 per m3.
- A cantilever needle beam will cost within the range of £1800 to about £2200 per m2.
From the above, it’s quite obvious underpinning can be quite expensive and even more so, if ignored to a long period of time.
You and your family’s safety will always be priority number one andstrengthening your underpinning will not only add protection to your home, but save you on maintenance costs later down the line.
If you’re interested in improving your home’s underpinning, just complete our quick form below and receive quotes from up to four vetted and reputable companies in your area.