Learn About the Basics of House Underpinning in St Kilda

House underpinning is one of the terms that many people are not aware of. In simple words, underpinning is the process of strengthening and stabilizing a part of an existing structure or perhaps for the entire structure. So, if you have an old house in St Kilda, it is time you find out whether you need house underpinning for your St Kilda house or not. Sometimes the signs are not apparent or visible clearly.

However, there are several reasons why underpinning must be required, the prominent one being that the original foundation is simply not strong enough or stable enough to hold the structure properly. There are again two reasons for this. Maybe the usage of the structure has been altered or the original foundation was simply inadequate. Sometimes the properties of the soil supporting the foundation changes and in some cases soil properties were wrongly classified at the time of original design and construction of the building.

So, it is good to identify if house underpinning is required for your building in St Kilda by hiring a professional to take into account the facts and actual condition. Remember, underpinning often proves far more economical than rebuilding. Some of the reasons for underpinning houses are obvious and should be taken into account especially for safety reasons.

Houses from pre 1900 era

Houses that were built before 1900 are subject to underpinning. Even though they have endured for so long, but they are at risk of existence than modern buildings. So, if you have a house so old, contact a house underpinning contractor in St Kilda and get the evaluation done as soon as possible. Many of you might agree that old buildings were built using time tested techniques, they were not built with modern mild steel and reinforced concrete that were introduced in constructing foundations after the turn of the century.

Another reason for considering house underpinning is if the original house has been subject to extension, now or before. House extension without taking into account the foundation might result in risking the building’s subsistence. Apart from the facts associated with buildings constructed before 1900 or in very early 1900, there are three main categories of modern foundation systems which might lead to house underpinning especially in St Kilda.

Shallow spread footing

This type of foundation only penetrates the ground deep enough to avoid unstable topsoil, variations in temperature or moisture and frost. They are used on surface soil with enough stability and load bearing capability. Here concrete pads or rafts are used to spread the structural load uniformly across the ground.


When surface soils are weak for raft foundation, piles are driven deep in the ground to reach stronger strata. This category of foundation types also need underpinning after a certain period of time or if the building faces any kind of cataclysm. If your house is on such foundation, you will need house underpinning sooner or later while living in St Kilda.

Basement or box foundations

In this type of foundation, a box of reinforced concrete is used and the building is meant to float on earth. This type of foundation is like the cellars found in old buildings or like a boat that is able to float in water. The formula is that the volume displaced compensates for the weight of the structure.

So, if the house you are living in or you wish to invest in falls in any of the above categories, check for house underpinning process needed before shifting to St Kilda so that you saved from the hassles. One of the side facts about this is that most of the home insurance companies will not cover your house if it has been underpinned long ago.

On the other hand, there are some situation where underpinning is not recommended for some houses and this an experienced professional will be able to tell you. So, before you opt for house restumping for your bungalow in Blackburn, it is advisable to call a representative from the most reliable company in the area. Knowing the actual facts and situation will help you take the right decision. Analyzing the soil, surrounding and the building will let you know if house restumping is needed or some repair and renovation will work well for your Blackburn house.