Know what things to consider before deciding on House Raising. Read these articles by Black & White restumping services in Brisbane, Sunshine and Gold Coasts.

red green houses

Things to Consider Before Moving Your House On Site

Whether you are looking to create an extra story to your house, or add a garage downstairs; raising your house is a great way to refresh a tired home that is in need of some new energy. You will want to consider a few things that will be of importance during the planning stages, such as checking the past flood events as well as how much space you have to work with, including access points to the property.

The Flood Plain

All areas have a documented flood plain that is likely to, or has sustained some flooding during a flood event in the last 100 years. This information is stored with your local council who can provide it to you on request (possibly with a fee attached). This information is imperative to take into consideration before you plan to where you want to relocate the house.

Site Preparation and Design

The first thing you need to consider is whether you have completed all the necessary preparations such as clearing the entire area, applying for the permits for the site through the council and finding new homes for all your old junk that has accumulated. Also, it is important to think about what your big plans are for the future of the property, as well as if there any considerations that need to be made with how the space will be used.

Confirmation of Plans

To ensure that everyone is on the same page with all aspects of the work that is to be carried out, a confirmation of plans is needed before the work goes ahead. This will include the exact height and positioning, as well as what your plans are for the footers , as well as details of the new foundation.

Plumbing and Electricity

Be sure to employ the services of experienced contractors to assist with the planning relevant to their area of expertise. It is important to take into account what needs to be done in order to ensure that all aspects of the move are completed as smoothly as possible. Black & White Houseraising & Restumping employ experienced sub-contractors as required.

Access to the Property

Giving thought to the logistical requirements of manoeuvring vehicles in and around the space (and planning accordingly) will save you a lot of time later when it comes to carrying out the work. This forethought will also be beneficial once the house is in place and the beautifying begins.

Find Out If your House Raising and Restumping Company Has Insurance

Choosing the company that is going to be the right one for you will encompass many different factors and while price will definitely be an important factor, it should not be the deciding factor. What should really float your boat is a company’s track record with safety and insurance with previous jobs, so it pays to do your homework and ask all the meaningful questions before you sign on the dotted line.

The typical Australian way of ‘she’ll be right mate’, and ‘we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it’ are ways of operating that simply will not work when it comes to the task of raising a house. This level of renovation is big, and worth taking seriously enough to the point of ensuring that you are hiring a company that also takes it seriously. When it comes to house raising and restumping one of the most important questions you will want to ask is about insurance, and here is why.

Protection for Your Property

When we take into account Murphy’s Law, of what can go wrong, will go wrong, if not prepared for it – we can understand why having the correct insurance is of the upmost importance. 9 times out of ten, nothing will go wrong, but as good old Murphy can attest to, if we are not prepared, or fail to insure ourselves against something going wrong, it most definitely will. In the case of raising a house having the appropriate insurance for something going wrong, is very important as things going wrong with this situation, means that things could go very, very wrong. The kind of wrong that you just want to be able to hand over to someone else to sort out for you.

Protection for Yourself and Your Family

Peace of mind of knowing that there are protections in place for yourself and your family in any situation that occurs, is worth more than gold when it comes to the crunch. Be sure to employ a company that will look after you like they would look after their own, as you never really know what may happen. Life has a funny way of giving us interesting lessons along the way, but having the assurance of a company that has the correct insurance is going to be one less thing that you need to worry about if things go pear shaped.

Protection for Your Employees

When somebody is on your property, the law usually states that you are responsible for them if they hurt themselves, even if it is by a fault of their own making. When choosing a company that has the correct insurance you will be assured that whatever happens, the people who are on your property are also going to be protected. Don’t be a goose, give Black & White Houseraising and Restumping a call and have a gander at what they have to offer.

DuraGal Steel Columns: Are They The Best There Is?

The argument as to which is the best steel column to use for house foundations is a conversation topic of much contention among the various factions of the housing and restumping industry. All stumps have their different merits depending on a number of factors, including price, durability, availability and corrosiveness. While rarely seen by the layman, due to the stumps residing under the house, they are responsible for a very important workload – protecting your home, your possessions and your family.

As we all know, steel is tough. It is tougher than hardwood and concrete, but unfortunately steel is an extremely corrosive material when exposed to oxygen and water, so it needs to be covered with zinc, to keep it safe from corroding before its time. The choice regarding which zinc coating is the next question that baffles many and which causes arguments from here to Timbuktu. The issue is that zinc coating is very expensive. The ultimate is to have a zinc cover that protects the steel from water and oxygen, while being light enough to not be too expensive; so which of the leading steel column brands is the best choice for your home? Let us have a look at the two best contenders for the job, and see which measure up.

DuraGal and DuraGal Plus Columns

The DuraGal is the lightest and cheapest of the OneSteel products. It has a zinc coating that is applied to the external surface of square, round and rectangular column sections. Its internal surface is a painted finish that is 35 micrometres of zinc thick. The DuraGal Plus, while being more expensive, has a zinc coating on its inside surface as well and is definitely a better option than its little brother. Working out what is best for you will be a discussion with your builder and your bank manager, so we don’t envy the decision you will need to make.

Hot Dip Galvanised Columns

These have the strongest and heaviest coating but are also the most expensive because the steel has to be fabricated and then sent to be galvanised in a zinc bath, at a different place. It takes longer to arrive and causes a lot of trouble if there needs to be on-site alterations made, but in weighing up cost and longevity, these are certainly the best quality of steel column to use.

House Raising: Do We Need To Change Everything?

For many people, the idea that you could even lift a house up and move it somewhere else sounds like something from a science fiction movie, so it is understandable to wonder about what is involved. It is a great idea to ask as many questions as you need to, so that you are clear about what is happening and how it will change things for you.

At Black and White Houseraising and Restumping, we receive many questions about the process, as well as what actually happens during the raising or moving, so we welcome any questions that can make it clearer for you. This question is a particularly good one, and definitely worth taking a look at it.

The Choice is Yours

In short, the answer to whether you need to change everything is a big “no”. The decision is completely yours, as to how much is changed during the renovation of your home, and how much remains the same. During the actual raising of the house, everything is done very specifically, slowly and carefully, which means that nothing inside the house is damaged or even moved in the process. Everything inside the house will be exactly the same as it was, only the house itself will be placed either higher or moved somewhere completely different, depending on your plans for the house.

What Will Change?

Depending on what your plans are for the house and its surrounding areas, things may change a lot or not much at all. What will change is the complete underside of your house because there will be more space than you had before. This may mean that you create extra rooms for your house downstairs, which may call for a new internal staircase, but that is totally up to you, and this will usually happen after we have finished our work. Electrical and other wiring as well as water pipes will be relocated out of the way during the raising/moving of the house, but these are reconnected and adjustments made following the work being carried out.

The process of raising a house means that you will have a lot more space than you ever had before, which could completely transform your life. As you can imagine, it is a big undertaking and we encourage you to ask as many questions as you need to, as well as providing us with your plans for the house in order to give us as much information as possible.

Worst Case Scenarios For How Flooding Damages Your Home

If flood events were all fun and games, riding wheelie bins through the neighbourhood and taking your dinghy to the corner shop, life would be all roses. Unfortunately, damage to homes during flood events costs Australians more than 300 million dollars every year, which is a lot of milky bars by anyone’s guess. Nobody wants to experience a flood event, especially not when it involves one’s home and all of their worldly goods.

 

They say that being prepared for the worst is the best way to avoid it happening, so knowing what areas may be affected by flooding could assist you with planning to rebuild, or refurbishing a dwelling.

 

Weakening of Structural Elements

 

Since the foundations of your house have such an important job to do, this is the area that you least want to experience the effects of flood damage. Weakening of structural elements such as your house stumps and flooring are the most likely areas to be affected by flood water, which, if left for any length of time, can severely impair their strength and longevity. Usually wooden stumps will last around 10 years before needing to be replaced but exposure to moisture, especially of the magnitude of flood waters could require them to be replaced sooner.

Damage to Electrical Elements of the House

 

Another area that can be extremely dangerous is if there is damage to the electrical system of the house. Live wires can cause the house area to become a liability and sufficient inspection and precautions should be followed before re-entering the home after a flood or weather event that may have compromised the elements. If the electrical elements of your house are too close to the ground, the likelihood of experiencing this problem is greater than if your house is raised high enough to allow for all electrical wiring to be well above the level of possible flood waters. Speak to Black and White Houseraising and Restumping about the recommended positioning for electrical wiring if you are in doubt or if you are considering raising your home to prevent flood damage.

 

Contaminated Drinking Water

 

On any given day, wherever your house may be situated, there are a lot of different fluids in the vicinity from local businesses, as well as other houses and sewerage. In the event of heavy flooding, there is a high chance that some of these contaminants will sink into groundwater where they could be flushed anywhere, including into your drinking water supply.

Effects of Climate Change on Your Home’s Structure

Although we do have some climate change deniers amongst us, the majority consensus is that the weather is changing, a lot. In every country in the world, we are seeing the impacts of this in different areas, with increased rainfall in some cases, and more droughts in others. In essence, the weather has become somewhat more unpredictable than it was before, and the long-term effects of climate change are yet to be experienced or understood. It makes sense to do your research and prepare for whatever may be coming, as we really do not have any idea about what is around the next corner.

Changing Flood Risks

One of the areas where climate change can make a real impact is with the changing flood risks associated with increased rainfall over a short period of time. Often, this can lead to flash flooding which pushes water off its regular course, and can lead to flooding in places where it is not expected.

Protecting your home against the possibility of changing water courses will assist you in reducing the damage that can be caused by flash flooding. One way to do this is to have your home raised above the potential flood waters long before the impacts of climate change are seen to their full extent. This needs to be done by a professional such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping, to ensure that all aspects of the work are done correctly.

Damage Caused by Shifting Foundations

The changes to water courses and shifting ground could impact the foundations of your home, causing untold damage to walls, pipes and other areas. Often, the issues with foundations shifting can cause cracks in walls and pipes as well as uneven flooring and other safety issues. Raising your home is another way to ensure that your home is kept high and dry from the risks associated with these environmental changes.

Weakening of Structural Elements

Increased winds are another issue that can impact on the structure of your home due to climate change. This can lead to weakening of its structure, making it lose its structural integrity and possibly causing it to become a dangerous place to be. Regular inspections, especially following high intensity weather events will assist you in repairing damaged areas and keep your home safe. Newer homes are often built with stronger materials in order to make them stronger and able to withstand the weather events that can often accompany climate change.

Tips for Protecting Your Home From Flooding

Whether you are in a flood prone area or not, flash flooding can occur at any time. It can cause a lot of costly damage to your home, as well as your belongings. Being prepared and planning for possible flood events can assist you in protecting your home from damage caused by flooding to avoid costly repairs and to give you extra peace of mind.

Determine Water Flow

In the best case scenario, the house will have been built with drainage that accommodates water flowing away from the house. Determining how water flows around your house will assist you in planning your drainage around the home to angle water to move away from the house. In the case that your street accumulates a lot of standing water even after small storms, it might be a good idea to talk to your local council about suggestions for combating the situation for the whole street.

Retrofit Your Home

If you are finding that your home floods regularly and you are unable to move, there are a few measures that can be taken if you are prepared to invest some cash. If your home is designed to be able to be raised up then this is the best option, but it could take a bit of work. You will need to find a good house raising company such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping, which employs professional staff to do the work. Other options include wet-proofing your home by installing foundation vents that allow water to flow through the building. Additionally, dry proofing by sealing walls with specific waterproof coatings is another option.

Raise Electrical Circuitry

For homes that cannot be raised out of flood water levels, taking measures to protect electrical circuitry will prevent some costly repairs. Have switches, breakers and wiring high on walls so that if there does happen to be flooding they will not be damaged.

Ensure Outdoor Equipment is Raised and Anchored

Outdoor machinery and equipment such as air conditioning machines, fuel tanks and generators should be fitted at a raised position and anchored into place. Anchoring these items will prevent them from breaking free and from being lost in flood waters, should the waters get especially high.

Modify Water Valves

Modifying water valves will prevent sewerage from flowing back into the house in the event of a flooded sewer system. These sealing valves are fitted to the pipes entering the house to prevent flooding of the pipes.

What Is the Correct Equipment for Restumping?

There is a Russian proverb that says “If you don’t have time to do things right, you must have time to do it over”. When it comes to restumping a house there is no room for error, and often the margin for doing things over is very, very small, since the stability of the house depends upon getting it right the first time. It is for this reason that having the correct equipment for the job is as important as the professionalism and expertise of the person who will be doing the restumping. Because it is such an important part of the house, getting the right person to do the job is definitely worth researching to ensure that you don’t get any nasty surprises down the track.

Stumps and Pads

The choice of stumps will vary depending where in Australia you live. In Victoria, many houses are restumped with rot-resistant Victorian Redgum, which is slightly cheaper than concrete but will only last up to 20 years before it needs to be replaced. For many homes throughout Australia, concrete stumps are a popular choice, which are secured to both the floor frame and at ground level.

In Queensland, some houses also use Copper Chrome Arsenate treated pine, which is an effective stump for withstanding many of the factors that corrode the stumps. In some cases, pads are used as well but this is not always the case. Galvanised steel stumps are another popular option that is available for restumping or raising a house.

Ant Caps

Ant caps or stump caps are put in between the stump and the house to prevent termites from entering the flooring of the house above, if they do happen to get into the stumps. They are an extra defence against the wood chewing menaces that cause havoc for homes across Australia.

Anchor Bolts

In areas where the house is subject to high wind conditions, anchor bolts are usually attached to each corner of the house, around the perimeter at a distance of approximately every four metres and also under bracing walls.

Structural Beams

These are steel beams that are put in place when the area underneath the house is going to be used as a living space or as an undercover car park. They provide extra support between the beams of the house.

Jacks

An important part of the restumping process is the jacks that raise the house up and holds it there while the stumps are being replaced. Experienced, quality restumping companies such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping use an advanced hydraulic jacking system to lift the house safely from its foundations. This reduces the possibility of human error as the house is held at the intended height.

For more information about the process, contact Black and White Houseraising and Restumping and we can come to you to assess what is needed and how to best achieve results that last.

How To Create A Flood-Free Property

While it would be lovely to imagine that we could choose not to live in a flood prone property, with the booming population and shortage of available land in the areas that we want to live, often this can be unavoidable. In the event that you may need to live somewhere where there has been previous flooding there are ways of reducing the impact of possible flood events and using some careful planning to create a flood-free property.

Risk Assessment

The first thing that you will need to do is have a risk assessment of actually how flood prone the property is, and what is the probable flood depth that may put the house at risk. Knowing what level the risk of flood may be can be helpful to determine how to best tackle making your house flood free. Should the possible flood risk to the house be more than 500mm, the best option might be not to plan for how to keep the water out when it does rise, but to use materials that will dry out quickly following the flood event.

Build High or Raise Your House

Another option for keeping your house safe from possible flood waters is to build it high above the predicted flood levels, on stilts made from treated hardwood or galvanised steel posts. If you have already purchased a property and have a house on it but have discovered that it is prone to flooding, in some cases, it can make sense to have the house raised. In terms of weighing up the possible cost of replacing flood damaged personal belongings, measured against the cost of raising your house, peace of mind is worth its weight in gold. Be sure to speak to a professional house company such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping, for an assessment about what would work best for you.

Drainage and Planning

Adequate drainage and planning is needed for creating a flood-free property to live on. Using permaculture principles can be of great assistance during planning as you will be able to utilise the lay of the land to get the most out of your property. The use of different materials can have an impact on how well your property copes during a flood event, so be sure to seek professional advice before getting your property development underway.

Why You Need to Adhere to Laws and Codes for Lifting and Restumping

Having your house raised or restumped is a big job, and one in which there are many variables where something could go wrong. It is for this reason that there are specific laws and ordinance codes that are in place, to ensure that all work is carried out properly. If the work is not done correctly or not according to local codes and laws, it could cause any number of problems for you down the track and you may lose your home. Worst case scenarios could mean that your house will need to be pulled down due to lack of compliance, or that it may fall down of its own accord, and cause injury to yourself or someone else.

Ensure the Work is Legal

If the house raising or restumping work is not completed according to the laws and local ordinance codes, then it is likely that it will not be legal. This means that the council can come along and ask you to pull your house down, and there is nothing that you can do about it. The checks and balances that are put in place for all industries, is done so for the protection of all parties concerned to ensure that work is carried out properly and to minimise any harm.

Professional Workmanship

Putting time and money into having your house raised and restumped means turning your whole world upside down for a period of time with a view to having newly refurbished premises to call home. Choosing a reputable business, such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping, to carry out this work is paramount to getting the job done properly on all counts. We are a professional company with many years of experience. We will be able to advise you on everything that needs to be done, ensuring that you adhere to the appropriate codes and laws.

Protect Yourself Against Injury and Litigation

Choosing a company that knows what they are doing will save you on issues and problems both during the time when the work is being carried out and later when you are left with your house. Should you decide to opt for cutting corners to save time or money, would only leave yourself open to the possibility of something going wrong in the future. It may not be as simple as needing work to be redone, but could lead to injury and the possibility of litigation, which could cost you a lot more than it would have if you had it done properly in the first place.