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

woman in the middle of a house construction

The Dos and Don’ts of Raising a House

Relocating and raising houses is a practice as synonymous to being Australian and more specifically, a Queenslander, as these traditionally built houses named after the people who come from the ‘sunny’ state. These iconic wooden houses, made for the warm Queensland climate and designed in such a way that moving them, or raising them to suit the changing tides of life is par for the course, are as much a way of life as the summer storms that roll across the land. If you happen to be lucky enough to own one of these beautiful buildings, you may be considering raising it up to create more space for the family, or for a new project. Here are some of the dos and don’ts that will assist you in the process.

Do Research regarding What Planning Approvals You Will Need

Although, we would like to think that we live in a ‘free country’, the fact is that there are a lot of areas where the government needs to feel included in the process of how we choose to live. One of these is in giving its approval for any work that is carried out to upgrade, develop or raise houses that are located within its jurisdiction. Unfortunately, if you fail to seek approvals, pay the fees (if applicable) and obtain the relevant paperwork, the council may deem your property to be illegal and force you to tear it down. So be sure to research and get the relevant planning approvals before you begin.

Don’t Finalise Anything Until You Have Consulted Your House Raising Team

This point goes well with the point above. Along with that process of obtaining planning approvals and other relevant paperwork, you will want to consult closely with your house raising team, to ensure that everybody is on the same page. Don’t finalise anything until you have consulted with them and made a commitment together regarding how the final product is going to look, and what is needed to make it happen.

Do Choose an Experienced House Raising Team

If you have not already found a team to conduct the house raising work for you, be sure to do your research and find one that has the experience and knowledge to do the work to the highest standards. An experienced house raising team, such as Black & White Houseraising & Restumping will come to the job with a huge amount of experience, well trained staff, well developed policies and procedures as well as the latest equipment.

lone house with white facade

Important Things You Need to Know Before Deciding to Raise Your House

Raising your house is a one of the biggest projects you are likely to undertake in your life, so it is worth putting the necessary thought into all aspects of it to ensure that you have all the information before you embark on the journey. These considerations and forethought will both prepare you mentally for the job as well as requiring you to put in the physical efforts needed to ensure that everything goes smoothly during the process. In the same way that a chef plans, sources and prepares all of the ingredients prior to cooking, the effort that you put in now, will lay the foundations for creating a final product that reflects your vision for the outcome.

Budget

One of the most important parts of pre-planning is knowing what you are prepared and able to spend on achieving your dream of raising your house. As we all know, some projects may go beyond the initial budget so having something in reserves is a good idea in case unforeseen expenses arise or your vision expands to include other items that you had not planned on before.

Plans for the House

Before we begin anything, it is important to have a ‘roadmap’ of where we are going, and what we hope to achieve. Planning for how you are going to use the space is important before you start as particular aspects of the work can be included into the house raising aspect of the process. These might include where you want to have electrical outlets in the new quarters, or where you intend for there to be an extra bathroom or other plumbing. Since these will be developed from existing infrastructure you will be not only saving yourself money by having this in mind during the raising, but it will mean you can often ’kill two birds with one stone’, which will save time and energy.

Licences and Paperwork

The government licensing and other paperwork for the land where the house is being raised are important aspects of the process. Since the house will essentially morph into a new dwelling after it has been raised, this may require council permits or inspections which will need to be factored into the planning and expenses. Being aware of what you can and cannot do, at the outset, will ensure that you do not find yourself in a situation where the council inspector refuses to provide the permits for the newly refurbished dwelling.

The Best Company

Once you know what you want, the next important step is to choose the company that you feel would be able to complete the job to the highest quality. Some areas you might want to research about the companies include looking at their previous work and testimonials, how well equipped they are, as well as whether they have all the required safety procedures and equipment. Black & White Houseraising & Restumping bring years worth of expertise to their work, which means peace of mind for you that you are going with a company with a proven track record.

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.

Licenses and Approvals You Need to Know Before House Raising

Apart from ensuring that you have chosen an experienced contractor who offers a professional service, you will also need to be aware of what government licences, approvals or permits are needed for carrying out the work. Usually, a reputable contractor will be able to tell you all this information anyway, but as the owner of the property it is a good idea to be armed with as much information as you can get. This way, you can be sure that you are prepared for whatever may arise in the process of having the work done. If you did have work done that required a planning application from the council in your area and you do not have one, you may find yourself in a sticky situation that could become quite costly.

Accepted Minor Building Work

Depending on whether you live in Brisbane, or the Gold or Sunshine Coasts there may be different council approvals and permits needed.

According to the Brisbane City Council website, where it cites the Brisbane City Plan 2014, the council does not need an ‘assessment against the planning scheme’ (i.e. a planning application) if the work is minor building work. This means that if you are raising a house to a height that does not exceed 9.5 metres, it is considered minor building work. However if the house raising is to be more than 9.5 metres, you will likely need to obtain a planning application before carrying out the work.

Additional licences or permissions that may be required by the Brisbane City Council are related to plumbing and crossing a footpath with a truck, which could to be needed for the process of raising a house. These will vary with the different types of properties and how the work is to be carried out, so you will need to talk to your Black & White Houseraising & Restumping contractor about this and follow up with your local council.

Licenses That Are Required

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission provides clear information on its website about what licences are required for house raising and restumping work. According to their information, (unless an exemption applies) if the work to be carried out has a value of $3,300, including the costs of materials, then a QBCC licence is required. However, there are some common exceptions, which include work that is carried out by the owner of the land, or work that is exempted from requiring a contractor licence (of which there is an extensive list, which can be accessed on the following page https://www.qbcc.qld.gov.au/restumping-house-raising).

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.