Articles on home repairs due to damaged stumps, and renovations by restumping from Black & White House Raising service in Brisbane, Sunshine and Gold Coasts.

Commonly Used Preservatives For Wood And Their Effectiveness

When treating timber to ensure the length of its life and prevent as much deterioration as possible, there are different methods according to what is needed. Most wood that is used for house stumps must be treated when it is at least partially dry, for both moisture and termites, which can require different processes of treatment. Some can be added together to achieve the same result. While there are different preservatives, the chemicals that are commonly used as an ingredient in the different preservatives are as follows:

Boron Salts

As a treatment for insects, Boron Salts are considered the most effective wood preserver. Unfortunately, it does not ‘fix’ into the timber, so can leach out if the wood is exposed to the elements, such as weather and water. If the area is adequately shielded from the elements this can be an effective method of protecting against termites and is relatively easy to apply.

Copper Chrome Arsenic (CCA)

As one of the most commonly used preservatives in Australia, Copper Chrome Arsenic is one of the most effective treatments to use for prolonging the life of your timber. This chemical is fixed to the timber through a vacuum pressure method, and the elements of arsenic and copper combined will prevent the wood from insects and fungal attack. The only downside to Copper Chrome Arsenic is that it does not prevent the timber from showing signs of weathering, so if the area is to be seen it will need to be painted or stained to maintain appearance.

Creosote

Due to the process of fixing Creosote to the timber, it usually has a pungent smell and bleeding which occurs, so it is not often used for domestic situations. It is an excellent preservative, especially when it has been pressure impregnated into the timber under vacuum. A newer version of this chemical has been developed recently, known as Pigment Emulsified Creosote (PEC) which is a cleaner alternative and is more easily handled.

Light Organic Solvent Preservatives (LOSP)

This preservative is regarded as a fungicide for preserving the life of timber, but it can have an anti-insect chemical added to it, to allow it to serve the function of preventing insect infestation as well. These preservatives are typically spirit borne so they are an effective method if you do not want to rewet timber that has already been dried.

Talk to our experienced timber experts at Black and White Houseraising and Restumping about which timber preservatives would be best to use for your job.

Things To Consider Before Choosing Professional Restumping

When tackling a home renovation project, the first thing you will want to consider is whether to restump the house. The foundation of the house is the most important part, as without a strong foundation, it would be a complete waste of time to do any other work to a house. The best thing you can do when renovating is to work from the bottom up, and deal with the most important part first, the foundation, and go from there. Here are some things to consider before choosing to engage the services of a professional restumper.

Is the House Worth Restumping?

One glaringly obvious question to ask is whether the house is worth going to the trouble of restumping. If the house itself has issues such as termite damage, dry rot throughout, or has been badly constructed to begin with, then restumping it will mean that you are throwing your money away. If the house itself is not in good order, it might be a better idea to take the whole house down and start afresh.

Restump or Raise?

If you have had the building inspected and deemed it worth saving, the next thing you might want to think about it is, how high? If you are planning on raising the house to restump it, you might want to go the extra mile and have it raised enough to build extra rooms underneath. This would often mean a bit more of a long-term financial investment but creating more space could really change the house significantly and increase its resale value.

Choice of Stumps

So once you have made your decision about what you want to do with the house, you will need to choose which materials you want to use for your restumping project. Most of the older stumps were timber, which need to be replaced anywhere from 15 years to 80 years, depending on other factors such as wood used, soil conditions and other external factors. Most new stumps are made of concrete with galvanised steel inside, which will last a lot longer than the average timber stumps.

Building Permits and Relevant Paperwork

Before you can go ahead and get the restumping underway you will also need to organise building permits and other relevant paperwork. If you are choosing the services of a professional such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping, they will provide information to you about what is needed and the costs involved.

Stump Damage – How It Affects The Overall Appearance Of The House

If the stumps of your house are damaged, the signs will become evident quite quickly over time, negatively affecting the overall appearance of your home. While the state of the actual stumps may not be easily seen from the outside, due to their position under the house, if left unrepaired they can damage the rest of the house considerably. This could lead to them greatly affecting the aesthetic value of your house as well as causing it to become structurally unsound and it could end up being a job that costs a lot more money.

Cracks in the Brick and Paintwork

One of the first signs of damaged stumps is visible cracks in the brick work and paintwork of the house. Some people think they need to go for the quick fix of repairing the cracks and paintwork with plaster, but this will not fix the problem for very long if the cause of the problem is not repaired properly. Fixing the paintwork and brickwork will become a lifelong task as your house falls down around your ears.

Uneven Floors

When wooden stumps have deteriorated considerably you may start to notice that the floors of your house are uneven and sloping down-hill in one direction or more. There is nothing you can do to fix this issue other than fixing the cause of the problem, which is repairing or replacing the stumps of your home. One way that you could fix the problem is to have the house raised and new foundations put in place with galvanised steel stumps. While this might seem like a big job, it is the better alternative to the long term problem of leaving rotting stumps deteriorating rapidly underneath your home.

Leaning and Sagging

Over time, as the failing wooden stumps break down it can cause the house to start to sag in places and eventually the weight of the house may cause it to lean to one side. If particular stumps are more damaged than others they can not only make the house structurally unsound but can become a real eyesore. The longer that you leave damaged stumps unrepaired the more your house will begin to show visible signs of decay. If you have any suspicions that there may be damage, be sure to phone Black and White Houseraising and Restumping and have your home inspected today.

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Inventive Ways to Make a Small Space More Liveable

Those who have lived in a small home quickly learn many different ways of using the space available to them by changing a few things about how they use the space. This requires looking outside of the box, which is easy if you allow your mind to wander into an expanded way of thinking, and opening it to the endless possibilities that are available to you.

If you have ever watched the popular sci-fi movie, “The Matrix”, you might remember the line from the Oracle that demonstrates to Neo how to bend the spoon, saying “there is no spoon”. When it comes to allowing the mind to be inventive, it is about not looking at the limitation, but instead, like when you are watching a movie, suspend disbelief for a moment and walk down the path of what is possible.

Change Your Doors

Swap swinging doors for a curtain or doors that slide into the door frame. Keeping with the above analogy, changing your doors is a bit like changing your perception about a particular space. They are the frame with which you look at a room, and as such you don’t want the frame to be impinging on your ability to create the room how you would like to see it. So by swapping the doors for something that does not take up any space in the room you will be able to increase the amount of space you have to set up the room how you would like it to be.

Reduce Furniture and Clutter

You know that feeling when you first look at an empty house and it looks so clean and clear, with no clutter and nothing interrupting that feeling of spaciousness. Often, as humans, we have certain social conditioning that we adhere to without even realising that we are doing it. We move into that spacious looking house and fill it up with our furniture and clutter, and pretty soon that spacious feeling is gone. So instead of filling up your space with furniture, choose a few multiple use pieces that you really want to have, and leave the rest of it in the shop. You don’t need it anyway.

Raise Your House

If you have moved into a house and things have changed in your life, such as a new family member, or you have somehow acquired more ‘stuff’ than you did before, you don’t always have to move to a different house. Black and White Houseraising and Restumping can show you how to create more space by raising your house and adding another level underneath, which will give you a whole lot more room to enjoy.

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What is House Raising or Lifting, and Why Do It?

House raising or house lifting refers to the practice of putting in place the infrastructure to raise a house from its current foundations to a greater height than it was previously. This is usually done by using hydraulics or screw jacks and as you can imagine, is a huge exercise that requires experience and an understanding about all aspects of building.

It is only done by professional businesses such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping, and can only be done on certain types of houses, because if things go wrong the consequences can be fatal. There are different reasons why people might do this, so read on for a greater understanding about this interesting work.

Relocation of the House

At some point, we may have all been driving along the freeway late at night and noticed a house coming along on a truck in the other lane, or ahead of us. The first step in actually getting that house off its foundations and onto the truck would have involved it being lifted or raised, using hydraulics, and placed onto the truck for removal or relocation. As you can imagine, a house is not the lightest of dwellings, so lifting the whole structure in one piece can be a very involved process, and requires skill and planning.

Renovations

Often when people choose to renovate their house they are doing so for the purpose of gaining extra space or adding more rooms. Often, if they are financially able, and their house is the appropriate kind of house, they will opt to have it lifted or raised up, to create more rooms downstairs, thereby extending the size of their house. Once it has been lifted, new foundations are put into the house to secure it in its new position, which require the assistance of an engineer to ensure that it is safe and that the new foundations can hold the weight of the dwelling. Doing so can mean a lot of work, but can change people’s lives dramatically with more space to spread out and enjoy in their home.

Raising the House Above Flood Waters

Another important reason that many people will have their house raised is to lift it up and away from flood waters. If a house has been built on low-lying ground, or the natural waterways have deviated and changed their course, it could be at risk of flooding. Rather than watching as their house slowly sinks into swampland, people choose to employ a company such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping to lift them high and dry, thereby putting them away from rising waters and damp, and adding extra rooms.

family reading a book

Dreaming of More Space for you and the Family?

Are you daydreaming of living with more space? Perhaps it’s a separate living area for the kids to go make noise, watch television and play computer games. Maybe its room for that pool table you have been dreaming of playing on when your mates come round. Perhaps you have the in-laws coming to stay and you want to give them their own space thus allowing you all to have some privacy when you want it.

The choices abound on how you can achieve any one of these dreams. The most obvious of course, is to move and find a bigger home. But, what if you love where you are and don’t want to move? There are many reasons to choose to stay where you are. Despite it being cramped, you love the house you are in or it’s close to friends, family, the city, shopping, the beach, work or the kid’s school.

Have you considered  reliable house raising and restumping? If you are living in a single story home that is currently on low or non-conforming height stumps this could be the solution you have been searching for.

Proper Planning Produces Perfect Results

It is essential you do your homework. Setting a limit on what you can afford is the very first thing to cross off the list. It is essential to keep the building rule of thumb in mind when considering this. Allow 10% for the unexpected. As with many building projects budgets can blow out very quickly.

Ensure you have checked with your local authority or a qualified building designer as to what regulatory requirements there may be. You will also need to have structural plans drawn up by an engineer outlining exactly what is required before you can start asking for quotes.

Sourcing a Contractor

Black & White House Raising, (www.bwhouseraising.com.au) is a family owned business that has been in operation for the last 12 years. They have carried out many house raises in the South East corner of Queensland covering an area from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane and surrounding suburbs and on to the Gold Coast.

As such they are in a terrific position to offer obligation free quotes and expert advice. They guarantee all work conducted and as a state of the art hydraulic jacking system is utilised, they can finish a raise in approximately two weeks.

living room

How to Double Your Living and Storage Space Without Moving

Anyone who has lived in Queensland for any length of time will, at some stage, have passed a house that is being prepared to be raised. This is one of the most economical ways for home owners to obtain more living and storage space  without going through the expense of selling up and moving to another property. They double their living space and, depending on the location of the land, they can also get million dollar city or ocean views.

While many people may have seen a house raising in operation, most will not know much about the actual process itself, and what it involves. Finding the answers to some of the most common questions is probably the best way to start.

What is the First Step in the Process?

Consulting a draftsman or architect to do structural drawings of the project is the first step and is important for a couple of reasons. Obviously, it is the first opportunity the home owners will have had to get their ideas down on paper and make decisions about what the completed dwelling will look like.

The structural drawings are also needed to get building approval from the Council for the project. The professional house raising company chosen to do the work will also need them to give an accurate quote for the cost.

Can the House be Occupied while it is being Raised?

Once the house is sitting on temporary supports it cannot be occupied as it is not stable enough. Most furniture can remain but breakable items in high cabinets, or anything unstable, should be removed and stored. Water beds and spas should be drained.

Is There an Average Time Line?

Most projects take around two weeks for the average house. For larger homes or if there is a large excavation required it can take up to four weeks. These are the time guides offered by Black and White House Raising based on more than 12 years’ experience in the industry.

What is a Typical Cost Estimate?

The cost varies with the size of the house but for a two bedroom house a realistic figure would be around $17,000. A three bedroom house of average size would be $18,000 to $26,000 and a bigger three bedroom would be from $22,000 to $30,000. This does not include the cost of the drawings, disconnection and reconnection of services or any concrete slab.

This is still much less expensive than the costs of selling a home and buying another one. There are no advertising and real estate agents fees so if you need more space and you don’t want to leave the area, having your house raised is a very attractive option.

Renovating Through House Raising

Houses can get really distorted and crooked if there are stump problems. Stumps essentially form the foundation of the house, so if the stumps are rotting, the house will likely be misaligned or unlevelled. This is the primary reason why some homeowners decide to do a restumping job. Some homeowners, however, make house raising a part of their overall renovation to improve the whole look of the house.

Repairing Structure

Stump damage creates many problems to the house. First, there is the safety factor. If there is massive damage to the stumps of the house, the structural soundness of the building is in peril.

Stumps made from timber usually get damaged easily when they start to attract termites. Termites could be attacking the foundations of the house unnoticed, only showing signs when the damage is already huge.

If there is any sign of stump damage, the stumps should be repaired right away. In a worst case scenario, there is the possibility of the floors actually collapsing. In such a case, repairing the stumps is the first step you should be making if you are planning a renovation.

Lifting Up the House for Aesthetics

Stump damage can negatively affect the overall appearance of the house. Because the floors are unlevelled due to defective stumps, the walls may also not align. Also, the doors and windows may not close properly because of the crookedness of the house. To bring back the original quality of the house, restumping is important. A good restumping service will be able to formulate solutions for homes that are having problems with defective stumps.

How The Job is Done

In house raising and restumping, the service specialists use a hydraulic equipment to lift the house and repair the stumps. Stumps are replaced with a rot resistant material, and durable steel columns are applied to hold the raised house in place.

House lifts and holds are also done to bring the house to a higher elevation. This treatment is recommended for houses lying on flood prone areas. House lifting will help to avoid property damage and other problems caused by floods.

Make More Room

House raising is also a great way to gain extra space in the home. The ground floor can serve many uses. It can be used as parking space or a place for a garden shed.

House renovations can be done properly if all the structural portions of the house are considered, including the stumps of the house. House lifting is a great way of starting renovation if a house is suffering from stump defects or if it is lying on a flood-prone area. Find out more about house raising and restumping here.

Importance of Restumping Your House

Australian homes that are built on timber stumps will have to eventually be restumped. Timber stumps, which are usually found on older homes, lead to serious problems over time. Wooden stumps can easily fall prey to termites, or they can rot with continued exposure to moisture.

Restumping  is so much like a facelift; it is a major makeover, except that restumping is not merely meant to enhance or repair the appearance of the house. Once the house starts showing its age with creaking floors or cracks on walls or on the floor, it is time for a restoration work through restumping. Here are some reasons for restumping your house.

Fixing Floor Damage

When there are damaged stumps in the house, the floors can become uneven. This can destroy the overall appearance of your home. You may have a beautifully designed and decorated home, but if the floor is not level, all the decorations go to waste.

You may also see some cracks on the floor when some portions are not fully supported; this is because some of the stumps have already deteriorated. There may also be squeaking sounds when one walks on the floor.

Damaged floors are not only visually unappealing; they can also be dangerous. With damaged stumps, you can never be sure about the stability of the floor. People could trip or fall onto cracks if the problem gets worse.

Fixing Doors and Windows

Uneven flooring due to damaged stumps can also lead to misaligned windows and doors. Doors and windows may not close or open easily because of the misalignment. When this starts to happen, it is a sure signal to you that your house needs restumping.

You must realise that fixing the doors and windows will not fix the problem. If left unattended, the problem could get bigger and the repairs could become enormous.

Flood-Prone Areas

If your house is lying in a flood-prone area, restumping is a good opportunity to get your house raised . Black & White House Raising & Restumping offers clients restumping services using advanced hydraulic jacks to lift the house.

As the house is lifted, the stumps are replaced with sturdier materials. Black & White installs new stumps, which may be formed as a base to elevate the structure, leaving an extra floor space below the house. This is very helpful for houses that frequently face problems whenever a big storm hits the area.

More information about efficient restumping and house raising can be found at http://bwhouseraising.com.au.

Re-levelling Floors

A house can get into a lot of problems if the floor gets uneven. Aside from the aesthetic issue, a house with unlevelled flooring also faces danger from unstable structures. Unlevelled flooring is usually caused by damaged or defective stumps. Some parts of the floor might sink and floor tiles might misalign because of the unevenness of the floor. Unlevelled floors might also cause some problems with the doors or windows not fitting correctly because of the unlevelled flooring. A good way of solving uneven flooring due to defective stumps is through a restumping job  that will restore the floor to its original condition. This service can be obtained from a fully licensed house raising and restumping company.

Stumps Get Damaged Over Time

Unlevelled floors result from defective stumps. Old style stumps are typically the victim of termite infestation. After a few decades, old houses with wooden stumps rot or get damaged as they get exposed to the natural elements. Some portions of the flooring subside, resulting in the floors being uneven. This situation needs to be corrected because it will only get worse as termites and natural degradation eat up the wooden stumps.

Restumping Process and Stump Materials

Uneven flooring can be corrected with the help of a restumping company. To correct the problem, the house will be raised using hydraulic jacks. The amount of work that will be done will depend on the severity of the problem. If the problem is not too severe, it may only require replacement of one or two stumps. If the problem is severe or if other stumps need to be upgraded to avoid future problems, the entire house will need restumping. It requires replacement of the stumps with better stump materials. The restumping service may use wood treated with CCA (copper chrome arsenate) or concrete stumps, which will last longer than timber stumps. These materials are resistant to damaging insects, particularly termites, so they are expected to provide better support for the flooring.

Professionals Recommended

While some may suggest that the re-levelling can be done by the homeowner, it is still recommended that a professional and licensed builder be contracted for this type of work. A professional restumping service is sure to have the needed technical equipment to safely and properly raise the house for restumping. A licensed restumping business also has valuable experience to handle different problems with stump damage. It would be good to hire a professional service with proper insurance coverage so there is little worry in case some mishap happens during the restumping and re-levelling work.