Know the considerations, reasons and benefits concerning House Raising from articles by Black & White restumping services in Brisbane, Sunshine and Gold Coasts.

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.

BBQ australian way of life

Recreating the Queenslander Culture Through Your Home

Some may argue that the Australian way of life is under threat of being swallowed up in the rush of modern concerns, and that the culture is in need of a remembrance of what it truly means to be Australian. Just one glance at a good old Australian ‘Queenslander’ house can bring memories flooding back from when you were a youngster, playing under the shade of the house with matchbox cars and friends – from sunrise until sunset. For many, the Queenslander is the epitome of the Australian dream, encompassing all that is unique, wonderful and beautiful about the climate, social and cultural pastimes that are as Australian as that ANZAC fighting spirit.

Of all the many different cultures of the world, the stereotypical Australian way of life is unique to this great burnt land, with the classic style of building designed specifically for the purpose of making the most of the climate, social and cultural pastimes that Aussie’s thrive on. Typically, the design of Queenslander homes reflect the people who live in them, with verandas built for large groups of family and friends to make the most of enjoying the elements and changing seasons.

The Great Aussie Barbecue

One of the most Australian things to do is to gather a group of mates together on a sunny afternoon to enjoy the spacious breezy veranda and watch the sun go down. Usually somewhere downstairs there will be a barbecue and a few snags and possibly a XXXX beer. The extended families of cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents would join the family regularly in the old Queenslander to share in the laughter and connection that are the threads holding those families together. Recent changes in the ways of the world have begun to reignite this sense of family, with more families opting to step back to the old ways, embracing these types of buildings, and bringing back that Australian spirit of camaraderie and friendship amidst a sometimes chaotic modern world.

Weathering Storms Together

There are not many who would argue that there is anything better than watching from the safety and comfort of a wide veranda, as those great Aussie storms roll on in from the distance, with lightning and thunder bringing drenching rains that patter on the tin roof. The scent of fresh, cool water hitting the baked dirt and watching as it forms into muddy rivers that roll across the red lands is certainly best enjoyed from the deck of a Queenslander. If you dream to recreate this Aussie culture for yourself with installing a Queenslander on your property talk to Black & White Houseraising & Restumping regarding how we can help.

hydraulic system

Advanced Hydraulic vs. Old School Hydraulics: Which One Is Better?

Depending who you are and what side of the machine you are on, you may have a very different answer to this debate. For a mechanic, the advanced hydraulic system could be more complicated than the old school hydraulic system, but in terms of getting the job done, the advanced system kicks a lot more goals and requires a lot less maintenance. At Black & White Houseraising & Restumping we are proud to use a state of the art advanced hydraulic system to ensure the safety and quality of the work that is being done.

How Do Hydraulics Systems Work?

A hydraulic jack is a lifting device that uses leverage and mechanics to amplify and applied force to be able to lift a load. When you think about a small jack system, such as the one you use if your car has a flat tyre, it gives you a bit of an idea about how such a small piece of metal can lift such a large weighted object. The difference between the regular car jack that you have in your car boot, and a hydraulic system that we use to raise your house is that not only is one much bigger, but the hydraulic one uses an incompressible liquid to amplify the applied force.

Advanced Hydraulic System

The advanced hydraulic system advantage is that it has been custom designed to perform the duty that it is doing for us when we raise your home. Its unique engineering addresses the hydraulic, electric and manual applications of the piece of machinery and it is designed to ensure optimal execution of the machine performing its task. The advanced system has also been developed as an answer to common failure mechanisms of the old school systems, including hydraulic fluid contamination, seal leakage, and cylinder pressure.

Advantage of Advanced Hydraulic Jack

Another major advantage of the advanced hydraulic jack is that it has been custom designed for the job for which we use it. As a result our advanced hydraulic system is designed to fit in to the terrain of your property, without needing a huge amount of space cleared around the area as would have been done with old machinery. Of course, there is still a need for some space to be available for the work to be carried out, but the advancement of this technology makes the whole process a lot smoother, safer and of the highest quality possible.

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.

What Causes Flooding in the Brisbane Area?

The thing about Brisbane that people may not realise is that it is located on a flood plain. This means that there are some areas that are prone to flooding. The Brisbane City Council and State Government bodies work to ensure that they have the infrastructure in place to minimise the harm caused by flooding, but there are no guarantees. It is for this reason that the maps of flood zones can be really helpful for people who are looking to purchase in the area. However, for those who have already settled into a home and who are looking for ways of protecting their property from the possibility of flash flooding, the avenue of house-raising can provide peace of mind. But before we go any further into solutions, let’s take a look at two of the key factors that actually cause flooding in the Brisbane area.

Excessive Rainfall in the Eastern Areas of the Country

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the more rain that is coming down in Brisbane and its surrounding areas, the more chance there will be of flooding. Depending which catchment areas are getting all the rain at any given time will determine the amount of flooding that will occur in the Brisbane area.

Water Releasing from Wivenhoe Dam

Water releases from the Wivenhoe Dam, are done for a variety of reasons and for a variety of different and sometimes opposing purposes. One is to release pressure on the dam to maintain its structural integrity, especially during times of increased rain and flooding where it may be full to capacity. Another is to lower the water content of the dam to allow for it to have space for capturing rainfall before a flooding event, so as to mitigate the possibility of flooding occurring. Unfortunately, there can sometimes be flooding downstream in the Brisbane flood prone areas, due to the functioning of the dam.

How to Keep Your Home High and Dry

Flood waters rising can be devastating for homes and their residents. It causes expensive damage to the infrastructure of the house, as well as possessions. For some residents, the choice to raise their house is a helpful solution that assists them in several different areas. One is that their property is lifted above the possibility of being damaged by flooding. Two, their insurance costs may decrease due to the increase in the safety of their house from flooding. Three, they gain peace of mind that they are protected from future weather events.

man in construction site talking into a walkie talkie

The Value of Experienced House Raising and Restumping Companies

Comparing an experienced house raising company to a new one is really a bit like comparing chalk and cheese. The expectation is very different as both are bringing different attributes to the job.

You may have heard the story about the large container ship that would not start. The company called in many different engineers, some of whom were the best in the world and nobody could get the engine to start. Eventually they called in a very old man, who had worked on ships his whole life. The first thing he did was look over the ship from top to bottom. Then he took a small hammer and gently hit the engine in one particular spot and the engines roared into life. He sent them a bill for $10,000. When they asked for the bill to be itemised he sent a reply which said: ‘1. Tapping with a hammer $2 and 2. Knowing where to tap ‘$9998’.

When Albert Einstein said that ‘the only source of knowledge is experience’, he summed up in those seven words exactly why choosing an experienced house raising company is going to be your best choice over a new and inexperienced company. But let us break it down in even more detail by looking at a couple of different aspects of it.

Experienced Staff

When choosing a company to do your house raising work for you, you are basically choosing a group of people to become a part of your life for a period of time. The process of house raising can take some time, and as such, these people will become a part of the family. It is in your best interest to choose credible people who are going to be trustworthy. An established company will have this on their side, with staff that they have worked with over a period of time, that they will be able to guarantee are going to do the right thing by their colleagues as well as you, the customer. A new company does not have this track record on its side, which means that there could be a risk involved in the people who are brought on the scene.

Equipment and Site Management

It is true that a newer company would likely have newer equipment, which may be more attractive than an older company that would generally have older equipment. But which company would have a better idea about how to use that equipment? The experienced company would know the best way to use the apparatus based on the terrain that it is being used in, because they would likely have experienced many different scenarios that the newer company may not have done.

As far as site management goes, the newer company may not have the most effective management protocols in place. However, a more established company would have already spent years troubleshooting and working out exactly the best way to go about doing the work and managing all aspects of the renovation.

A well-established company such as Black & White Houseraising & Restumping have the years of experience that ensure the quality of their work as well as countless different types of jobs under their belt, which would assist them in the quoting and advising stages of the process.

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.

tools vintage woodworking

What Materials Are Used For Raising A House

As we have discussed previously, one of the best ways to increase space in your home, while lifting the structure away from weather wearing due to flooding, is to raise it up. This process, while slow and somewhat tedious at times is worthwhile for the benefits it provides for your home and your lifestyle. The house needs to be lifted very, very slowly to ensure that it is raised evenly, and different jobs will require certain equipment depending on the lay of the land, and design of the house.

Jacks for Lifting

Despite the different techniques that are used by different house raising companies, one thing that must be achieved is a smooth, gentle, even lift of the house as it is raised up. Some companies use hydraulic jacks, while others use manually operated jacks.

Steel Beams

When you imagine the weight of a house you can visualise that it might need a strong support to become its new foundation when it has been raised. Steel beams that have been designed specifically by an engineer to support the weight of the house are attached to the underside, before it is raised. These are an important part of the new house foundations.

Timber Styes

The timber styes (which look a bit like jenga pieces or pallets) are installed underneath the house at the point of the steel beams. These take on the job of supporting the house while the existing support posts are removed and will support it until the new support posts are installed after it has been raised.

Heavy Earthwork Machine

An Earthwork machine is needed to clear away the old foundation components and make room for the new stumps to be installed. This will be used to dig the new post holes in preparation for the concrete to be poured.

Concrete, Steel or Timber Stumps

As you may imagine, concrete is an important ingredient that is poured into the holes where the posts will go. It is needed to secure the new stumps into place, ready for them to be attached to the steel beams that are on the underside of the house.

Waterproofing Material

Once the new stumps have been attached to the house, the area is waterproofed to ensure that it will not be a weak place where things may deteriorate later down the track.

Welder

In the case of steel stumps/poles, a welder is needed to attach these to the steel beams on the underside of the house before the job has been completed.

Depending on the nature of the landscape where the work is to be carried out, there may be additional materials needed, so for more information and a quote, contact the expert house raisers at Black & White Houseraising & Restumping.