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

Should You Worry If You Are Buying in a Flood-Prone Area?

flooded neighbourhood

Flood prone areas are those that are flat areas surrounding a large body of water. Brisbane is an example of a flood prone area because the city is built around the Brisbane River, which is prone flooding during storm surges and other severe weather events.

Because Queensland is a tropical region, it can also be prone to cyclones which bring heavy rain with them. Often, the question of whether you should or shouldn’t buy in a flood prone area can be a moot point if you are prepared and take precautions to prevent your home from suffering the ill effects that may occur due to flooding.

As we will discuss, the risk of living or buying a home in a flood prone area can be mitigated by taking some precautions.

Know Where You Stand

The first question is to find out if you are buying into a flood prone area. This can be found from looking at the flood maps, council records and reading up on the history of the area.

The local city council of your area will have records of all the major flood events that have happened in the area, for you to gauge how often there has been flooding, and how severe it was.

What Risks Do Floods Bring?

Flooding can cause a lot of damage to people, homes and infrastructure. Excess water can completely destroy homes, or it can lead to long term issues such as mould, wood rot, rust, bacteria and more.

Usually when there is too much water in the ground it can affect the sewerage pipes, which can cause unpleasant surges of faeces to come up through the ground and invade homes.

How to Work with a Flood Prone Home

Whether you have already purchased and discovered later that it is in a flood zone, or still want to go ahead and buy the home despite the obvious risks, there are ways of being prepared.

One of the best ways of working with your flood prone home is to have it raised above the flood waters. This would mean that you employ a company such as Black & White Houseraising & Restumping to assist you with lifting the house up and creating space between you and the surging flood waters.

Not only would you ensure that the house is kept high and dry, but you would have the advantage of extra space underneath for a rumpus room or other area for the family to enjoy together.

Another way of ensuring that the flood waters do not pose a problem for you is to keep low laying areas of the home free of items that would be damaged by water. This might mean having the downstairs flooring made of material that can withstand water, installing exterior electrical items above ground level, and having insurance that covers you for flooding.

There are ways of working with the ebb and flow of nature, and it is all about preparation and forward thinking.

What Types of Homes Can’t Be Raised?

brick home

When it comes to raising a house, people do it for a variety of different reasons. The most common is for the purpose of elevating the building above flood waters. Other reasons could be when the house is being moved to a new location, or to increase the amount of space that is available to be used under the home, for extra rooms or for storage. It is well known that the Queenslander style wooden houses are the buildings that are most commonly raised but what sort of buildings are unable to be raised and why?

Structurally Unsound Houses

When we consider the process involved with raising a house, we can see how it is an extremely complex process whereby the building is taken off its foundations, put onto jacks and raised, before it is secured to new foundations. For this reason, houses that are not structurally sound, such as if the foundations are damaged by water, amongst others, will not fare well during the raising, and may present danger to the workers, and further damage to the structure. Before there is a commitment to raising a house it will be assessed for soundness.

Multi-story Houses

As you might imagine, due to the complex process of raising a house, multi-story houses are not able to be raised. This is due to the instability that would occur for the higher stories, during the process of raising the first level and how difficult it would be to stabilise them during the raising. Additionally, the weight of the house will determine how many jacks will need to be used to support the structure during the process, which would make it all the more challenging and costly.

Brick Houses

Most brick houses in Australia are built straight onto the concrete foundation, which does not allow for the building to be lifted easily away from its footings. Houses that have exterior brick or stucco wall coverings will complicate the lifting process as these exterior coverings will need to be removed before the house can be lifted.

Large Complex Design Houses

The shape of the house will determine how easily and if it is able to be raised, depending on how complex the raising process will be. The best houses for raising purposes are simple shapes, such as rectangles or squares that do not have too many extra additions. Houses that do have attached additions such as porches, verandas, garages or extended wings will prove to be much more time consuming and costly, as each of the additions will need to be raised separately. To speak with an experienced house raiser or for an assessment, talk to an expert from Black & White Houseraising and Restumping today.

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.


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.