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

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

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.


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.

open book

What Is The Master Builders Association About?

You may have seen or heard of businesses advising that they are a member of the Master Builders Association, but you had no idea what this actually means, or why it is important. In a nutshell, the Master Builders Association is a national body that represents all sectors of the building industry, which includes structures that are yet to be built, those that are in the process of being built and those that are being rebuilt.

As Australia’s oldest industry association, the Master Builders Association was first established in Sydney, in 1873, to protect the rights of builders (and by association, their consumers).

As the nation became a federation of states, the MBA grew to become a national body, which included associations from every state under the banner of Master Builders Australia. This association is now a powerful national voice for those who are involved in the building and construction industry.

Who Benefits from the Master Builders Association?

Its role is to protect the interests of all who are involved in the industry, regardless of the size of the business. This applies whether they are a small or large company, a sole or sub-contractor, supplier, or industry advisor; as a business, it is an advantage to be a member of the Master Builders Association because it means that someone has ‘got your back’. This is important to you (the consumer) because it means that you have support when using a business that is a member of the Master Builders Association.

Why This Matters to You

The vision of the Masters Builders Association as found on their website is for a “skilled workforce, greater infrastructure investment, a balanced regulatory system, a strong and growing economy, safe and productive workplaces, and affordable housing”. As a consumer of building industry services such as you would be utilising with Black & White Houseraising & Restumping, it means that we are recognised as a part of this skilled workforce. We are kept abreast of the important information related to our industry, including the regulations related to carrying out our work, which translates over to our customers as expertise for getting the job done at the highest standard possible.

Having been engaged in building Australia for more than 127 years, the Master Builders Association advocates on behalf of the industry in a variety of ways. These include ensuring safe and productive workplaces, affordability of materials and equipment, jobs and skills for the future, infrastructure and investment, advocacy for economic growth and stability, and assisting small businesses by reducing red tape. All of these are what we pass on to our customers as a result of our association with Master Builders Australia.

construction workey wearing yellow polo shirt and green safety helmet

Four Safety Rules On A House Lifting Site

When you think about the task of lifting a very heavy structure off its foundations, raising it up and replacing it onto new foundations, you might be able to imagine that this is no easy task. It requires professional expertise and experience that only comes from many years of doing this work and fine tuning the process so it can unfold as smoothly as possible.

Every site is different due to the location, condition of the ground and the design of the building, but there are some key safety rules that need to be factored into the planning process and followed for every lift.

Hazard Assessment by Authorised Professionals

One key factor that comes before anything physical happens is a complete hazard assessment of the area, including accounting for gas, electricity, water, sewerage and asbestos risks. This will mean inspections and planning in relation to disconnecting the appropriate pipes as needed, as well as planning for when they are to be reconnected. The hazard assessment will also need to factor in weather conditions, the stability of the structure that is to be moved, as well as that the ladders and fall protections are in place.

Appropriate Equipment

As you might imagine, it is important to ensure that all of the appropriate equipment is available and ready to be used. Workers (and anyone else who goes into the site) must be wearing appropriate personal protection equipment, which includes steel capped or safety boots that cover the toes and protect the feet. Long sleeves and gloves are worn to protect the arms when lifting items with sharp or rough edges.

Proper Lifting Techniques

The machinery for lifting the house including cranes, jacks, skid steer loaders and all other heavy-duty equipment must be maintained and used appropriately. Operators must have the appropriate training and expertise suitable for working in all conditions when using the equipment. Any work that is to be lifted by hand must be done according to safety standards, with appropriate equipment or staff to ensure that the load can be carried safely.

Blocking Materials

There must be adequate safety measures to ensure that the house is firmly secured in the event of a jack malfunctioning, with appropriate materials in place for holding the house in position until the new foundations are permanently secured. All precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of people who are on the site, as well as protecting the structure from slipping and becoming damaged in the process.

For any questions relating to safety please do contact one of our staff at Black & White Houseraising & Restumping and we can talk you through the whole process.