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

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.

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How To Keep Your Possessions Safe While We Raise Your House

Having your house raised is an exciting time for the whole family, as you prepare for your life to be expanded by the extra space you will have when the job is done. We expect that people have a lot of questions and concerns, especially when it comes to what is involved with your personal things, so we have included them in this blog for you to demystify the experience. For any other questions contact Black & White Houseraising & Restumping and talk to one of our experts today.

Your inside items

Believe it or not, the process of raising your house is very slow and smooth, so your inside things can stay where they are without needing to be packed away. Because the process is so gentle, and evenly executed, your furniture will likely not move at all, so if you imagined items rolling around above, that is simply not going to happen. However, if you have valuables that are breakable or placed on precarious places (such as on top of cupboards) you will need to remove them and put them in a safe place. If you have waterbeds or spas, they will need to be emptied of water prior to the work beginning.

The outside items

When it comes to the outside areas, common sense dictates that things will need to be moved to allow access for our machinery and the area will become a work site during the lift. Steps, decking and fencing will need to be moved during the house raising. Any landscaping features that you want to keep will have to be removed during the lifting; otherwise, our heavy machinery may cause them damage.

What lies beneath?

Obviously, any of your belongings that are underneath your house will need to be moved out of the way to make room for the work to be carried out. It can be replaced after, but the space will need to be clear to allow for our equipment to have a clear and safe passage. If there are items that are too heavy for you to move, please inform our crew ahead of time so that we are prepared to work around it. Pipes and plumbing that hang below the floor will need to be removed, but as long as wires are moved out of the way of floor joists we can usually work around them.

white simple house

How Do You Find The Ideal House Height For Your Area?

Our houses are our little heavens on earth. They depict our taste, reflect our status and provide comfort to us so that we may get ourselves ready for the next working day. You don’t build a house every now and then – do you? Therefore, unless you have some experience in building construction and design it is quite possible that you will make a mistake while deciding on the height of your house.

The height of the ceilings with respect to each floor, as well as the height of the foundation with respect to the ground, should be appropriate according to the area where you have built your house. However, you can change the latter and raise your house without damaging the earlier construction. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that should be considered while deciding the ideal height for your house according to its location.

Environmental Factors

These days we talk a lot about environment and how we should change our lifestyles to save the environment for the coming generations, but the damage has already been done. The weather and environment has started to change drastically around the world. Due to global warming and its adverse effects, many areas have started receiving torrential rains and floods.

Unfortunately, if your house is situated in such an area where environment has been impacted and the consequences have started to surprise you, it’s better to avoid any further delay.

Become more informed about the expected flood water levels for the upcoming years in your area so that you may hire the services of Black & White Houseraising & Restumping to get your building raised accordingly. These measures will give you peace of mind and will also save your building from the hazardous effects of floods in the future. A stitch in time saves nine.

Geographical Factors

We don’t live in a perfect world and change is inevitable, so it is possible that the place that you choose to build your castle might undergo a change, and one day you may notice that the land has started to suck your castle in, slowly and gradually. Geographical changes are a reality and there are various reasons such as water seepage, land shifting and erosion that result in weakening the land around or below the foundation of your building. However, once you notice that your house is under threat you should waste no more time to contact a professional house raising company and hire their services to lift your building up and strengthen its base before it’s too late.

Wooden house on the grass

Tricks For Lowering The Budget While Raising Your House

When it comes to any kind of renovating, the key factor that will make a big difference to how it plays out is the costs involved and whether things have all added up in the end. If you end up blowing out your budget along the way, there’s a good chance that this will overshadow the joy of having the extra space of raising the house. Raising your home is one of the best renovation jobs that you can embark upon, because it will provide you with a whole lot of extra space with which to work, as well as giving you the opportunity to get creative.

Have a Budget (and stick to it)

Creating a budget means working out exactly how much money you can comfortably afford, and then working out how the vision in your head can be achieved using that finite amount of money. The key factor to creating your dreams is that if you know where you want to be, and are flexible about how that shows up, you will be open to working within those parameters and be able to implement ideas that you may not have considered before.

Work Smart Not Hard

What we mean when we talk about having a plan but being flexible about how things unfold means being open to new ideas as they arise. Have a plan but don’t be too rigid in how that plan will be carried out, as there could be a myriad of different ways where you could get something better than you wanted, for a fraction of the cost.

Work smarter; don’t work harder, when it comes to materials, labour and planning. For example, the costs of moving a pipeline (especially if it is gas) could be a lot more than if you simply moved the wall. Our advice is to be open minded to how things unfold, and listen to those who have experience in doing this sort of work.

Use Reclaimed Materials

One area where you can save a lot of your budget is in your choice of materials. Obviously, there will be some areas where you will need to buy brand new for safety and longevity, but there are many materials that could be reclaimed and given a new lease on life. Some of the items that you have currently could be given a coat of paint, reupholstered or recovered to give them a new feel to go in your newly raised house.

Shop Around

With all aspects of the renovation including the house raising, it is important to shop around, get quotes and take your time to work out what is going to be the best for you. Jumping into things without having a view of what else is possible is a recipe for being disappointed and wasting a lot of money in the process. So take it easy, and be sure to give Black & White Houseraising & Restumping a call for a free quote.

house construction

When Is House Raising More Useful Than The Usual Home Renovation Techniques?

Some of the reasons people renovate their home is to upgrade certain aspects of it, create more space, or give themselves a new space to stretch out, especially if they have a growing family. If you are considering renovating your home, it certainly pays to have a good look at your options and choose one that is going to get you the most value for your money. Often people might start by renovating parts of their home, piece by piece, without ever considering the option of raising their house, but it is most definitely an option that produces optimal results.

Create a LOT of Extra Space

When we think about renovating, often this idea might involve knocking a wall out here, and building in a new one over there, or adding an extension onto the house. But what if you could literally double the size of your house by building a whole extra level underneath, utilising space that you have not been able to use before? The underneath of your house could become a place where you add an extra bedroom, a study, an extra bathroom or even a large rumpus room for the growing children to give them more room to be kids.

More Economical Than Renovating in Portions

Choosing to renovate in portions might seem like it is better for the hip pocket in theory, but in the long run it could end up costing you a lot more than you bargained for. Signing up for the large task of raising your house is definitely a big job, but without a doubt, the results will speak for themselves in the complete transformation of your home. Speak to one of our consultants at Black and White Houseraising and Restumping about how we can assist you to transform your home.

Longevity for your Home

A key component of house raising involves checking the existing foundations and making repairs where necessary. The thing about renovating the top half of your house, without ever considering the bottom half, is that it’s a bit like rearranging chairs on the Titanic. After a considerable amount of time and money, you may end up with a house that looks great to the naked eye, but could be crumbling into the dirt at the foundation level, or being eaten alive. Raising your house and having new stumps and foundations put in where necessary means that not only will you have a fantastic space to enjoy, but also you will be able to enjoy it for years to come.

Top Five Benefits Of Restumping Your House

Anyone who has a house on stumps or a home built in a flood prone area is usually well aware of their nemesis – moisture. This is especially if the house is built on wood stumps. Many of the older style Queenslander houses were built on hardwood stumps, which are a very durable material, but over time, even they can tend to start to deteriorate through exposure to moisture and pests. Having your house restumped is the best way to ensure that you are safe from any impending disasters that could threaten your home and your family’s security.

Know What’s Happening Below

They say that what you don’t know can’t hurt you, but when it comes to house stumps, the opposite could be said. You may be casually going about your day to day life, without realising that underneath you things are not in the best condition. Unless you know what you are looking for, house stumps could look ok from the outside, while inside the wood could be deteriorating rapidly due to pests and weather. Having them restumped is one way to assess the state of your stumps and have the peace of mind of knowing that you have at least another ten years up your belt.

Keep the Dreaded Dry Rot at Bay

Old houses that have been sitting on the same wooden stumps for a long period of time are very likely to have dry rot in places, which could make its way up into your house. These days, when houses are restumped, the materials used are manufactured specifically to prevent this happening, where previously the technology was not there that we have today. When you have your house restumped, you are given the option of choosing fresh hardwood, concrete or galvanised steel. The latter is much stronger and gives more protection against dry rot. During the restumping process, you may be able to assess any rot that has already made it up into the beams of the house, and have them replaced too.

Add Extra Space

A key benefit of restumping your house is the chance to add on extra rooms. As families grow, it sometimes feels a bit like living in a sardine tin, but extending your house can give everyone more room to grow without getting on each other’s nerves.

Protect Your Stuff

For flood victims often the most heart wrenching part of the experience is losing their memorabilia and important personal items that are lost due to exposure to moisture. Black and White Houseraising and Restumping provides you the opportunity to lift your precious items higher off the ground, to give some extra breathing space from rising waters.

Increase the Resale Value of Your House

If you are planning to sell your house any time in the near future, or if you are renovating with a resell in mind at some stage, restumping is one aspect that will make your house look very attractive to would-be buyers. Often when people assess a possible house purchase, they will be looking at the future maintenance work that will need to be carried out. Having fresh stumps is like having a clean bill of health for your house, which could allow you to push the price up a bit further than you may otherwise have done.