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

How To Restore Your Old Home

Restoring an old house is one of the greatest projects a person can undertake. It will be both time consuming, and a delightful project to which you can devote your attention. So, make sure that you do take the time to enjoy the process as you create the home of your dreams.

Assess the Current Situation

The first step is going to be the planning phase, of course. This means getting an assessment of what needs to be done – what condition the house is in, how much needs to be thrown out and how much can still be used. It is economical to use as much of the materials as you can rather than buying everything new, which would not make sense, since you are working with an old home to begin with.

You might decide to stay with the existing design or completely overhaul it and create more space for yourself, such as raising it and putting in another level. Once you have assessed the situation, and spoken with the professionals who are going to help you get there, you should end up with a figure of how much it is going to cost. Be mindful that there may be permits that are needed, which must be factored into your costs.

Do the Big Work First

Once you have your plan, start with the big work first. If you are having your home raised, or getting the foundations repaired, this is the time to do it, before you do any of the smaller work. If you are replacing the roof, doors, windows or structural parts of the house, this needs to come before renovating the bathrooms and kitchen, plumbing, painting and landscaping. If you aren’t sure about how to raise your house, give the team at Black and White Houseraising and Restumping a call.

Clear Away the Rubbish

When all the big work is done, you can clear away whatever you don’t need anymore and have your house as you want it to be, minus a few bells and whistles. It is good to hire a skip or shipping container to relocate all of the rubbish to where it needs to go, which will save you money eventually.

Renovate the Bathrooms and Kitchen

After all the rest is done, now you can do the fun part of choosing new fixtures for the bathroom, tiling, installing the new kitchen and taking care of all the other bits and pieces. You would not want to do any of this work before doing the major work, because you may just be wasting time if something needs changing after the fact.

Plumbing and Landscaping

When you have everything where you want it to be and you are almost finished, you will likely need to have the plumbing done by a professional plumber to ensure that all the pipes connect up together where they are supposed to join. Then once that’s done, you can landscape the garden and create a space where you can sit outside and enjoy looking at your beautiful house!

Home Renovation: When To Call In The Professionals

When embarking on a home renovation project it makes sense to do as much of the work yourself, to save some of the money you would be paying on labour. When it comes to painting, carpentry, landscaping and jobs, where there is not too much chance of making a mistake, go right ahead and save yourself some money by doing them yourself. But keep in mind that there are some jobs that you really cannot do yourself, so for these you will need to bring in a professional that has both the safety training necessary and the equipment to do the job properly.

Electrical and Plumbing

Dealing with the potential of possible electrocution as well as the risk of flooding or other unpleasant experiences is a big reason to seek professional assistance with handling any of this work. In addition to the safety concerns, if something did go wrong, your insurance company would be looking for a way out of paying you the money to cover costs, so you will need someone with a licence to make the report. With these two points in mind, the risk of something going wrong is not worth the money that you could save by doing it yourself.

House Re-levelling

If you have noticed cracks in the walls or uneven flooring, it is an indication that something underneath is not how it should be and usually this points to an issue with its structural integrity. If those two words have got your attention then that’s good, because this is a safety concern, and there’s a good chance that your house is going to need to be relevelled at a foundation level. The work will need to be carried out by a re-levelling expert, who has been specially trained to do the work.

House Raising

The idea of creating space underneath your house is an excellent choice, and if you are going to renovate, you may as well make the most of the exercise. One job that you will find very difficult to do on your own is raising your house. As with house re-levelling, the foundations of your home need to be prepared in a very specific way to ensure that the house that is resting on them does not move or start to sag in places. For this work, choosing an experienced professional is paramount, because the safety of yourself and your family is at stake. For a quote on getting your house raising job done right, contact Black and White Houseraising and Restumping.

House Raising: Do We Need To Change Everything?

For many people, the idea that you could even lift a house up and move it somewhere else sounds like something from a science fiction movie, so it is understandable to wonder about what is involved. It is a great idea to ask as many questions as you need to, so that you are clear about what is happening and how it will change things for you.

At Black and White Houseraising and Restumping, we receive many questions about the process, as well as what actually happens during the raising or moving, so we welcome any questions that can make it clearer for you. This question is a particularly good one, and definitely worth taking a look at it.

The Choice is Yours

In short, the answer to whether you need to change everything is a big “no”. The decision is completely yours, as to how much is changed during the renovation of your home, and how much remains the same. During the actual raising of the house, everything is done very specifically, slowly and carefully, which means that nothing inside the house is damaged or even moved in the process. Everything inside the house will be exactly the same as it was, only the house itself will be placed either higher or moved somewhere completely different, depending on your plans for the house.

What Will Change?

Depending on what your plans are for the house and its surrounding areas, things may change a lot or not much at all. What will change is the complete underside of your house because there will be more space than you had before. This may mean that you create extra rooms for your house downstairs, which may call for a new internal staircase, but that is totally up to you, and this will usually happen after we have finished our work. Electrical and other wiring as well as water pipes will be relocated out of the way during the raising/moving of the house, but these are reconnected and adjustments made following the work being carried out.

The process of raising a house means that you will have a lot more space than you ever had before, which could completely transform your life. As you can imagine, it is a big undertaking and we encourage you to ask as many questions as you need to, as well as providing us with your plans for the house in order to give us as much information as possible.

How To Find Out If Your House Is Built With Quality Materials

There’s a lot going on in a house; there are many different parts, some seen and some unseen. Sometimes, if the developer or person who built it tended to cut corners, there may be elements that need to be replaced or that are not functioning as well as they could. If some of the materials that were used are not of the best quality, this could affect the way the rest of the house is holding up, literally. The best way to check if your house is built with quality materials is to look physically at every part of it to see for yourself.

But this is not always easy for you to do on your own.

Because there are often parts of the house that you may not be able to access, they may require a professional to do an inspection to ascertain what materials the house is made from, and whether they are in need of repair or replacement. Knowledge of the different materials available and what to look for, will give you a good indication about how well the materials are performing. This will also give you an idea about their longevity. Companies such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping specialise in knowing what is happening underneath the surface of houses, and it is important to have the right equipment to do the work that is required.

Check the Foundations

Foundational materials are often hidden underneath the house, so we usually have no idea what is happening with them until something goes wrong or we hire a professional to check the area. If quality materials have been used for the foundations, you will be able to see evidence of it in both the exterior and interior walls of the house. Poor quality materials that have caused foundation issues will produce cracks in these walls. Uneven floors are another indication that there may be a problem with the foundation materials too.

When it comes to foundations, the appropriate and quality materials are essential, because anything less will mean you could jeopardise your home and your family’s safety. Depending on the environment surrounding your home and the changing elements it is exposed to, various materials will be needed for different circumstances. A good builder will employ professionals to do the work, which means that they will use quality materials suited to each individual job.

Worst Case Scenarios For How Flooding Damages Your Home

If flood events were all fun and games, riding wheelie bins through the neighbourhood and taking your dinghy to the corner shop, life would be all roses. Unfortunately, damage to homes during flood events costs Australians more than 300 million dollars every year, which is a lot of milky bars by anyone’s guess. Nobody wants to experience a flood event, especially not when it involves one’s home and all of their worldly goods.


They say that being prepared for the worst is the best way to avoid it happening, so knowing what areas may be affected by flooding could assist you with planning to rebuild, or refurbishing a dwelling.


Weakening of Structural Elements


Since the foundations of your house have such an important job to do, this is the area that you least want to experience the effects of flood damage. Weakening of structural elements such as your house stumps and flooring are the most likely areas to be affected by flood water, which, if left for any length of time, can severely impair their strength and longevity. Usually wooden stumps will last around 10 years before needing to be replaced but exposure to moisture, especially of the magnitude of flood waters could require them to be replaced sooner.

Damage to Electrical Elements of the House


Another area that can be extremely dangerous is if there is damage to the electrical system of the house. Live wires can cause the house area to become a liability and sufficient inspection and precautions should be followed before re-entering the home after a flood or weather event that may have compromised the elements. If the electrical elements of your house are too close to the ground, the likelihood of experiencing this problem is greater than if your house is raised high enough to allow for all electrical wiring to be well above the level of possible flood waters. Speak to Black and White Houseraising and Restumping about the recommended positioning for electrical wiring if you are in doubt or if you are considering raising your home to prevent flood damage.


Contaminated Drinking Water


On any given day, wherever your house may be situated, there are a lot of different fluids in the vicinity from local businesses, as well as other houses and sewerage. In the event of heavy flooding, there is a high chance that some of these contaminants will sink into groundwater where they could be flushed anywhere, including into your drinking water supply.

What Is Copper Chrome Arsenate (Cca) Timber Treatment?

Wood is an organic matter and, as such, it tends to break down over time due to being attacked by insects and fungus. To prevent this from occurring wood is treated with different timber treatments, but the most effective has proven to be the treatment with a copper chrome arsenate preservative.

This preservative has been used worldwide since the 1930s for many different purposes, but there have been concerns about the risks involved with arsenic leaching out of the timber, and it is not used as widely today because of this. For the use of house stumps by companies such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping, this is a very effective timber treatment since usually the underside of the house is not frequented often by many people, so the risks associated are minimal.

What it Does

The components of this timber treatment include the chemicals copper, chromium and arsenic. The copper and arsenic are an effective preventative measure to protect the timber from insect and fungal attack. The chrome is added to hold the copper and arsenic into the wood to prevent it from leaching out. Wood that has been treated with the CCA timber treatment is usually identifiable because of its green hue.


The main risk associated with the use of the CCA timber treatment is the component of arsenic, which has been shown to leach out in small amounts over time, and can be swallowed or inhaled if the wood is burnt. It is for this reason that wood that has been treated with the CCA treatment will not be used for building children’s play equipment, patios, garden furniture, domestic decking, handrails, outdoor seating or picnic tables.

Risk Reduction

If you have been cutting or sanding wood that has been treated with the CCA treatment, clothing should be washed separately. CCA treated items should not be burnt in any wood fire as this could cause the arsenic to leach into the air where it could be inhaled, causing long-term damage to the human body. CCA treated wood should be disposed of through your local council or can be put into your regular garbage bin in small amounts. It should not be left unattended where it could be picked up by someone that is not aware of the risks involved. CCA treated timber should not be used for animal cages or any similar purpose that might involve it being chewed by animals.

4 Benefits of Adding Headroom to Your Crawl Space or Basement

If you are planning to build a house that will have a basement or crawl space, we cannot stress enough to you the importance of ensuring that you add in a good portion of headspace to the area. Most owners usually like to focus their attention on the upstairs parts of the house where things are always pretty, dry and clean. They tend to forget about what is lurking underneath the floorboards, but when it comes to your basement or crawl space, you won’t want to be sticking your head in the sand. Here’s why:

Reduce Moisture

The underside of houses is where a lot of moisture tends to build up. This is often due to the fact that there is not much air circulating, which can cause a lot of problems over time and eventually leads to the deterioration of the house above. Ensuring enough headspace allows for the air to circulate, giving the moisture somewhere to go and keeping the rest of the house safe from the deterioration that it causes.

Maintenance Access

Usually the basement or crawl space will be where the structural and utility systems are housed, such as electrical, plumbing and central heating. Allowing for enough space for maintenance work to be carried out will allow for access to these areas as well as to give you the opportunity to check out what is going on under there. Because it is where moisture manages to get into the house, being able to monitor the area will help to prevent damage that is caused if it is left unchecked for any length of time.

Expansion Room

At some stage you might have a new arrival coming into the family, or just feel like creating a little more room for you to spread out. Having a basement or crawl space with headroom will allow greater access for you to be able to expand your living areas by having your house raised by Black and White Houseraising and Restumping.


We all have ‘stuff’ that we don’t use every day, but want to keep for occasions when we will need it, but often finding the space to put everything can end up making living areas feel cluttered. Ensuring that you have adequate headroom in the basement and crawl spaces allows you to store these things out of the way until you need them again.

How To Prepare For Restumping : What’s Involved In The Clean Up

If you are considering the restumping of your house, there are particular preparations that need to be made to get the area ready for the work that will take place. This includes making the work site ready for people to start moving around under the house, and if you are like the rest of us, you are bound to have an accumulation of things that you are storing under there. This is often referred to as ‘the clean up’ stage, which, as the name suggests, involves clearing the area to prepare for the work to be carried out.

Clear the Area and Remove Plinth boards

The first thing that we do is to clear an area around the side of the house to make an access point for the work to be carried out. The plinth boards are the boards that go under the house, and are what sit between the house and the stumps. During the house raising process, these boards are one of the items that need to be replaced as often they will show signs of wear and tear as well. So after the area around the stumps has been cleared the plinth boards are removed.

Remove Rubbish and Obstacles

The next step is to remove any rubbish and obstacles that are still sitting around under the house. This is an important safety step because it allows a clear workplace for the rest of the work to be carried out. So not only will you be getting new stumps, but under your house will get a clear out, too, in the process!

Position Jacks in Place

Once the area has been cleared, the jacks are positioned in place. During this step the safety of both the house owners and the workers who will be carrying out the work, is of great importance. We ensure that all safety precautions are taken to prevent any accidents occurring to anyone involved. Once the jacks are positioned and firmly in place the rest of the work can begin.

The Black & White Houseraising & Restumping team gets to work, knocking out the old stumps and digging a hole for the new stumps to be positioned into place. Before you know it, the work is done and you can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that you have a solid foundation beneath your feet.

Commonly Used Preservatives For Wood And Their Effectiveness

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

Boron Salts

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

Copper Chrome Arsenic (CCA)

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


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

Light Organic Solvent Preservatives (LOSP)

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

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

Things To Consider Before Choosing Professional Restumping

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

Is the House Worth Restumping?

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

Restump or Raise?

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

Choice of Stumps

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

Building Permits and Relevant Paperwork

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