Must-Do Things and Mistakes to Avoid When Underpinning Existing Foundations

Posted on: 19 February 2020

The biggest hurdle you may have as a building contractor is underpinning foundations, which has a significant effect on the building's future. While there are many pitfalls to this process, most of them can be avoided by hiring expert professionals. The following are essential things to keep in mind:

Hire Professional Building Survey Specialists

When you choose to underpin existing foundations, never begin the exercise blindly. For this reason, you need to hire a chartered property surveyor to conduct a thorough analysis. Furthermore, it's unwise to perform this process to every underpinning subsidence. And this may involve simple tasks such as mending drains or removing foundation roots. The survey always gives you a clue of all you need to do from the beginning of the study. 

Select the Right Underpinning Type

Each foundation underpinning method is correct in a different, unique circumstance. For instance, if you can't excavate more couple of feet down, choose to use conventional concrete underpinning. However, in case the survey identifies that the subsoil is inadequate to a couple of meters or more, or the water table is higher, you may require piling. There are various types of pilling machines, and the most suitable choice will reflect on the condition of the ground. You can find valuable advice concerning this from your structural engineer or contractor.

Consider the Legal Aspects

You must never begin any construction work without confirming whether you require a permit. Your work may be subject to permitting under the building regulations, and you should determine whether another building is closer enough for relevance to the 1996 Party Wall Act. Also, any competent expert can advise on these aspects, but you need to ask the right questions.

Select the Right Contractor

You should, therefore, leave foundation underpinning to the professional experts in the industry.  This is not a job for seasoned DIYers or typical local builders. Therefore, choosing a reputable contractor will make a massive difference between the success of your project and a flop. When handling a significant job, it's crucial to find ways to minimise costs. However, choosing the most affordable quote doesn't always have to mean going for the cheapest offer available.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it's vital to ensure the company you choose has a broad range of experience in terms of foundation underpinning. This will not only define their expertise, but also help you understand the type of equipment they use to accomplish the task.