Australians are notorious home-jumpers, with many people moving from place to place every few years. Often, their wallet bears the brunt of this lifestyle decision because there is little thought given to how to increase the value of their current home before they move on to the next one. This is a shame because there are several easy procedures that can drastically improve the value of your home, and none are more obvious than home underpinning. If you are considering putting your home on the market, always check with a builder if your home needs a new underpinning.
What Is Home Underpinning?
Most homes in Australia have some sort of underpinning foundation that keeps the above floorboards stable. Home underpinning looks like poles rising out of the ground and holding the structure up, but they are only visible when you are in the basement area, and in some homes, they are not easily visible at all. Often, they are made out of either steel or cement, and each home will have dozens of underpinned sections that work together to hold up the whole structure.
What Problems Arise With Home Underpinning?
After many years of use, it is possible for the underpinning to shift, which causes a corresponding depression in the floor above. If you notice a slight incline in a room that wasn't there before, it is likely caused by a shifted pole underneath the floor. This can happen for several reasons, including the following:
The ground the underpinning was set on has moved. This primarily happens if there is no concrete foundation or it is done on a loose dirt surface.
The material of the actual underpinning has degraded enough that it is no longer structurally stable. Generally, this only happens with older homes that used wooden underpinning.
What Is The Solution?
The solution to these problems is simply to stabilise the area with better and newer underpinning. All of the old, rotten wooden underpinning poles are removed, the shifting surface is set with either cement or some other material and new, stronger poles are added in. This increases the value of your property by a lot more than it will cost, and the fact that you have added new underpinning should be noted down as a feature so that you set yourself apart from other old homes in the same area. New underpinning poles can last for decades and decades with little maintenance due to a more advanced manufacturing process, so there is no worry about the same problem happening again.Share