Underpinning – Why You Need It and the Methods Employed

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Building a New Home

If you plan to build a new home, you will no doubt have lots of questions about how best to proceed. I am here to help you to understand the different things you need to consider when planning and constructing a new property. I don't work in the construction industry but last year, I successfully built a new property using a team of construction contractors. The contractors were real professionals who worked quickly and to a very high standard. They were very kind to me and took the time to explain exactly what they were doing at each stage of the construction job.

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Underpinning – Why You Need It and the Methods Employed

30 November 2018
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


One of the more commonly sought services for pre-existing structures is underpinning. The process entails the stabilisation as well as the strengthening of your pre-existing property by installing pins, beams or concrete under the foundation. However, the type of underpinning that your house will require will vary depending on the kind of damage that your foundation has acquired and the ground underneath. Thus, underpinning is carried out in various methods to ensure that the type performed will be suited to your individual requirements. The following article examines the different reasons that you might require underpinning services and the various methods that your contractors could employ.

Why would you need underpinning services?

  1. Your original foundation is no longer stable enough to support your structure. This loss of strength could come about due to improper construction of the foundation or the steady rot of the timber piles used to support the foundation.
  2. The structure of your building is going to be changed, such as the construction of an additional storey, and this will require enhanced reinforcement.
  3. The soil surrounding your property either has changed in composition or perhaps was not classified correctly before construction.
  4. You plan to construct additional buildings, which will require soil excavation, and thus your pre-existing structure requires additional support.

What are the methods used for underpinning?

  1. Concrete underpinning: This technique is the traditional way of carrying out underpinning. It is best suited for structures that only require shallow pins to secure the structure. To perform this, your contractors will dig up the weak soil around and below the foundation. This excavated soil is then replaced with concrete, which will provide your foundation with additional reinforcement. As a result, the weight of your building is supported comfortably, and this diminishes the chance of further foundation problems.
  2. Base-and-beam underpinning: While this method is similar to concrete underpinning in the sense that concrete will be applied around the foundation, it also incorporates the use of beams as added reinforcement. Both the concrete and the beams underneath the foundation carry the load of the building, and this provides even support of the structure.
  3. Mini pile underpinning: Unlike its other underpinning counterparts that are much shallower, this type of underpinning makes use of the stable soils found deep in the earth. Your contractors will bore piles deep into the ground so that the compacted earth beneath can secure them. The load of the foundation is then held in place by these piles.

Contact a company that offers underpinning services to learn more.