Underpinning is the process
In construction, underpinning is the process of strengthening and stabilising the foundation of an existing building or other structure.
Underpinning may be necessary for a variety of reasons; the original foundation is simply not strong or stable enough; the usage of the structure has changed; the properties of the soil supporting the foundation may have changed (possibly through subsidence) or were mis-characterised during design; the construction of nearby structures necessitates the excavation of soil supporting existing foundations; it is more economical, due to land price or otherwise, to work on the present structure’s foundation than to build a new one.
What is underpinning?
Underpinning is a process which involves the excavation of a building’s existing foundations and to add materials to strengthen and stabilise the structure. The space excavated is filled with either concrete or rigid structural elements.
When is it needed? How will I know?
Underpinning is often required if:
- The foundations of your property have moved
- You are adding additional stories to your building
- A building nearby has affected the foundations
- If the soil conditions beneath your property have changed or the original foundations laid were inappropriate
What are the methods used?
There are a number of approaches to underpinning, and the most appropriate for your home will depend on factors such as the soil conditions, the existing building, and the nature of any changes to the structure you have planned. The three key approaches are:
- Mass concrete – is usually used where soil conditions are relatively stable and relatively shallow underpinning is required.
- Beam and base – adds reinforced concrete beams to the mass concrete approach – adding additional strength and stability
- Piling – is used when the underpinning requires greater depth and/or the project is more complex, and involves deeper excavation, but can be done in relatively small spaces
Before considering underpinning it is you should plan exactly how you will undertake these steps. Whether you are hiring someone to do so or whether you plan to do it yourself with a team of others it is important to always have a plan. This includes the before and after.
What material do you need to undertake this job
Do you have things such as enough cement which will be needed?
Are you going to need new flooring? Have you measured and found the right type of material that is suitable for your home?
If not, we recommend you head over to Timber Flooring Online. This leading timber flooring company has years of experience and are ready to help you with your requirements and budget. They also have a wide variety of timber flooring available and accessories which you may need for your new floor.
Do I need planning permission?
Floor underpinning does not normally require planning permission, although if your property is a listed building or in a conservation area, there may be a requirement. What about building regulations?
Underpinning is normally considered ‘building works’ and therefore needs to comply with building regulations.