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Underpinning & Alternatives?

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  1. #1
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    Default Underpinning & Alternatives?

    Hi all,

    The cracks are starting to show! Well both inside and out, it has got alot worse in the past year or so.

    I''m assuming we likely need underpinning, but I know it's expensive.. So:

    1. Are there any (cheaper) alternatives to underpinning? (or are there just different type of underpinning?)

    2. Can anyone recommend places in Melbourne to get quotes from.?

    3. Do I go straight and get quotes from underpinning places, or do I need to get an engineer from somewhere else to look at it first? If so who/what sort of person do I look for?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    PVS
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    Hi there,

    You will find heaps of companies in Melbourne who do 'reblocking and underpinning'. We bought an original condition 1940's home which had seriously wonky floors, and got a guy out to quote it. He told us it only needed reblocking, not underpinning, he looked at the cracks in the brickwork and was able to confidently assess that the cracks were from moisture and settlement as opposed to the foundations. I am not sure whether you need an engineer to make this assessment?

    I'd be happy to pass on the details of the guy who did ours if you are after a recommendation.

  3. #3
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    Yes please, I would rather referrals than just picking random businesses who do it. (As long as your house is still standing! :P)

  4. #4
    Love a reno - 1k club member
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    I can recommend Armstrongs Reblocking (John) in Geelong. Does not need to advertise. Don't know if he'll travel (maybe to the West?) but would happily go with his recommendation of someone in Melbourne. Very genuine guy.

    Unless it's somehow a very special job you don't need an engineer and the reblocker would arrange the permit

    Tip - don't think you can do it yourself. Only 'special' people can do this work.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, yeah don't plan on doing it myself!

    I would do some digging if it helped save some money, but I'm not sure where their real cost is. It normally costs around $10,000, not sure exaclty why. How much of that is labor, how much is materials and how much is profit.

    Especially with this 'advanced' underpinning some people advertise where they can pump the stuff in and do it in 1 day. Maybe that works out cheaper?

  6. #6
    PVS
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    I used Martin from Advanced Reblocking Specialists, I actually found him from doing a search and finding recommendations from this forum and the woodwork forum, he also hasn't advertised for about 15 years. He did our house just about 2 months ago, he is very honest, as I said, he spent 45 minutes checking out our house and told us we DIDNT need underpinning when we thought we did!!! We had another guy come out and after all of about 3 minutes tried to con is into spending an additional 6k on underpinning as well restumping

    His number is 0418 319 550

    Martin is from Yarraville / footscray but our house is in the North side of town and he was happy to come out and do it. If you do a search on the forum you may find a few other recommendations which may help.

    good luck!

  7. #7
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    Thanks,

    Whats everyones thoughts between "traditional underpinning" and "advanced underpinning" (where they apparently pump in some special stuff that fills it in)?

    Some places I have read prefer and recommend advanced underpining and say that can even do it in 1 day.

    - So is it any good?
    - Is it cheaper since it only takes 1 day?

  8. #8
    Love a reno - 1k club member
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  9. #9
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    Yeah that is where I got the initial information from, but I'm not sure how true it is or if it costs less.

    You would think if it takes 1 day compared to 2 weeks it would have to be cheaper, or maybe they are just taking the extra profit which is why they recommend it.

    It's difficult to trust businesses sometimes, they are in it for the money after all.

  10. #10
    Love a reno - 1k club member
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    Get them to visit and quote for both types.

    Then also consider the cost to fix the mess the diggers will make with the traditional method (gardens, paths etc), and the comparative inconvenience all round.

    How to judge whether it (advanced method) actually works is harder, as it may take years to determine its not lasting.

    You already know that you need underpinning, right? not just reblocking?

  11. #11
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    I'm not 100% sure, but I am fairly sure. We had someone out years ago who said it would need underpinning, but that was only 1 company and they wanted $10k for it.

    It's actually got considerably worse over the past couple of years, so I'm wondering if one of the drain pipes is not working correctly. Apparently if that is the case you might be able to claim in on insurance which would be nice, but I'm not getting my hopes up just yet!

  12. #12
    1K Club Member barney118's Avatar
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    not sure of the details you have, how much is affected etc, I have just spent $165 for a civil engineer to do a site inspection for me to design a concrete slab for me.
    Discussed all sorts of information on building etc and, I am very happy with the advice, I have just created a point load on an existing 200mm edge beam and he suggested for me to dig under 350mmx 500mm and put a pier under while I concrete the new section.
    Cost a further $380 for the design of the slab, do most of the work myself.

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