Hi everyone,

I am after some advice for sorting out an issue with our 1920s weatherboard house in the western suburbs of Melbourne. I have attached a pic below of the floorplan showing the existing dwelling and extension added in 2005.

Existing dwelling- Although at some point it has been restumped with concrete stumps, one section of the front of the house are currently sitting 120mm lower than the back. There are random pieces of hardwood and cement sheeting between the bearer and stump in several locations around the exterior of the property indicating previous attempts at relevelling. We assume that the stumps for the existing section of the property are at an insufficient depth. I did dig around one a few months ago and measured around 500mm depth. There are roughly 80 stumps in this existing part of the property (approx 100sqm).

Extension- I have access to the building plans and an engineers report from the extension added to the back of the property. The report recommends stumps to be added at a depth of 1000mm due to highly reactive clay soil. We hope that the stumps in this part of the house are at this depth. There is a small bit of movement in the corners of the extension which we also want to sort out when doing the rest of the property.

I have had a few restumpers come to have a look have received several different approaches for the existing dwelling, one saying we need to add 40 stumps, another saying add 80 stumps next to existing and another saying remove all existing stumps and add 80 new stumps. Regarding the extension some have said it just needs relevelling others saying that we should add some more stumps in this area. We have asked for quotes to include all stumps to be at a depth of 1000mm which really starts adding up when you factor in 80+ of them. Quotes are ranging anywhere from 35-45k just for stumps. We will be removing the floor so access will not be an issue.

Should we be engaging a structural engineer to recommend the number of stumps that need to be added and potentially save us some cost? If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks a lot.

. floorplan1.jpg