Outside of the Box- Glass Verandahs

Outside of the Box- Glass Verandahs Tis the season… to spend lots of time enjoying the great outdoors. Whether that means cross country road trips, vacations at a beach resort, or just an afternoon of backyard relaxation, we bet you’re trying to soak up as much sunshine as you can. The Restumping Melbourne team certainly can’t fault you for that. In fact, we’re huge proponents and want to ensure that you’re set up for success in this area. As you know, our services run the gamut, but they most definitely include design and installation assistance with verandahs and decks. Part of our service ethos is a commitment to educating our valued customers. Not just about what we can offer you, but as much general industry inspiration as possible. We want to share whatever nuggets of creativity we can, so that you can play an integral role in designing the home or business of your dreams.

Today we focus on a unique take on the verandah– one built with glass. Sounds a bit odd at first, doesn’t it? Maybe it sounds fragile- not an optimal backdrop for energetic young family members or those who are more accident prone. And wouldn’t a material like glass reflect light, rendering all of your visitors blind whenever they attempt to look at your new architectural work of art?

These questions and thought processes make sense, but let’s dispel any confusion. The glass in a glass verandah would refer to the roof. It would protect you from elements like rain or snow, but it would need to be reinforced, a thicker width, so that it could stand any tests from wind or debris. When it comes to the posts that would support the glass roof, we recommend looking into aluminum or steel, so that there is no question of any corrosion. These posts could be any color, so the options for your look and feel are many. This is also an opportunity to mix and match materials. You could leverage a glass roof and aluminum posts, and then mix things up with a beautifully stained floor. Concerned about too much light overhead? There are many diferent options available for retractable awnings or sun screens. These are easy to use, and easy to put away when done. The sky is the limit when it comes to flexibility.

A glass verandah could work for many different designs of homes. It doesn’t matter if you’re living in a Victorian manner, or if a modern style is more your preference. Either way, going this route provides you with an outdoor experience, without heading too far from the comforts of home.

Do you think that you might want to explore a unique verandah design option, like one that integrates glass as a material? Do you have another idea that you’d like to talk through with a restumping expert? Questions about our services in general? Feel free to give us a shout, anytime. The Restumping Melbourne team would love to hear from you.

Restumping Buzzword- House Raising

Restumping Buzzword- House RaisingIt’s time once again, for a session of learning on the Restumping Melbourne blog. No hidden agenda here, we just genuinely love educating our valued customers on not just our processes, but industry tips and tricks, as well as general home renovation news. Some terms and buzzwords may sound completely made up, others probably clear up mysteries that you’ve been wondering about for a while. Either way, we’re hoping that you’ll stick around and learn a thing or two.

Today’s buzzword probably falls into the latter aforementioned category—a common process in the area that has been extremely beneficial for many individuals, families and businesses. It may sound like a unique process, but it’s been used on more homes and businesses in your area, than you’d think. It’s called house raising, and its defined as just that—a way to raise your home.

Raising your home is a great way to solve multiple problems. These include but aren’t limited to a lack of home and saving the cost of adding a second storey to the structure. It’s taking advantage of the currently unusable space under your home or business and adding valuable and usable square footage. This square footage can be used in a myriad of ways. You could build a garage for the family vehicle, you could utilize it for multipurpose storage, you could build an additional family room or bedroom, you could even get creative and add a wine cellar—the sky is the limit! Many individuals and families take advantage of house raising if they’re looking to expand their brood or host a visiting relative for an extended period. That being said, you don’t need to use the additional space, some simply raise their homes to improve the views of the surrounding areas.

House raising is the most common in areas like Brisbane and also in many different areas of Queensland. This is because these are the areas where restumping is the most common. Remember, houses can be restumped when the homes themselves are build on stumps, which they frequently are in these areas.

You may be wondering, how does one just lift up a house? Sounds like a bit of a Herculean task, right? Something up there with the great weight lifting challenges of the world? Luckily, modern engineering and technology have ensured that we’re well equipped for such ventures. Experts like those on the Restumping Melbourne team take advantage of hydraulic jacks to lift the house up, the same way we do when we’re on a classic restumping job.

Sound like something that you might want to explore? Before you embark on an architectural journey like this one, you’ll want to ensure that you consult experts. The Restumping Melborune team is happy to talk you through your options, and what makes the most sense for you. We’ll hold a consultation and draft a plan before any work begins. Our goal, as always, is to ensure that we help you build the house of your dreams.

Knowing Your Soil

Knowing Your SoilYour soil? That’s an odd thing to become familiar with, isn’t it? Might make you think about gardening? Probably not too high on your priority list, but Restumping Melbourne would like to take the guesswork out of this, so that it can become a priority for you. If you think about it, the soil underneath your home or business may be one of the most important components. When you know what you’re working with, you can make informed decisions which will save you time and money in the long run, not to mention a headache or two or four.

When you know your soil type, the process of addressing cracks in your walls or floors is made much more simple. The different soil types bear heavily on levels of water that can be absorbed by the soil, as well as patterns of shifting that the soil may have.

You may be thinking, okay, do I need to just get down on my hands and knees and dig up soil from beneath the house? Measure its moisture levels and determine what kind of soil it is that way? That’s a lot of pressure! Luckily, that will never be the case when you’re working with Restumping Melbourne. We work with local geotechnical engineers and council engineers. They’re familiar with the different soil types in areas of the country. They can also assist with specific soil samples from your property, so that the analysis includes the full spectrum of the soil’s composition.

There are four different kinds of soil that you’ll find underneath your home or business’ foundation. These are peat, silt, sand and clay—although you’ll be hard pressed to find peat in most areas of Australia.

Sandy soil is the most ideal for companies like ours, it causes the least number of issues with the foundation. This is because moisture and water can free flow through the soil. When water has a chance to move through the soil, it creates the most solid foundation, with no air pockets and less chance of sinking and settling for the foundation. If you see cracks in the walls or floors and you have a sandy soil foundation, then we recommend that you contact a plumber immediately. The likelihood is that there is a broken sewer.

On the other end of the spectrum we find clay soils. Clay soils are very reactive. This means that when moisture levels change- increase or decrease- the clay has a severe reaction to this. It can change volume and it can move. This means that houses built on clay soils have seasonal movement. Ironically, this means that if you notice a wall crack- even up to five mm wide—it can be simply due to regular, seasonal movement.

The bottom line, as with any educational advice that this blog gives, is that you can feel free to reach out with any questions that you might have. Even if it’s not a Restumping Melbourne specialty, our extensive network of contractors and engineers can help you solve the problem.

Why Are Foundations Sinking?

Why Are Foundations Sinking?It’s like a large-scaled Titanic situation. All over the world the foundations of homes or businesses are sinking deep into the ground. We’re not trying to sound dramatic, it’s the honest truth. Luckily, when you work with Restumping Melbourne, our processes and services ensure that you know about said sinkage early and often. When you have early visibility into situations like this for your home or business, you’re much more capable of stopping the issue at its source. In general, it’s a great mystery—why the heck are our foundations sinking? Here are some frequent causes:

Earthquakes- As if they didn’t have enough negative implications, you can add sinking foundations to the list. Earthquakes cause the ground to shake. This means that the saturated soil begins to liquefy. Thus begins a process of deterioration as the soil loses its strength and allows the footings of the building to sink. Of course, once earthquakes are done, the soil will no longer be liquid, but the damage is already done.

The systems used for footings- This is frequently found in either older homes, or homes that have had extensions added on at a later point in the building process. They will perform differently than the rest of the foundation. This is why it’s really important to work with a company like Restumping Melbourne that will perform proper analysis on the ground and ensure consistency within the foundation. Most footings settle within the first five years following initial construction.

Too much Water- Often the most volatile of the weather conditions, while water has its good side, it can also be detrimental to the footings of your foundation. When floods occur, the soil conditions change. If the soil is particularly sandy, then finer grains remove themselves, and the larger and more dense grains settle towards the bottom. This is another way to break down the strength of the soil.

Construction or home renovations- Make sure that you think through all home renovations, because they impact your foundation more frequently than you might imagine. If excavation is taking place, and done poorly, soil can slip and cause any adjacent footings to sink into the ground. Additionally, loud machinery or heavy traffic can both have negative effects.

Droughts- Man, you really can’t win here. You don’t want too much water, but you certainly need a little bit. Droughts will remove all moisture from the ground. This means that any clay in the soil, which is reactive, will shrink immediately. If you have nearby trees or large plants on your property, these can both capitalize on any remaining moisture in the ground, encouraging even more settlement of the foundation.

Not to despair! Things are not as scary as they sound. Many of these are events that occur naturally, and there’s not too much you can do to stop them. You can however, ensure that the foundation of your home is properly enforced, so that your nights are much more worry-free, and you can focus your energy on more important things, like building memories with your loved ones.

Restumping Spotlight: What is Compaction Grouting?

Restumping Spotlight: what is Compaction Grouting?No need to remind our readers of the passion that this company has for all things home renovation. We wouldn’t be here if we weren’t so driven to provide the best restumping services to the area. In fact, it’s this same passion which drives us to educate our customers and keep them in the know. We truly feel that when we share a bit of our geekiness, we impart a bit of this passion, and also ensure that we’re empowering our customers to be an important part of the restumping process. This means that we love to share fun facts, myths debunked and restumping buzzwords whenever we can on the Restumping Melbourne blog. And today, today is a lucky day. Today, we dive into compaction grouting.

It’s a bit of a mouthful, and also known as pressure grouting. Base definition- compaction grouting is a great way to consolidate all of the soil in the foundation area of your home or business by injecting it directly with grout. Soil consolidation occurs when you decrease the volume of soil that you have under a home or business. The reverse occurs when the pressure in the soil reduces and the soil rebounds. This happens frequently when the soil absorbs a lot of water.

The benefits are multifold. Not only are you able to help stabilize the structure, but you actually improve the quality of the ground underneath before you even begin construction in the area.

How does one go about compaction grouting? It all begins with an analysis of the ground. Based on that, your contractor will draw up plans. In order to inject the grout directly, your contractor will need to install injection pipes. These need to be a particular length so that they can get to a certain depth under the foundation. Contractors install these either by driving with a sacrificial point, or by drilling them in a pattern that mirrors a grid. The size will totally vary, anywhere from six feet to 12 feet. Grouting can be injected up to 80 feet below the ground. The installation process begins at the outermost points of the property, and contractors work their way inward. The grout is low slump and is injected with a low volume, high pressure pump. The ultimate effect is a globular shape, because the pipe is withdrawn so slowly.

You’re doing your property a huge service, completely re-stabilizing it and ensuring that the construction process can now proceed with no worries. You’ll feel far more secure for years to come, knowing that the ground beneath you has been reinforced so well. Some individuals or families combine this with underpinning, if they’re particularly worried about their foundation over a long period of time.

Restumping Melbourne loves to identify DIY projects whenever we can, but unfortunately this is not one of them. This is a difficult and precarious process, that should really be executed by professionals. When in doubt, give us a shout. We’re happy to walk you through the different solutions that will make your structure safe and sound.

Tips for Outdoor Social Spaces

Calling all social butterflies, this post is for you. Restumping Melbourne isn’t all about the hard labor and heavy lifting, we’ve got a softer side too. After all, what do you think we’re envisioning when we’re ensuring that your foundation and decking is as solid as can be? We’re envisioning generations of lasting memories, including those of fancy soirees outside on your new deck!

With the weather warming up, we figured this would be the perfect opportunity to review deck ideas for your outdoors, to ensure that your next shindig is the talk of the town for years to come.

Tips for Outdoor Social SpacesYour deck is going to be one of the biggest statement pieces of your backyard. It’s a conversation piece, and it’s the perfect canvas for outdoor get togethers. Gone are the days when this was a copy and paste job, an outdoor deck should be as unique as you and your family. There are a lot of variables at play. You get to choose the size and shape, sure- but you also get to choose the wood, the finish, the railings, any additional pieces that will be integrated into the design like a fire pit, the list goes on and on… That’s before you even get to your deck furniture and any landscaping that will line the perimeter.

Sound a bit overwhelming? Good thing you have Restumping Melbourne here to watch your back. Here are our recommendations on ensuring that your deck is the place that you want to hang out, rain or shine.

First up, make sure that you’re considering your construction materials. The options are endless but there are four that we tend to recommend. These are pressure-treated lumber (a classic hardwood look is a plus but this type of wood requires a lot of maintenance and can warp easily), redwood (durable but more expensive), composite (low maintenance but you’re limited as far as color options go) and aluminum (most durable but also most costly). There are pros and cons for each, you just have to weigh these and make the decision that makes the most sense for you.

Next- keep the functional areas of your deck in mind. If you know that you’ll be using your deck for lots of outdoor get togethers, then try and view your floorplan as you would walk through a party. You’ll want a couple of different seating areas, as well as an open area for socializing and serving food. We recommend maximizing your space by angling seating areas in the corners of your deck, that way you’re not obstructing traffic or getting in the way or an impromptu dance party.

Finally, let landscaping play a role in the design of your outdoor space. No matter if it’s a few potted plants, or an entire bank of seasonal flowers, adding a bit of color to your deck is a great way to liven it up for any get together. Most greenery is low maintenance and adds a ton of curb appeal to your property if you ever make a move to sell it.

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to being the king or queen of the block.

Seepage and Settling- What to Do and How to Avoid

Welcome back to the Restumping Melbourne blog! As always, our goals are to surprise and delight with entertaining and informative nuggets about the restumping industry. Here we share tales of restumping jobs gone wrong, testimonials from customers who feel like we did something right, and general home renovation know how. This definitely encompasses a full dictionary of home renovation and in particular, restumping words of the day. You’ll be talking like a pro in no time.

Seepage and Settling - What to Do and How to AvoidWithout further hesitation, your restumping buzzword for the day is seepage. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? Seepage is the excess water that moves from the base or foundation of the house, upwards. We’re not just talking about regular levels of hydration; this is when Mother Nature is out for vengeance. Anytime heavy rain comes through, rising water levels occur or pipes burst, uncontrollable levels of water can push through the soil that is beneath your home or business. This means changes in volume and changes in the soils consistency—read: mud. Homes that are built on slabs see a massive adjustment in stability, including buckling and bending. Fun fact? Just because it’s not dumping rain, doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods yet. When water changes consistency because of drastic temperature changes, the same problems can occur.

Because we tend to be overachievers on the team here at Restumping Melbourne, we’ll throw in an extra word of the day for good luck. You’ll hear us use the term “settling” frequently. This is often the result of seepage, when the soil moves or even adjusts in size beneath the house. This can cause both short term and long term damage to the slab underneath your home or business. It can also damage brickwork, plaster on the interior or exterior of the structure, and even framework like that of your windows. While seepage is due solely to water activity, settling can be caused by many catalysts. These include homes that are built on pockets of air, this will cause the soil to drop. Highly reactive soil can also have this effect.

Starting to notice a trend? Though seepage and settling may seem like nightmares to most, they’re ideal opportunities for the Restumping Melbourne team. While it’s tough to get ahead of these and completely avoid them, there are many services that our team can help with to restabilize your sub floor, or the floor below your floor. These include undperinning, when we add underground stilts beneath the slab and restumping, when we replace the stumps beneath your home.

There is a solution for every scenario that our customers bring to the Restumping Melbourne team. We’re passionate about identifying just what it is. There is an option for every price range, and an option for every timeline. We’ll work with you to ensure that your home or business is safe and steadfast, so that you can focus on building a lifetime of memories inside of its walls.

Being Cognizant of Reactive Soil Sites (Part II)

Being Cognizant of Reactive Soil Sites (Part II)In our last post, we dove into the crazy world of reactive soil sites. Missed it? Here’s a brief recap of the fun facts that we covered:

  • Reactive does not refer to contamination in any way. It refers to the way that the soil will react when it comes into contact with different levels of moisture.
  • If the soil is clay based, it will have some degree of reactivity. The more that your soil will shift or move based on levels of moisture, levels just how reactive it is.
  • There is a governing body, or rating that measures reactive levels. It’s called the Australian Standard AS 2870/2011.

Today we talk more comprehensively about the different levels of reactivity and how to handle them. Here’s a handy list of the different ratings that the Australian Standard AS 2870/2011 encompasses:

Site classifications and movement based on soil reactivity

Class A (0-10mm)Stable, non-reactive. Most sand and rock sites. Little or no ground movement likely as a result of moisture changes.
Class S (10-20mm)Slightly reactive clay sites. May experience slight ground movement as a result of moisture changes.
Class M / M-D
(20-40mm)
Moderately reactive clay or silt sites. May experience moderate ground movement as a result of soil conditions and moisture changes.
Class H1 / H1-D (40-60mm)Highly reactive clay sites. May experience a high amount of ground movement as a result of soil conditions and moisture changes.
Class H2 / H2-D (60-75mm)Highly reactive clay sites. May experience very high ground movement as a result of soil conditions and moisture changes.
Class E / E-D (75mm+)Extremely reactive sites. May experience extreme amounts of ground movement as a result of soil conditions and moisture changes.
Class P (this is approximately 70% of building sites in Australia)Problem sites. The ability of the soil to evenly bear a load is very poor. Sites may be classified as 'Class P' as a result of mine subsidence, landslip, collapse activity or coastal erosion (e.g. dunes), soft soils with a lack of suitable bearing, cut and/or filled sites, or creep areas.
Ground movement as a result of moisture changes may be very severe, and these sites are typically subject to abnormal moisture conditions resulting from things like trees, dams and poor site drainage. If you are building on a Class P site you will need to consult a structural engineer.
The 'D' inclusion (i.e M-D, H1-D, H2-D or E-D)The 'D' in these classifications refers to 'deep' movements in soil due to deep variances in moisture. These classifications are mostly found in dry areas (e.g. north of the Great Dividing range, in places like Stawell, Horsham, Mildura, Bendigo, Shepparton and Wangaratta).

As mentioned in our last post, there’s never any reason to fear. Restumping Melbourne has dealt with every subfloor and soil issue under the sun, our team is equipped with the know-how on how to help.

Let’s talk first about the Class A and Class S sites. You’ll note that they range from 0-20mm of movement, pretty stable as far as the chart goes. For these situations, the Restumping Melbourne team leverages reinforced slabs with concrete beam footings. No additional work or maintenance is needed here, especially since you can always depend on the highest grade materials from our team.

On the other end of the spectrum we have sites with much more reactive soil. This includes Class H1, Class H2, Class E and Class P. It’s very important here to make sure you have a geotechnical engineer oversee a soil sampling test. The foundation of your home is extremely important and should be treated as such. With more reactive sites, our team will recommend concrete piers or screw piers beneath the footing beams on the slab. This provides maximum support and stability. This also digs much deeper into the soil where the moisture is more minimal and not nearly as much of a catalyst for issues.

Regardless of whether your soil measures in the Class A region or the D inclusion region, the Restumping Melbourne team will be on hand to make sure that reinforcing the foundation of your home or business goes as smoothly as possible.

Questions? Give us a shout. We’d love to help.

Being Cognizant of Reactive Soil Sites (Part I)

You’ve probably been told that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Whether you’re receiving a scolding about superficiality, or a reminder to not judge a book by its cover, it is sage advice.

It has special meaning when you’re referring to the build of your dream home or business. After all, we’re talking about physical structures now. You can only guess what will happen if a home isn’t built on a foundation that’s firm and strong. It could slide down a hill at the first sign of a storm, or topple over in the middle of the night after being pushed by a puff of wind. While these aren’t the norm, they are possible. And that’s why we put such a heavy focus on the strength of the foundation of your dream home or business. It’s why we got into the business that we did. Because when the foundation is strong, everything built upon that can grow and prosper, including lifelong memories.

Being Cognizant of Reactive Soil Sites (Part I)You’re probably wondering what makes the soil underneath your foundation less or more safe. If you’re dealing with reactive soils, which we are in this post, then they’re less safe. Let’s dig into what reactive soils are:

The reaction that the term refers to, doesn’t have to do with contamination. The reaction refers to how the soil deals with different levels of moisture. Any soil in the clay family has some potential to change or shift shape. Those that have extra high potential to change or shift shape are referred to as reactive. The more they move, they more reactive they are.

Don’t go getting too worried about the current state of your home. It’s most likely that you received a soil test when your home was initially built. This test is administered by geotechnical engineers. Results are classified based on Australian Standard AS 2087/2011- Residential slabs and footings.  It’s the results of this test that help contractors and restumping teams like ours, determine the best way to fortify the foundation. One important item of note is that there are a couple of different moisture levels within the terrain, that a foundation needs to be prepared for. The geotechnical engineers refer to these as “normal wet” conditions and “normal dry” conditions.

No matter what soil classification you receive, Restumping Melbourne is prepared. All that is now required is choosing a subfloor which is both suitable for “normal wet” and “normal dry” conditions, but also for the style, size and shape of the structure which you’d like to build. You ask, and you shall receive. We’ve seen every which type of property and our decades of experience mean that we’re readily equipped to bring your vision to life.

We believe it’s important to educate our consumers about not only our services, but why they’re necessary. Stay tuned for our next post, when we’ll dive even further into the world of reactive soil sites and choosing a subfloor that makes the most sense for you.

Restumping- The Buzzwords You Need to Know

Restumping- The Buzzwords You Need to Know

We promised a post with restumping buzzwords and by golly, we like to deliver. One of the parts of the Restumping Melbourne ethos that we’re especially proud of, is our promise to deliver, our dependability. Whether it’s the physical quality of our work, or the constant and transparent communication, you can always depend on the Restumping Melbourne team.

A lot of the language used by our team can sound confusing. Whether it’s different parts of the process, or different names for materials, sometimes you might be wondering what the heck we’re talking about. We’re not trying to pull the wool over your eyes by any means. In fact, we aim to educate our valued customers so that they’re completely in the loop about our work. We want you to question us, to challenge us if need be. We want you to feel fully invested in the process. Here are some restumping buzzwords that you may hear us use:

Batten: a long, flat strip of squared wood or metal used to hold something in place or as a fastening against a wall. Can also be used to describe the art of strengthening or fastening something. Exactly what we aim to do when reinforcing the foundation of your home or business.

Concrete stumps: Concrete stumps have a 10mm diameter threaded rod along the top, which helps secure poured concrete pad footings. This rod makes sure that the stump can be securely attached to the frame of the floor. Concrete stumps have an endless shelf life. The only exception is when they’re in the dampest conditions. In damp conditions, the rod that serves as their reinforcement may rust or bow. This is very specific to Queensland, where it’s important to source a different type of stump for your restumping job.

Concrete pad: Concrete pads provide optimal and necessary protection against long term footing settlements. They’re as simple as they sound, slabs of concrete, poured at the base of the restumping job to ensure that everything stays in place, exactly as it should.

Long term footing settlement: While everything else on this list is a positive, long term footing settlements are not. They’re something that you want to avoid. When your foundation or your footings settle improperly, the foundation of your home or business is not set up for future success. That’s when you know it’s time to give Restumping Melbourne and our team a call.

Rot resistant stump: commonly used material in the science of restumping. Victorian red gum stumps are especially common. They’re about 10% less expensive than other types of stumps, but have a shelf life- about twenty years. This shouldn’t effect most families but is important to keep in mind.

Feel like a restumping expert? If you don’t already, you’re well on your way. Questions on any of the above? Feel free to reach out and give our team a call. We’d love to hear from you and talk about anything in the crazy world of restumping.