What Many Homeowners May Wonder About Getting a Home Underpinned
Underpinning a home actually refers to a variety of methods of making the home's foundation stronger and more secure. This can include adding more concrete around or under the current foundation, or attaching actual large pins to it, acting as a brace for the foundation. House underpinning may also mean re-stumping, or replacing old stumps for homes built on such a foundation. If you've been told that your home needs underpinning, note a few questions you might have about the process so you know what's involved and if it's the right choice for you.
Will underpinning affect its resale value, or make it difficult to sell the home?
Only a real estate agent or appraiser can tell you how underpinning might affect your home's value, or if it would affect how potential homebuyers would see your home if you tried to sell it. However, note that a cracked foundation or a home that is sinking and settling can be very difficult to sell, and underpinning may be the best option overall. Even if a home that has been underpinned is seen as being less valuable than similar homes on the market, a home with a cracked foundation or cracks in the walls and ceiling due to sinking can have even less value and may not sell at all.
Would a contractor need to access the foundation through the floorboards?
Each home and each process for underpinning is different, but note that the work is usually done completely outside the home, if there is sufficient room under the floorboards for the contractors to work. If they were to need to access the home's interior and tear up the floorboards, they would inform you of this process before work were to begin.
Should underpinning be done before or after a renovation project?
When renovating, you need your home to be level and even so that you can take accurate measurements of wall and floor surfaces and ensure that drywall and other materials are hung and installed correctly. Underpinning may actually cause your home to shift slightly, as it's lifted from the ground. Because of these reasons, the underpinning process should be done before renovations. This is especially important if the work will put added weight on the home; even adding a different type of benchtop or flooring can mean more weight on the home that can cause a cracked foundation to suffer even more damage. Having the home underpinned first can protect it from this risk.