Cost of Underpinning a House
Guide to underpinning a house with prices
Underpinning is when extra support is provided underneath a building due to subsidence. This can be to directly counter subsidence where your home is actually sinking, or it can be done pre-emptively if neighbouring homes have suffered from subsidence and you want to prevent it affecting your property. The other main reason for underpinning work is where you want to extend the property by adding an extra level (up or down) which may require extra structural support below ground level.
Typical underpinning prices
Things to consider regarding underpinning work
There are three main types of underpinning: concrete pour, beam and piling. Mass concrete pour involves digging holes underneath the existing foundations and filling them with concrete, often with reinforcement. The beam method also uses holes filled with concrete, but a load-bearing beam is also added to spread the weight. The piling underpinning method requires specialist equipment and expertise and is more suitable where deep foundations are required, this is usually the most expensive option.
But there are other factors which can affect the costs, such as your location (London and the South East is much more expensive), the depth and width of the underpinning required, your local council charges for Building Control and the possible requirement for Party Wall Agreements. If you have a shared wall with neighbours then you’ll need to serve two months written notice before starting any work and as long as your neighbour’s consent you can proceed.
But if the neighbours do not consent, then you’ll need to start an expensive and time-consuming party wall agreement process which will involve fees for a surveyor to inspect the boundary wall and a solicitor to draw up the legal document. Expect to have to pay between £400 and £1000 per neighbour!
Doing it Yourself
Structural design calculations are required for any underpinning job, these will be required by any future buyer’s solicitor plus you will also have to satisfy your local authority’s Building Control that the underpinning work was carried out properly, so please leave this work to the professionals otherwise you will have difficulty ever selling your home and should you encounter problems due to a botched DIY job later, then you won’t have a leg to stand on with your insurance company.
Tips for house underpinning
- Underpinning is NOT a DIY job
- Signs of subsidence include cracks appearing in plaster
- Underpinning a house requires structural design calculations
- Extending into a basement will likely require extensive underpinning
Hiring a Tradesman Checklist
- Always get at least 2 quotes before hiring.
- Never pay the full amount upfront.
- Get the quote in writing.
- For any payment you make, always get a receipt.
- On more expensive jobs, ask for references.
- Check if the tradesman is a member of any trades associations.
- Make sure the tradesman has public liability insurance.
Does subsidence damage constitute a danger to my building structure?
What are the causes of subsidence?
What are the warning signs of subsidence to look out for?
Will my property need to be underpinned if there ar signs of subsidence?
Will I need to move out of my home while the underpinning work is being done?
UNDERPINNING THE FRONT OF A HOUSE.
Submitted by John
Concrete a driveway tap finished.
Submitted by John
Summer house/shed base 2.4m x 1.8m must be perfectly level in grass lawn. Concrete with roadstone foundation.
Submitted by Chris
We have just moved into a Victorian house that is a disused bedsit. We have been advised that it may need underpinning. Please can we get a quote. Thanks, Dan
Submitted by Dan
Front of property needs underpinning and stitching/rebuilding from ground movement.