In construction, underpinning is the process of strengthening and stabilizing the foundation of an existing building or other structure. Underpinning is a method of construction that sees the depth of the foundations to a building being increased. The soil beneath the existing foundation is evacuated and is replaced with the foundation material, normally concrete in phases.
Underpinning may be necessary for a variety of reasons:
The building has moved caused by poor soil or changes in the soil conditions (e.g. subsidence has occurred)
There has been another decision to add another storey to the building, either above or below ground level, and the depth of the existing foundations is inadequate to support the modified building or weight of it
Maintenance on foundations generally does not require planning permission.
However if you do live in a listed building or designated area (conservation area or national park for example) you should check with your local planning authority before carrying out any work. Which we can do for you as we have our own architectural designer who liaises with the council on your behalf and keeps you up to date with procedures and information
If you need to underpin all or part of the foundations of your building, Building Regulations will apply.
The Regulations specifically define this as 'building work' and appropriate measures must be applied to ensure the underpinning stabilises the movement of the building.
Particular attention will need to be given to any sewers and drains near the work
Underpinning issues can often arise in buildings both old and new. The passage of time may cause walls to move and more often than not, the poor quality of the ground beneath the building is the reason.
We can provide: