Restumping A Queenslander Home with Steel Stumps

Restumping is a process that should not have corners cut, it can be expensive but you want the stumps to last a long time. Understanding what is happening between the ground and the stumps will give you an idea of why steel stumps are the best choice for your Queenslander.

Historically Queenslander homes were built on stumps for a couple of reasons; firstly back then it was much easier for builders not to have to dig foundations, as they did not have the machinery or tools, and secondly, it was thought to combat the heat, creating airflow under the house would cool the home.

Harding steel is Brisbane steel stumps experts and our  most popular products are steel posts, steel beams and steel columns for the domestic building and renovating market.

Do I Need to Replace My Stumps?

There are varied contributing factors that mean stumps need to be replaced. Over time soil shrinks and swells with the seasons, plus the soil directly underneath the home stays quite dry from being covered. Meaning the rain falls only on the edge stumps. All of this along with gravity will cause the perimeter stumps to sink further than the internal stumps. You may know your stumps need replacing without an inspection because you have sloping floors, cracks in the wall and your doors are sticking or not closing at all. Other factors that contribute to stump deterioration are;

  • Poor drainage and leaky plumbing.
  • Insect damage – white ants are common in South East Queensland.
  • Wear and tear – timber stumps can last from 15 years to 80 years, it all depends on the factors already mentioned.

Decades ago it was common to just replace one stump as it rotted or deteriorated as it gave a quick fix, even if it didn’t correct the overall problem. Now people understand its a better to address to the whole problem, yes it’s more costly to replace more than one stump but it keeps the home safe and secure for decades to come.

Also, homeowners are renovating areas like kitchens and bathrooms, adding heavy items like marble or stone benchtops, making steel stumps a much better option as they can have a stronger weight ratio than timber.

Are Steel Stumps the Best Option?

Steel is much more versatile than timber or concrete and these days is widely considered the best choice for restumping. Galvanised steel with painted welds and correct installation will ensure the steel stumps last for decades or longer. Even in coastal environments like the Gold Coast, steel stumps are the best choice. Engineering planning of the stumps addresses moisture runoff and 75mm x 75mm construction for prefabricated steel stumps allows them to be built into single walls as with timber stud framing and also blocking or bricking. Another benefit of using steel stumps is they can support steel beams, often used in renovations. So in effect, you are future proofing your home for any renovations to come.   

Site Grading and Stumps

Site Grade A – Rocky sites with little movement

Site Grade S – Stable sites that move a little like sand or gravel

Site Grade M – Clay sites with some movement

Site Grade H – Clay sites that move a lot

Site Grade E – Extreme sites prone to cracking (think of Ipswich)

For most of the site grades, a steel stump of 1 to 1.5 metres will address foundation movement. In Brisbane, common stump height is 1.5 metres and in Ipswich to address the higher movement of soil is 2.3 metres.

Brisbane House Restumping Costs?

How much it costs to restump your Brisbane home will depend on several issues. If you are raising your home and need lifts etc that will add to the cost. And it depends if you are replacing all of your stumps and what site grade your home is on. The cost is not small, but remember it is akin to a major renovation on your home, you just don’t see it like you would a new kitchen. The time frame can depend on how hard the job is – anywhere from 3 days to a couple of weeks but generally less than 1 week.

Stumps for a typical Queenslander will be longer and therefore costlier but a general figure may be between $5000 to $30000 and all depends on the individual job. As with any renovation cost you want the best value for money. Speak to Harding Steel for advice and ideas on anything and everything to do with Steel!

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