There are various types of underpinning methods – Traditional Box Underpinning, Mini Pile Underpinning, Beam and Base Underpinning.
Many buildings in the UK are several decades old and most of these buildings upon close investigation reveal a shallow foundation or a lack of foundation. Despite this, these properties have stood the test of time and only in recent times, due to their age and as a result of ground movement due to various human pressures these buildings need some remedy to keep them standing. To ensure that they remaining standing we underpin the building using a strong concrete mix to extend the width and the depth of the existing foundation to a level where the ground can support the existing and any planned additional loads on the building.
There are various types of underpinning works to support and prop up the foundations of a building as a result of the ground conditions changing or other environmental and structural factors that require the foundations to be strengthened. Or it maybe required to support additional loads on the building as a result of new storeys being added or to create new walls as a result of basements being formed.
The two popular methods of underpinning we use are traditional box method or piling. We have the engineers and geo technical specialist to produce the appropriate underpinning solutions.
Prior to the start of any underpinning work a geo technical survey will need to be done to determine any matters for example that relate to ground water and ground heave. All these factors are crucial in determining the cost, the safety of the building and the methodology of the works.
Party Wall Agreements
Not many people are aware of the importance and the need for a party wall agreement between them and their neighbour prior to the start of any works. Party wall agreements are intended to make clear to each how the work is going to be done, what safety precautions will be taking place and how each property is going to be affected.
This is even more crucial when the underpinning will extend below and into the neighbouring property since the pin will need to be wide enough to safely encompass both the properties.
The Party Wall Surveyor will take detailed notes of each of the properties that are affected and will mark out any defects and list them in the agreement – this avoids the potential at a later date where one property owner accuses the other of causing damage to their property once works have commenced and have been completed. Also solicitors when doing conveyancing will ask for details of any party wall agreements in the event any works are done to the foundations of the building. The costs of the Party Wall Agreement are borne by the person needing the work done to their property.