For the residents of northern and western suburbs of Melbourne, house maintenance has reached skyrocketing cost after their almost new homes have started sinking. Volatile soil moving under their foundations have caused “slab heave”, thereby causing a heavy pull on the walls and roofs, puts plumbing into the ground, and even detaches the ceiling.
The earliest signs of the foundation sinking happen when things roll on the ground without being pushed, or the floors appear uneven. Often one would notice cupboards not aligned exactly with the wall, or cans rolling away when they fall on the ground. Thus, it calls for House Levelling. This can be both done by consulting a company, or you may consider DIY. Usually, hiring an engineer for the job makes sure that the house is secured for the long term, and nothing goes wrong in the process. The company would be responsible to explain to the customer bulk of the process, but some technical aspects are to be kept in mind, that aren’t always informed by these companies.
Here is a list of important things never to forget while carrying on house levelling:
- Size and Type of the house: One should always consider the dimensions of the house while levelling. A bigger house means a bigger foundation. This should be tallied with land type, land slope, soil quality, and so on.
- Choosing the Contractor: This is an important choice. The contractor will take care of all the permits. They will look after the engineering, surveying, and laying of the foundation from the scratch. In such cases, a structural engineer is a right person to consult.
- Plan it Out: When starting off with the work, the most important action remains the planning.
Consider the following:
- The Lift Height: The difference between the initial height of the first floor and its final height to be achieved is measured. This is frequently termed as “existing FF” and “proposed FF”. This can be done with the help of a string or a laser.
- Footers: One can either choose to install new footers or lay upon the old ones. This is a vital part of the planning.
- New Foundation: Plans for new foundation need to be confirmed so that lifting the steel can be rigged accordingly.
# Making the Preparations:
A temporary post should be built, ensuring it is done on the level and solid ground. One must be thorough with the contract they’ve signed with the lifting company. Usually, different companies have different principles, but their contracts are simply laid out for the customers to understand. The contract can also be revised according to the customer’s wishes.
# Arranging the Site:
Make sure that the basement of the house is well cleaned. Pipes and ducts that hang below floor joists should be removed. In case these get difficult, the company lifting house can be contacted so that they can employ special men for the work. Outside the house, stairs should be removed. Decks or other such attachments that are to be kept should be detached beforehand. So, should be other accessories. Since all plants and shrubbery outside will be damaged, they should be removed and transplanted if required. Check if the work would require any involvement with a neighboring property, in case the two are too close. Accordingly lifting styles would be decided.
With these cautions in mind, one can go ahead with the process of house levelling. Details of the procedure are provided by the engineer and lighting company involved, but as a customer, one must also keep in mind these aspects in order to check on the work and make sure it is done correctly.