Restumping is a process of replacing rotten or moving wooden and concrete stumps that form the house sub-floor. Many tenants and house owners spend their lifetime without undertaking this renovation, but in swampy and coastal areas, it is a common activity. The following is a guide to properly restumping your house:
- Choosing the right stumps – Most property owners choose wooden stumps because they are cheaper than concrete ones. If you choose wooden stumps, the Victorian red gum is a good choice since it is more resistant to termites and moisture. If red gum is not available, normal hardwoods such as ironbark treated with CCA (copper chrome arsenate) provide a reliable alternative. It is also important to make sure that all anchors used to connect the house to the stumps are resistant to corrosion. The only disadvantage with wooden stumps is they are prone to shifting due to soil movement. Re-levelling and house sliding might be necessary in the course of time. Concrete stumps offer the best solution to restumping problems. Although they are expensive, they offer longer service life than wooden stumps and remain virtually maintenance-free.
- Choosing the best contractor – The most important part of the restumping process is selecting the best contractor since incompetent contractors lead to expensive plaster and framework damage. A good contractor will always have enough hydraulic jacks to lift the entire house in one fluid motion. Each jack rests under a single stump. Contractors who lift the house in sections because of jack shortages damage it. Additionally, the contractor should agree to level the floors after restumping since all house restumping exercises result in slightly uneven floors. You should stay away from contractors who suggest tampering with building regulations and council requirements. All renovations that involve house restumping are supposed to be in accordance with these statutory requirements. The owner should also have a council building permit before the exercise. Other important considerations include clear completion timelines, cost agreements, and responsibility for any related repair works.
- Monitoring and inspection of the work – House restumping should never occur in the absence of the owner. They should be present to ensure everything on the quotation is going as planned and that the contractor is restumping the house properly. After restumping, the owner should also request the contractor to install ant caps to prevent insects from crawling into the house through the stumps. The contractor should also cover all holes to avoid moles and other burrowing vermin.