Need for foundation underpinning and common methods

If you want to make the foundation of any building, house or structure deeper you will need to use the underpinning method. The modern day homes are built with deep foundations. However, in the old houses the foundations are not deep enough, and so they need Melbourne underpinning.

When is the underpinning actually needed?

Here are some of the reasons why you will need to go for underpinning of the foundation:

  • If there are lots of cracks or crevices then the foundation will need to be corrected. For this underpinning may be required.
  • If you feel that the property is not stable as the foundation is not able to bear its weight you can use underpinning
  • To make your house or building more stable in order to increase its capacity to bear the load
  • In case you need to build new floors you will need to make sure that the foundation can bear the load.

Know the cost of underpinning foundations before proceeding ahead,

Factors to consider before choosing the underpinning method for your house


The biggest factor that determines the choice of the method is the foundation type. There is no one method that can be used in all the situations. Some of the things must be kept in mind so that you choose the right method.

  • The existing foundation structure
  • The amount of excavation needed
  • Any specific soil conditions over which the property has been built
  • Any damages caused to the foundation and the reasons for the damages
  • The amount of time you can spare
  • Rules and regulations in your area

The most common underpinning methods

Base and Beam

The use of base and beam is one of the common foundation underpinning methods. This method involves the use of the conventional mass of the concrete base. It also uses the beams that are used for supporting the existing foundation. The load of the structure is moved to the beam which is made using concrete. The beam can be built above, below, and even in place of the existing foundation. The load is further transferred by the beam to the base. It provides greater support as it is spread pretty evenly. The creation of the beam depends a great deal on the type of structure and architecture.

Mass Pouring Method

This is also a common underpinning method that is used in almost all parts of the world. This type of method is more suitable for the areas where very deep digging is not needed and underpinning has to be shallow. The method is rather simple. Weak soil under the foundation is dug out and the empty space is filled with concrete. Undeniably, the concrete is much stronger than the soil under the foundation and hence it can withstand greater load. This method is very common because it is extremely cost-effective. Also, it does not require much of engineering and is very simple to carry out. The residents can continue to use the house while this is being done. There is no need to evacuate.