How Much Does Restumping a House Cost in Australia? - Owner Builder Club

How Much Does Restumping a House Cost in Australia?

How much to restump a house

If you're a homeowner in Australia, or you're eyeing that charming fixer-upper on the market, there's a term you should be familiar with – restumping. Also known as reblocking, restumping is a crucial part of maintaining and improving homes.

But hold your horses! Before you reach for your shovel and work gloves, there's a lot more to understand about this task. One of the most common dilemmas homeowners face revolves around costs.

How much does restumping cost?

What factors influence these costs?

And, importantly, are there ways to keep these costs in check?

From the price tag to the type of stumps used and even the government regulations that need to be followed, this guide will take you through the ins and outs of restumping.

But first, what does restumping involve? And why should you, as an Aussie homeowner or prospective buyer, care about it?

What is Restumping a House?

Restumping is like giving your house a new pair of sturdy boots. In technical terms, it's the process of replacing or fixing the stumps that support a house with a stump subfloor. Picture your home standing on stilts, and you're halfway there.

But why is restumping such a big deal here in Australia?

Well, many of our charming older homes, especially those lovely Queenslanders and weatherboard houses, are built on wooden stumps. These wooden stumps, while nostalgic, can deteriorate over time due to soil movement, moisture, or termite damage. When this happens, the structural integrity of the house can be compromised. And no one wants a wobbly house, right?

So how do you know when your house needs a restump?

Keep an eye out for signs like uneven floors, cracked walls, or doors and windows that stick. These indicators could suggest that the stumps under your house are having a bit of a hard time and might need some attention.

Average Cost of Restumping a House

So, what's the damage to the wallet when it comes to restumping your home?

Well, the truth is, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. The cost can vary quite a bit depending on several factors, which we'll delve into a bit later.

But to give you a ballpark figure, restumping an average-sized home in Australia could set you back anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000. Some sources even suggest that the cost per stump can range from $500 to $700. That's quite a spread, isn't it?

And don't forget, these are just averages. Depending on the specifics of your property, you could be looking at costs that fall outside this range. Plus, additional repairs or modifications may add to the overall bill.

The point is, while restumping is an investment, it's also a necessity for ensuring the safety and longevity of your home. Remember, every house is unique, and so are its restumping needs.

In the next sections, we'll delve deeper into what influences these costs and how you can navigate your restumping journey with confidence.

Factors Affecting The Cost of Restumping a House

Now, you might be wondering, why such a big range in cost? Well, just like every home has its unique charm, every restumping job has its unique factors that can affect the final bill. Let's break them down, shall we?

Size and Structure of Your Home

It's a simple equation, really. The bigger the house, the more stumps it needs, and the more it's going to cost. The structure of your home can also play a part. Got a split-level house or one with a steep slope? That could mean more work, and yes, possibly more dollars spent.

Condition of Existing Stumps

If your current stumps are in a pretty sorry state, there may be additional costs for their removal. Plus, any damage they've caused to the rest of the house might need repairing.

Type of New Stumps

Concrete, timber, or steel? Each comes with its own price tag. While timber might be less expensive upfront, concrete or steel stumps tend to last longer, potentially saving you money in the long run.

Labour Costs

This is a biggie. The complexity of the job, the experience of the professionals you hire, and even the time of year can all influence labour costs.

Concrete Stumps vs. Timber Stumps

When it comes to restumping, one of the biggest decisions you'll need to make is the material of your new stumps. The two most common types here in Australia are concrete and timber. But which one is right for your home? Let's take a closer look at both.

Concrete Stumps

Concrete stumps are like the tough blokes of the stump world. They're strong, durable, and can withstand harsh weather conditions. Plus, they're resistant to pests, which is a big tick in their favour, especially if termites are a concern in your area.

But what about the cost? While concrete stumps might be more expensive upfront than timber, they tend to last longer, which could save you money down the track. However, installing them can be a bit more labour-intensive (and therefore costlier) than timber stumps.

Timber Stumps

Timber stumps, on the other hand, have a charm all their own. They're the classic choice, especially for older homes looking to maintain their original character. They're also usually less expensive upfront than concrete stumps.

However, timber stumps may not be as durable as their concrete counterparts. They're more susceptible to damage from moisture and pests, which means they might need replacing sooner.

Both types of stumps have their pros and cons. Your choice will depend on your budget, the specific conditions of your property, and your long-term plans for your home. Whichever you choose, remember that proper installation and maintenance are key to ensuring your home stands strong and proud for years to come.

Things To Consider When Building or Hiring Contractors to Do the Restump

Deciding to restump your house is one thing, figuring out who will do the job is another. Should you roll up your sleeves and DIY, or should you call in the pros?

Firstly, it's important to understand that restumping is not your average weekend DIY project. It requires technical knowledge, specialist tools, and a fair bit of heavy lifting. Plus, there's the safety aspect to consider. Incorrectly done, restumping can lead to structural issues down the line, or even immediate dangers during the process.

That's why for most homeowners, hiring a professional contractor is the preferred route. But how do you find a reliable one?

  • Start by asking for recommendations from friends or neighbours who've had similar work done. 
  • Check online reviews and ratings. 
  • Ask potential contractors about their experience, qualifications, and if they have insurance. 
  • Don't be shy to request references or examples of their previous work.

When you receive quotes, remember that the cheapest isn't always the best. You want a balance of reasonable cost and high-quality work. After all, this is your home we're talking about.

Finally, keep in mind that restumping often requires approval from your local council, and must meet specific government guidelines. A reputable contractor should be able to guide you through this process, ensuring your restumping project is up to code.

Conclusion

We've covered quite a bit of ground, haven't we? From understanding the factors that affect the cost of restumping to weighing up the pros and cons of concrete versus timber stumps, and finally, navigating the decision between DIY or hiring a professional.

But remember, it's not just about the dollars and cents. It's about ensuring your home – that Aussie sanctuary where memories are made and laughter is shared – remains safe, secure, and structurally sound for years to come.

So, whether you're considering restumping for an older home, or building a new one from scratch, take the time to make informed decisions. And remember, when in doubt, reach out to a professional who can guide you through the process. After all, your home is more than just a house. It's a piece of the great Australian dream, and it deserves the best care we can give it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often does a house need restumping?

The frequency of restumping depends on various factors like the type of stumps used, environmental conditions, and the quality of soil. However, if you notice signs like uneven floors, cracked walls, or sticking doors, it might be time for a check-up.

What's the difference between concrete and timber stumps?

Concrete stumps are more durable and resistant to pests, but they're generally more expensive and harder to install than timber stumps. Timber stumps, while less expensive initially, may need replacing sooner due to susceptibility to moisture and pest damage.

Can I DIY restumping?

While technically possible, restumping is a complex and potentially dangerous process that requires specialist knowledge and tools. For safety and assurance, it's usually best to hire a professional.

Do I need government approval for restumping?

Yes, restumping often requires approval from your local council and must adhere to specific government guidelines. A reputable contractor should be able to guide you through this process.

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