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Find foundation, underpinning and piling experts

Foundations, underpinning and piling are complex, technical services that require the knowhow of specialist groundworkers and engineers. More than any other part of your home, it pays to invest in solid foundations, so find a professional you can trust today.

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Take a look at our Underpinning / Piling / Foundations specialists profiles, read reviews and request quotes directly.

J.C.Y. PLASTERING

Underpinning / Piling / Foundations

Hi my name is John. I have worked in the plastering/building industry for the last 20 years along with my son Craig who is now on board. I have a wide range of experience in all aspects of building work. The majority of my work is from recommendation.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Kevin on 18/9/2018

Prompt service good job

at j.s.j reputation is everything! thats why we deliver quality tradesmen to ensure top quality work, at affordable prices, with over 15 years experience, we cover all aspects of the trade ,property maintenance 2 new builds,no job too big or small

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Gavin on 17/9/2018

More than happy with the job good guy done a professional job at reasonable price will be using for any future joinery work ??

tombuild

Underpinning / Piling / Foundations

(127) Read reviews

I am Tombuild specialist in bathrooms refurbishment fitter over 12 years.I am fully insured, certificates fully qualified Tradesmen in bathrooms fitting

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Ray on 17/9/2018

very pleased with results, communication very good, turned up at agreed time each day I would recommend this tradesman,

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Guy on 16/9/2018

Avoid at all costs. They did an amateur job. When is asked them to come back and fix it, they agreed, Then text 15 min before agreed time, said they won’t make it, Asked if they could come the next day. Next day came, not only did they not show up , but they never responded to my txt. Absolute disgrace . Do you self a favor and pass on those fellas

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Chris on 16/9/2018

Karl was excellent, the plastering looking amazing in the room. Just got stuck in with the job and completed in the day. We’ve already enquiries about other jobs around the house! We would definitely recommend.

Colm Roddy

Underpinning / Piling / Foundations

35 years experience in building and maintenance, fully insured, qualified engineer and project manager. All maintenance and repairs to property and gardens. Extensions, new builds and surveys. All trades provided. Collections, deliveries and removals. Personal assistant services, errands, small jobs.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Eamon on 16/9/2018

Colm was pleasant and easy to deal with. He did a good job and kept to the price quoted

Here at Driftwood we aim to create high end work, within budget and on time. Whether you need a nice new front door, your bedroom painted or your dream kitchen fitted; no job is too big or small. We have the skill and knowledge to fulfil your needs and requirements. Here is a list of some of the services we provide... Loft and Garage Conversions Kitchens Bathrooms Doors Timber floors Property Maintenance Plastering G.R.P Flat roofs Fascia and Soffits Decorating Fencing and Decking

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Jan on 16/9/2018

Scott was polite, and a clean and aware craftsman.I swathed the room in decorators cloths and polythene as I know plastering is a messy job, this enabled him to start as soon as he got here. The job of making level, removing engineering bricks at the base of the fire recess, inserting a chimney balloon, stripping and re-plastering chimney breast, were all done successfully.The finish was EXCELLENT, Scott took a pride in his work, and I have requested quotes for other jobs. Jan Simms

jhtbuilders

Underpinning / Piling / Foundations

Hello we are a family run firm that's been in the building trade for 14 years. Were well known for charging reasonable prices on all building work. Aspects of the building trade we cover are brickwork,blockpaving,roofing,fascia/guttering,plastering ect.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Richard on 15/9/2018

Really nice guy didn't worry about talking to my Landlord who can be a a** at times especaly when it comes to him having to spend money.

MNP Builders

Underpinning / Piling / Foundations

Simple bulding solutions completed on time on budget by professional .. Patios , painting and decorating , carpentry , plaster skimming and many many more . Over 8 experience last project we done been in local news paper for best results.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Cheryl on 15/9/2018

Very nice guy.arrived on time,set to work and didn't stop until finished replacing,sealing and treating floor boards.good job done.was very pleased.have booked Mike to do more work.Will be recommending him to family,friends and neighbours....

Jason Bailyes

Underpinning / Piling / Foundations

Hi, I'm a degree educated quantity surveyor with 15 years experience of project managing property conversions and extensions for clients. I've also got extensive commercial experience and only use skilled competent tradesmen to undertake my works. I always provide detailed quotes and contracts between myself and the customer and will maintain a professional approach throughout the works. I can arrange and provide all planning and building regulations advice on proposed building conversions and extensions and carry out all the necessary approvals, plans and paperwork on behalf of the customer.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Stuart on 15/9/2018

Quality of workmanship was good from the trades onsite. Communication of instructions was lacking requiring us to direct trades onsite. We have also been left with contracted work being left incomplete to external areas. Very disappointed in how the job has been left.

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Underpinning / Piling / Foundations specialists - what you need to know

When it comes to foundations and underpinning, the name tells you everything you need to know about their importance to your home. This specialist groundwork quite literally provides the base your home is built on. And that’s why it’s absolutely vital the professionals you use are experienced experts who know what they’re doing.

The complexity of foundations (and underpinning or piling, if required) depends on the structure you’re building, and the state of the ground your home or plot sits on. Basic foundations involve filling trenches (dug precisely according to plans) with a layer of solid concrete and then building blockwork up to ground level. Alternatively, an entire trench can be filled with concrete to just below ground level before adding damp proof coursing.

Piling is becoming an increasing popular alternative to standard footings or foundations. It involves driving piles into the ground, which are made from steel, concrete or even wood. A ground beam then sits atop the foundation, which your structure can be built on.

Underpinning is required when existing foundations have become defective, and to counter issues like subsidence. The appropriate method will be recommended by an experienced groundwork specialist and potentially a structural engineer too. The standard approach to underpinning involves excavating specific sections below the footing and reinforcing them with concrete. Piling techniques provide an alternative to traditional underpinning and can be used in situations where there’s restricted access. Not only is piling faster than standard underpinning, but it has a higher load capability and less disruption. Those benefits come at a cost though, and you’ll find piling is significantly pricier than standard concrete underpinning.

Cost of foundations, underpinning and piling

It pays to invest in foundations, but quite how much you’ll need to invest depends on the type of foundations you require. Basic foundation laying involves the following steps (excluding site clearance and the setting out of footings):

  • Excavation: £7-£10 per sqm
  • Laying foundations (concrete and blockwork): £40-£60 per sqm

Piling costs are typically significantly higher than standard foundations – anywhere from 2-3 times more expensive than the concrete and blockwork method.

Similarly, underpinning costs vary according to the issue that needs to be resolved, and the method selected. For mass concrete underpinning you can expect to pay between £1,000-£2,000 per linear metre.

How to build a foundation

Basic foundations follow a fairly simple process. After you’ve consulted a structural engineer and have all the necessary plans approved, the first step is to dig out trenches. Your groundwork professional may recommend a ground survey before any digging begins. This process involves creating trial holes to ensure the foundation method you plan to use is appropriate. With (or without) that survey complete, footings can then be dug to the agreed level.

The next phase involves laying concrete into the base of the trench to at least 250mm in depth. Blockwork is then built up to floor level. This method is called a strip foundation. Alternatively, a technique known as “trenchfill” involves (unsurprisingly) filling the trench with concrete to just below ground level. Both methods are completed with the application of a damp-proof course onto which the ground floor can be installed.

How does piling work

There are three main piling techniques: screw piling, pile and beam, and piled raft.

Screw piling is the simplest piling technique to execute. A small crew of ground-workers can install screw piles and brackets by hand or with the assistance of a small excavator. This method is well-suited to walls and larger structures, when used with supporting brackets. Screw piling offers a number of benefits, including ease of installation, lower costs and reduced environmental impact.

The pile and beam method involves installing mini-piles either side of a wall. Brickwork can then be removed below the affected wall, and a reinforced concrete needle beam inserted to connect the piles. The pile and beam technique is well-suited to homes on smaller plots, or with restricted access. It’s also faster and less messy than traditional mass concrete underpinning and is capable of bearing high loads.

Finally, there’s the piled raft approach. Piled raft foundations are required when an entire building needs to be underpinned, when foundations can’t be accessed or where soil conditions aren’t suitable for any other method. Piles are placed into the ground and needle beams are installed to help bear the load. A ring beam links the needles together and the structure is then filled with concrete.

When does a house need underpinning?

Cracked walls, ceilings or flooring are the tell-tale signs that you may need to have all or part of your home underpinned. Diagonal cracks, or those that reach a quarter of an inch or larger, are classic symptoms of faulty foundations, or problematic ground conditions. More severe warning signs are walls beginning to buckle. Underpinning, either using the mass concrete method or any of the piling techniques outlined above, can help to remedy these problems.

While underpinning is usually associated with foundation problems, it can also be required if you’re planning to add another floor to a building, or if it needs to stand up to increased load-bearing requirements.

The qualifications your foundation, piling or underpinning professional needs

Foundations and piling or underpinning will almost always require the expertise of a structural engineer. They will be able to advise on load bearing considerations, as well as the most appropriate technique to use (taking ground and soil conditions into account). Choose an experienced professional who holds chartered status from the Institution of Structural Engineers.

The groundworkers carrying out your excavation work should also be experienced, though they won’t need formal accreditation. A diploma, City and Guilds qualification or evidence of completing an apprenticeship is always helpful, but ultimately you should look for a proven track record of delivering groundwork services to a high standard and complete customer satisfaction.

Planning permission for foundation, piling or underpinning work

How and where you lay foundations will be determined by the planning permission you’ve been granted. This will be decided by your local planning authority, and unless an unforeseen issue crops up you’ll need to stick closely to what you’ve been given permission for.

When it comes to underpinning, you won’t require planning permission to remedy a fault with your foundations. The only exception here is a listed building, which may have certain limitations.

Insurance for foundation, piling or underpinning work

It’s crucial that your professional holds public liability insurance, to cover your property against damage. Such is the importance of this work, most structural engineers will also hold professional indemnity insurance, protecting them in case anything goes wrong with the services they’ve provided.

Questions you should ask your foundation, piling or underpinning professional

  • For standard foundations, which method would they use (and why)?
  • Will they be using a strip or trenchfill foundation?
  • For underpinning, which technique would they advise on (and why)?
  • For piling, what is the most cost-effective option available?
  • Can they provide a warranty (or do they have professional indemnity insurance) to cover their work?

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How our service works

  1. Create a job - it's free

    We'll connect you with the right tradesmen, from over 30 different trades.

  2. Get quotes

    Up to 3 tradesmen can provide a quote, but on average you'll get 1-2.

  3. Check ratings

    Look at each tradesperson's profile to see their ratings and reviews.

  4. Pick a tradesperson

    Use our homeowner checklist for extra tips on choosing a tradesperson.

  5. Job done

    Leave a rating for your tradesperson based on quality, reliablity and value.