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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.

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Sami Ljatifi

Underpinning / Piling / Foundations

We are a team of 3 experienced tradesman 20 years of building experience we provide a professional services and our aim to the work to standards required for the job and satisfy the clients fully We are specialised in driveways , gardens , refurbishment, painting and decorating,chimney removals,we do house extensions and all the building work

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by paresh on 18/12/2019

sami did a fantastic job for us, very professional and friendly, I was so impressed with the work he did I asked him to do some other work , laminate flooring and redecorating our living room, I would Highly recommend Sami and his team

I am a bricklayer with 20 years of experience including - Bespoke rural construction, Period property repair and rebuild, New property and housing developments, Commercial building work, Residential building work. Projects such as - Fireplaces, Foundations, Garden Walls, General Repair Work, Mono-blocking, Patios, Re-pointing, Rendering and Roughcasting, Steps, Superstructures, Wheelchair Access Ramps. I always maintain high standards of workmanship in all work undertaken, striving to meet clients’ expectations or even exceed them. I am reliable, trustworthy and will try to complete a project in the earliest, realistic timescale but without compromising quality. I hold a Gold CSCS card which can be viewed on request. References can also be provided by request,

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Scott on 18/1/2020

Came out to give advice on a wall we weren't sure was structural or not. Going to get back out to complete works when the structural engineer has looked at the job.

Dean Dainty

Underpinning / Piling / Foundations

Dwd is a family run business. Loyalty and honesty through hard working local people, we are a business of five we take pride in each job big or small. Recommendations are key and we have very happy customers. references are available upon request.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Geoffrey on 3/12/2019

Excellent response to enquiry, came same day. Phoned price same evening which was acceptable Gave date for work then changed and came day early.. Work excellent very clean and tidy . Highly recommend Dean and would be very happy to use his services again

My name is Justin from J D Smith Stonemasons. We are a family run business with 3 generations of time served city and guilds accredited stonemasons capable of carrying out any aspect of stone masonry and a huge array of building services also.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Helen on 21/1/2019

5 star service from start to finish... couldn't have been more helpful

Premium Construction

Underpinning / Piling / Foundations

Premium Construction have been building for over 35 years and have extensive experience in all types of building. We pride ourselves on reliability, and a strong work ethic. A happy customer is our strongest marketing tool through the referral system

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Mike on 14/9/2019

Job done as required and on time. Reliable and dependable, although the amount of material required was under estimated at original quote, I was kept informed of additional costs as job progressed

Arteaga Carpentry

Underpinning / Piling / Foundations

Arteaga Carpentry prides itself in given there clients a clear and honest service for a fair price. We can tackle any size jobs. Extension, loft conversion, deck building to property management.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Ian on 16/4/2019

Sound fella, great comms and ameniable. Dedicated to doing a good job. Would recommend.

Lea Groundword

Underpinning / Piling / Foundations

My name is Daniel Lea I have 12 years experience as a groundworker, I work with my father who has over 40+ years. Check us out on Facebook @leagroundwork for regular updates. The work we carry out are (but not limited to) as follows: All aspects of paving (blocks, natural stone, driveways, patios, etc). Drainage installation. Concrete foundations and slabs. Brick and stone walls Kerb laying.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Roderick on 4/12/2019

Daniel was great and so professional. He discussed the job with me first, worked efficiently and quickly and produced exactly what I needed in terms of a flat stable base on which to erect a garden shed.

Tomas Banevicius

Underpinning / Piling / Foundations

Happy customer - happy builder. Doing mostly all the jobs from foundations up to the roof. prices negotiable. Kingston and arround.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Chris on 13/1/2020

Tom did a wonderful job on my fireplace. He provided lots of helpful upfront advice before the job began. He turned up on time and finished the job within the agreed timeline. He took care and paid attention to detail. Very happy with the end result, would recommend.

Wardman Construction

Underpinning / Piling / Foundations

We are a professional company based in Nottingham, we tailor to our clients needs, as well as their budget. With over 25 years in the industry, we pride ourselves on our quality, and repeat customers to deliver either small works, or full package works. All work is covered under Public Liability, contractor liability and Indemnities for full peace of mind.

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by katie on 16/1/2020

We had three bathrooms, a kitchen, utility and hallway all done by Matt. He was awesome his quality of work is fantastic and we are totally in love with our new floors. Matt gave us advice about how to have the tiles laid out and he really cared about the work he was doing. It felt as though nothing was too much trouble I would always recommend him and would 100% use him again !

we have been in the building industry for over 30 years,and have thousands of very happy customers we hope we can bring this expertise to you : )

Latest homeowner review

Reviewed by Caroline on 1/2/2019

responded promptly did a thorough job and explained throughout no problem recommending

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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.

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