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Old 15 May 2004, 12:16   #1
Alan
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Question Estimate for underpinning a house

I am hoping to buy a house at auction in the next 14 days, and hope to have an structural engineer carry our a survey.

As time is short and I need to arrange a mortgage I was wondering what it costs to underpin a house.

I am assuming it has a subsidence problem as it has a Willow tree within 2 metres of the property that has broken , not the house itself but the boundary wall about 4 metres away. It also caused damage to the drains a few years ago. There is a crack in the front wall and another on the rear wall in exactly the same place. They have been filled, I would say about 3 or four years ago, and it does not look like there is any other movement. The house was probably constructed in the 1960's.

What I need to know is roughly what does it cost to underpin a house, this is a 3 bedroom semi, so that I can work on the maximum i can afford to spend. I have heard figures can be nightmarish, but if the house is priced accordingly then it should not be too bad.

Finally, would i have a problem getting building insurance to include subsidence, or can I take over the policy that is presently in place by the current owner - our local authority. And what about future insurance - would I be blacklisted?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Alan

Last edited by Alan; 15 May 2004 at 12:22.
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Old 15 May 2004, 12:23   #2
ProperCharlie
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underpinning is a lot less popular than it once was. it creates "hard spots" within the tsructure of the house, meaning that any future changes in soil conditions cause greater problems. unless the place is virtualy falling down, you may get away with cutting down the tree and making good the damage.
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Old 15 May 2004, 12:24   #3
Chrisgr31
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You need to get the surveyor done before you buy it! The surveyor will give you an idea of the cost of fixing it. I am not an expert but you might find the house will not need underpinning as long as the tree is removed. That would be relatively cheap and save problems in due course.

You will not be able to claim for any subsidence works as the knowledge that they were needed was known when you took out the policy, so the only way round this is to get the current owner to claim on thier policy, although I wouldn;t be suprised if the Council don't have insurance, but cover the costs themselves.

If the property does need subsidence works this is likely to always have a material effect on its value, therefore say the house without subsidence is worth 150,000, and with is worth 120,000, after the works it will still only be worth say 140,000.
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Old 15 May 2004, 12:31   #4
Alan
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Thanks for the quick responses.

I am hoping to have the surveyor in very soon, but also need to do my own homework, so that i am covered from all angles.

Just reading some of the similar threads on the internet, it would appear that cutting down the tree is not such a great option as over the years the roots will decay, leaving the property open to further problems.

Chris, with your estimates are you saying underpinning is going to costy in the region of 30 - 40K?
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Old 15 May 2004, 12:34   #5
ProperCharlie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan
Just reading some of the similar threads on the internet, it would appear that cutting down the tree is not such a great option as over the years the roots will decay, leaving the property open to further problems.
honestly - that is a load of BS. the only problem that can occur is ground heave. this is where the tree exists considerably before the huose is built. the house is therefore built on dehydrated (shrunk) soil. if you then cut down the tree, the soild re-hydrates (expands) and the house moves as a result. this is a fairly rare occurence, though.
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Old 15 May 2004, 13:05   #6
Alan
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Thanks.

I'm just trying to make some sense of everyones opinions on the net. This tree business is interesting, as I imagine a huge backlash from the neighbours 'if' we get the property and want it removed to protect the property. Would the tree have more rights than the house?
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Old 15 May 2004, 13:21   #7
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only if it is protected by a TPO (Tree Preservation Order). if this is the case, it will probably be quite difficult to get the tree removed. however, if the LPA insist that it is retained, you can sue them for any subsequent damage that occurs to your house as a result. Also, you can appeal to the Secretary of State. When i was working for an LPA, we lost about 80% of all appeals on TPOs, so it's a fairly safe bet, unless the grounds for appeal are very weak.

Last edited by ProperCharlie; 15 May 2004 at 15:19.
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Old 15 May 2004, 14:28   #8
mattstant
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ok time for my twopenorth.

1. Ignore ALL advice in this thread and listen too a decent surveyor or structural engineer.

"Would the tree have more rights than the house?" the only straight answer i can give to this thread is no
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Old 15 May 2004, 15:15   #9
ProperCharlie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattstant
ok time for my twopenorth.
"Would the tree have more rights than the house?" the only straight answer i can give to this thread is no
well that's another bit of advice to ignore, then

as it happens, whilst a structural engineer will of course be more qualified to advice on repairs etc to the house, many of them do not know that much about planning legislation in relation to trees. as i spent 4 years working solely in this area, i do know what i am talking about here.
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Old 15 May 2004, 15:31   #10
mattstant
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LOL fair point charlie
But in your 4 years experience (20 years as developer here and more than a few T.P.O issues to deal with in my time) have you ever heard of a local authroity ever denying the felling of a tree where it is incurring obvious damage to a private dwelling ????.
It would have to be a damned special tree with some kind of historical significance and /or rarety and willow trees i believe have no immeadiate protection like large oaks and beeches.

this was the only issue i could comment on with some certainty.
As to how big the tree is and the extent of the damage it has caused everything else is speculation
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Old 15 May 2004, 16:42   #11
ProperCharlie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattstant
But in your 4 years experience (20 years as developer here and more than a few T.P.O issues to deal with in my time) have you ever heard of a local authroity ever denying the felling of a tree where it is incurring obvious damage to a private dwelling ????
well yes. but there was always contenion as to whether the tree was the major cause of the damage or merely a "contributing factor". one time i recommended to my boss that we let the tree be removed. my boss disagreed and the application was denied. the applicant appealed to the Sec of State who allowed it.
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Old 15 May 2004, 18:16   #12
mattstant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProperCharlie
well yes. but there was always contenion as to whether the tree was the major cause of the damage or merely a "contributing factor". one time i recommended to my boss that we let the tree be removed. my boss disagreed and the application was denied. the applicant appealed to the Sec of State who allowed it.

LOL kind of proves my point doesnt it propercharlie
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Old 15 May 2004, 18:20   #13
ProperCharlie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattstant
LOL kind of proves my point doesnt it propercharlie
probably, yes - but OTOH i was involved with another application to remove a tree that was damaging a garden wall and wrought iron railings. the application to fell was denied, the applicant appealed to the SoS who decided that the tree should be retained and the wall rebuilt (at the applicant's expense).

so you don't win 'em all.

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Old 15 May 2004, 18:22   #14
mattstant
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ah but that was a garden wall not a house foundation big difference
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Old 15 May 2004, 18:48   #15
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Exclamation

Next door to my mum (semi`s) had theirs underpinned about 15years ago........over the last year the `cracks` have started to reappear, the surveyor has said it is subsidence and we have had my mums house repaired.

BUT and a big BUT, next door have been trying to sell their house,(have reduced it by 30K) for the last year and I am sure if my mum has these cracks, ooops sorry, they were GAPS in the walls/ceilings, then they must have similar problems on their adjoining walls.(although they have done a cover-up job).
Due to having experienced this at my mums I would strongly advise you to walk away from this house as you may get stuck with it and may never be able to sell it!!!!
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Old 15 May 2004, 19:25   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan
Chris, with your estimates are you saying underpinning is going to costy in the region of 30 - 40K?
No because I don;t have a clue what its going to cost! Just that you need to bear in mind that after the work the house is unlikely to worth as much as one that has not had subsidence work done on it.
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Old 15 May 2004, 19:34   #17
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DIY underpinning?

ok....

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Old 15 May 2004, 19:49   #18
alanbell
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Last one I did 3 bed semi (York) 6000 , Plus 1000 root barrier >> trees next door !! cheers Alan. ps Im not a diy er ??????
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Old 15 May 2004, 21:44   #19
Chrisgr31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProperCharlie
DIY underpinning?

ok....

Well it would be possible as long as one had a specification from a structural engineer, and followed it exactly. However its likely to be a messy job!

Not only that but if you get it wrong you can't sue yourself!
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Old 15 May 2004, 22:21   #20
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yes.

but personally, i wouldn't fancy all the digging.
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Old 16 May 2004, 12:11   #21
orbv
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A very rough price guide is 1k per meter but there are loads of ways it can be done so price varies.

Our house is built on thick grey/purple clay with lots of big trees closeby but luckily for us the whole house moves as one so its not a problem (nothing that coving wont hide ). A few houses in roads adjacent have been underpinned so insurance in the area is a pain with 80% of companies not quoting.
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Old 29 June 2012, 23:55   #22
gamma11
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Default Cost of Underpinning

I have read on this thread that a house that has been underpinned is less valuable than a house that did not have any underpinning done provided all other conditions remain the same. I plan to do a loft conversion by installing around 1 tonne worth of steel and a bit concerned if I would also need to strengthen the brick walls of the house by placing concrete pillows under the brick walls. The house is a Victorian property and obviously does not have any concrete foundation at all. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you . Andrew
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Old 29 June 2012, 23:55
 
 
 
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bed, cost, diy, estimate, foundation, garage, house, houses, insurance, neighbours, price, uk, underpin, underpining, underpinned, underpinning, wall


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