Do I Need Building Regulations Approval For Underpinning?

Underpinning strengthens the foundations of an existing structure below ground level. It can be used to treat subsidence or the movement of foundations due to poor soil or changes in soil condition. Subsidence happens when the subsoil drifts away from the foundations, which creates an opening where the building may subside into. The common causes of subsidence are faulty drains and tree roots. It can also appear in properties that have been built on an uneven surface, such as a hill or slanted area.

Underpinning is also necessary if you are building another storey either above or below ground level.It is important to support the existing foundations as well as the load of the renovated building.

Is Building Regulations Approval Needed For Underpinning?

It is vital to know the specific permission you need when doing underpinning works. The regulations define what measures must be taken into consideration. It is of paramount importance to get Building Regulations Approval when underpinning as this procedure poses significant risks of damage to any existing properties.

Application for Building Regulations Approval

For you to get building regulations approval, you need to contact a Building Control Body. Here are the two different types of BCB:

• Local Authority BCB – Application through your council.
• Private BCB – Application will be through a private approved inspector, who will inform your local authority about the work.

The three types of application that you can apply for are the following:

1. Full Plans – The most thorough option that you will need if you will be doing underpinning works. Decisions will be released within 5 weeks or 2 months.
2. Building Notice – This is necessary for smaller projects. You can start work 2 days after you notify BCB. Unlike with full plans, you will not get formal approval with building notice.
3. Regularisation – You need to apply for this if you have retrospective work that has been carried out without
consent (applicable to work carried out beyond November 11, 1985). This can only be applied for by a local authority BCB.

If you need to underpin the foundations of your building, you may require the services of professional piling contractors. BSB Concrete Services are a reputable company in the UK, specialising in piling, underpinning, ground works, building and foundations. If you are building a family home or working on a commercial project, please contact us to request an initial site visit and a free quote.

how to prevent structural foundation problems - bsb concrete services

How To Prevent Structural Foundation Problems

Foundations are the single most essential component of any structure. Any damage can potentially lead to tilting or even sinking. This can make it too dangerous for the building to be occupied. Sadly, even hiring reliable piling contractors during construction cannot guarantee that this will not happen.

To prevent costly foundation woes, it is important to perform regular maintenance on your new build home, domestic extension or commercial structure. Solutions such as underpinning can help significantly, along with the following tips:

Extend Downspouts and Install Drains

If your downspouts discharge water along your structure, they can cause the soil beneath to degrade, leading damage to the foundations. To avoid this, extend your downspouts at least 10 feet away from the foundations and from other vulnerable areas surrounding them. Having underground drains or French drains can also help carry off the pooling water.

Gently Sloped Landscaping

We all know that water runs downhill, which is why structures are usually located at the highest point of a site. However, digging for utilities or landscaping can create a negative grading, which can direct storm water towards your building’s foundations. Since you do not want the rainwater to collect under your property, make sure that your landscaping shapes the earth in your yard in such a way that the water is diverted away from the walls of the structure.

Keep Tree Roots Away From the Structure

Although water poses the most risk to foundations, some experience structural damage due to large tree roots. If you have planted trees or shrubs near your property, their roots can expand and may push into the entire area, including the foundations. To prevent this from happening, plant deep-rooted trees and shrubs away from the structure.

Repair Cracks Immediately

If you see any significant damage to your foundations, the best solution is to call a construction specialist that can assess the problem and make the necessary repairs. Your local building expert will take care of the problem and will advise you on how you can keep your foundations in a good condition.

BSB Concrete Services is a reputable company that provides a high standard of service to clients ranging from private homeowners, through to major building contractors. We specialise in piling, underpinning, groundworks, as well as building and foundations. If you are building a family home, a commercial project or an apartment block, please contact us to request an initial site visit and a free quote.

the benefits of underpinning - bsb concrete services

The Benefits of Underpinning

For anyone outside the industry, we can inform that underpinning is the process of strengthening the foundation of a building or structure. Project managers and developers may need to become familiar with the idea and how it could benefit their new builds. However, property owners with existing buildings might need to make themselves aware of this concept too. With that in mind, there are benefits mentioned in this post that you won’t want to overlook. So, take a moment to read through the information and use it to ensure you make the right decisions with all new projects.

Preserving the structural integrity of any building

Underpinning is often the best strategy to use when a building becomes unstable due to shifting ground.Responsible underpinning contractors will come and assess the damage before explaining the work and offering a quote for their services. So, the process is suitable for old houses and commercial structures that have become exposed to moving ground at some point. Concrete underpinning can help to secure the building for the future and ensure the instability does not become a severe issue. So, this technique is perfect for any jobs where the structural stability of a house runs the risk of presenting safety concerns.

Improved ceiling height and lighting

Failing foundations will often cause problems in the basement of a home or office where they can result in a reduction in the amount of vertical space. When you apply for house underpinning, the contractors will strengthen the floors of the building to ensure that doesn’t happen. Indeed, underpinning will provide headroom in the basement and ensure the floors do not become lopsided or slanted over time. So, people who choose underpinning will have no issue when it comes to converting their basement into a spare bedroom or office.

Creating a high demand for the property

Only a handful of home or business premises come with underpinned basements these days. Obtaining concrete underpinning will make any building more desirable to future buyers. While you may remain in the building for the rest of your life or for the duration of your business operation, those who decide to sell will achieve better offers than counterparts who do not have underpinned structures.

Now you know the benefits of underpinning; you need to get in touch with a reputable contractor like BSB to discuss your requirements. Underpinning is the best way to ensure structural integrity and stability for many years to come, and the process doesn’t always cause as much disturbance as some people may think. Contact us today to learn more about our underpinning services and how they could assist you.

piling and mini piling : a guide - bsb concrete services uk

Piling and Mini Piling: A Guide

For hundreds of years, construction experts have driven deep foundations into the earth in an attempt to secure the structural integrity of their buildings using a method we call piling or mini piling. Piling is essential for the stability of most structures, and it works well with homes, commercial buildings, bridges, and almost every other construction project. Most people do not have an in-depth understanding of piling, and that is why the information on this page is critical. This post will explain everything you need to know about piling and mini piling today.

What is Piling?

Piling is a technique experts use to secure a building when the soil and ground underneath do not perform as expected. Piles are a cost-effective approach to dealing with subsidence issues, and they extend the working life of any structure. Piling is the process of driving piles into the ground to combat erosion and limit the chances a building will suffer any ill effects. The last thing any property owner wants is to discover their house or building is leaning to one side. It will become dangerous, and the structure will never sell.

What are the best materials for piles?

Materials piling contractors use will differ based on the application. However, the piles are usually made from wood, metal, concrete, or steel. Specialists drive the piles into the ground using hammering techniques, and that helps to strengthen any structure. Within the practice of piling, there are two variations. Replacement piles are put into holes created naturally in the earth to plug the gaps. Displacement piles are driven into the ground which displaces any soil , hence the name.

How do you use the piles?

Foundations that use piles bear heavy loads, and so it’s essential they stand even distances apart to ensure they spread the weight over the most significant area possible. That is why piling and mini piling contractors have to take extra care when creating their plans. In most situations, piles assist the foundation of a structure by:

Repairing the foundation

When it comes to foundation repair, piling companies will use hydraulics to drive piles into the ground thus securing and raising the building structure.

Reinforcing the structure

In cases where there is damage to the foundation, underpinning contractors who specialise in piling and mini piling will study the soil and then install piles that defend against potential future problems.

Piling and mini piling are both complex procedures for which you need to employ expert assistance. If you notice subsidence issues or anything that indicates a breach in structural integrity, get in touch with our team at BSB today to discuss your problem and learn more about the help we can offer. No job is too big, and no job is too small. With a wealth of experience in this industry and an excellent track record of success, new clients can rest assured they’re dealing with the best in the business. Don’t let structural issues damage your building and cause thousands of pounds worth of repairs. Call us instead!

importance of strong foundations in building construction - bsb concrete services

Importance of Strong Foundations in Building Construction

In the construction industry, there is one aim for every project and it’s a simple one: to construct a building that is strong and secure. When it comes to building construction, the strength of any building lies in its foundations, which is why it’s so crucial that you get the foundations right and understand why they are such a crucial element.

The main purpose of a building’s foundation is to hold the structure above it and ensure that the building remains upright. When a foundation is poorly constructed, it can post a serious risk to the inhabitants and the neighbourhood as a whole. The larger the building, the more powerful the foundation must be. Therefore it is essential that the foundations are always taken seriously when it comes to building construction.

Why does a building’s foundation play such a crucial role?

A buildings foundation has three crucial roles, these include supporting the load of the entire building, keeping the structure standing even when the elements wreak havoc and preventing the grounds moisture from seeping into the building. According to experts in construction the foundation of a property, any property, must be able to withstand the dead load and the live load combined.

The dead load is the weight of the structure itself, its called the dead load as it remains constant. While the live load is the weight of the people and objects in the house. The foundation of a property needs to be strong and firm and able to channel the entire weight of the building to the ground. If the building is being built on a sloping area or on moist ground the foundation must be customized to ensure that it remains as durable as necessary.

What can cause the need for foundation repair?

There are many instances where a buildings foundations may be compromised and require some structural support from ground beam contractors. These include when:

  • The original foundation is no longer as strong or stable as it should be.
  • The structures usage has changed, such as a domestic property being converted into a commercial one with higher footfall.
  • The properties of the soil underneath the property has changed.
  • To increase the amount of weight that the building can support safely.
  • A natural disaster has rendered the foundation unsafe, such as a flood, earthquake or storm.

What happens if a building’s structure isn’t sound?

Occasionally, over time a buildings foundation can become damaged, which can make the building unsafe for use. For example the ground beam can become damaged rendering the foundations unsafe. However, there are plenty of steps that can be taken to fix a damaged foundation, such as building underpinning. This is a process of strengthening an existing structure by pinning its foundation in one position or another. While traditional underpinning is one of the most popular methods, it’s not the only one available.

There are beam and base underpinning, mini-piled underpinning, underpinning by expanding resin injection, there are various options to choose from. When it comes to strengthening the foundations of a building, there are also many options to choose from, it’s just a case of determining which is the best option for each individual building project.

Remember that if a building’s structure lacks stability, you may need to contact specialist contractors to deal with the issue. For instance, for mini piling structural support, you may need to contact mini piling contractors or for underpinning, you may need to contact underpining contractors.

when is underpinning necessary for your property? bsb concrete services

When Is Underpinning Necessary For Your Property?

It’s sometimes necessary to carry out underpinning on a property. This method of maintaining a buildings structural integrity is used to repair properties suffering from subsidence. Subsidence occurs when the support for the property is removed due to the soil in the foundations moving away from the building. Underpinning gives back the building’s support to repair its structure.

Understanding when a property might require underpinning is important because you need to spot subsidence as soon as possible. Use this guide to learn how to spot the signs and understand how underpinning can help to improve the condition of your property.

Spotting the Signs of Subsidence

To determine whether your property requires underpinning you need to know how to recognise the signs of subsidence. There are a few indications you can look out for because subsidence causes your property to move. This can lead to noticeable signs, such as cracks in walls. Here are some of the top indications of subsidence.

Cracked Walls

Cracks in the walls of both the interior and exterior of your home can indicate that the foundation of your property is moving. Cracks around windows and doors can be particularly bad. Cracks caused by subsidence aren’t merely thin hairlines. They are more than 3mm thick, diagonal and broader at the top than at the bottom. You should also be able to see the cracks indoors and outdoors.

Subtle Signs

Some signs of subsidence are a little more subtle than big cracks in your walls. For example a wrinkled paper appearance at wall and ceiling joints could be an indication that your property needs to be underpinned. Doors and windows might also start to stick due to their frames warping.


Although it only happens in the worst cases you might also notice that your property is leaning to one side. This can look alarming but professional underpinning contractors will be able to repair the damage for you and get your property upright again.

Confirmation from a Building Survey

If you suspect that your property could be experiencing subsidence, a survey will be necessary to confirm it. If the survey is positive for subsidence a number of methods can be used to repair it. Mini piling contractors and piling contractors carry out similar methods and there is also the ground beam technique. Ground beam contractor services involve a wide range of different techniques.

Causes of Subsidence

Some properties may be particularly at risk of subsidence and in need of building underpinning. Older properties are more likely to experience subsidence compared to new ones. Other risk factors include being in an area with clay soil or an area that is prone to drought. Local mining activity also presents a risk, as do leaks in water mains or drains. If your property has any of these risk factors it’s even more important that you watch out for signs of subsidence.

If you suspect that your property needs underpinning, get in touch with us at BSB Construction Ltd. Call us on 0207 1014487 or email