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.