Melbourne Historic Homes: Underpinning their Quirky Charm

Oh, Melbourne! The city of Melbourne, where an umbrella can see the sun and rain equally. And where every building has the same character. There is a big challenge for many homeowners under those beautiful facades. They have to make sure their homes are strong. The world of underpinning is not something you would normally talk about at dinner parties, but I promise it will be more interesting that you thought.

Let’s begin by discussing dirt in a literal sense. Melbourne’s earth is the same as that friend of ours who cannot decide what to have for dinner. In one moment, there’s plenty of sand on the beach. Next, the soil is clay in the suburbs. And then you find yourself dealing with rock at the outer edges. Because of this, there are no two jobs that require underpinning exactly the same. You need a different amount of vinegar or salt depending on the recipe.

Here are the different methods. There is no one right way (or house) to do it. When you use the old method, it’s similar to patching your jeans using new patches. Under the foundation, you dig up bits and then fill them with concrete. Although it’s not glamorous, the work gets done.

Another option is resin injection, which sounds like something from a sci fi movie. Imagine this: A doctor gives your home’s base a shot to bulk it up as if it had been at the gym. The soil is made stronger, more stable and less prone to settling without requiring major surgery.

Our other trick is to use beams and bases. Imagine giving your home stilts as extra support. But they would be more refined and less obvious. You can use these methods to make sure that your home does not decide to nap on a particular day.

Why is there so much fuss in Melbourne about dominoes? Aside from wanting to avoid our homes playing dominos there is also a sense of pride. The history of many houses here is more than you can find in some books, particularly the Victorian beauty that makes you feel as though you have stepped back into time. Keep them upright, and you’re not only being practical. You’re also preserving the history of this area for future generations.

Melbourne is known for its weather variations, not to mention mood swings. A constant dance of sun and rain may cause foundations move more rapidly than Brunswick Street’s cafe trends. A few preemptive checks and regular checkups can help you avoid finding that your house has turned into its own Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Find someone knowledgeable about underpinning because, let’s be honest, we wouldn’t have a clue where to begin if Google or a well-informed friend didn’t help. This group of professionals not only has heavy machinery, they also have knowledge on local soil conditions as well as regulations.

Melbourne underpinning, without being sentimental (or too cliche), is more about preserving our past while preparing us for Mother Nature’s unpredictable weather. This could be another hailstorm Christmas Day or even a bright sunny day.

The next time you hear about Melbourne’s underpinning, try not to change the topic. Although it’s not a blockbuster, we find that discussing taxes and insurance is just as important.