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  • Re-Piling / Foundation Engineer Recommendation

    Hi All,

    Does anyone have any recommendation for a re-piling/foundation engineer in Wellington/Lower Hutt.

    Basically after someone to check the foundations to see what needs to be done to fix it and how soon is it required due to us having uneven floors.

    I am after someone who is not part of a re-piling/foundation repair company due to scepticism of them saying it needs to be done now when it might not need to.

    Cheers
    James

  • #2
    There's quite a few around JimNic. Cuttriss is one and we're in Kapiti and used Base Consulting.

    cheers,

    Donna
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    • #3
      Actually there's no one in Wellington doing residential foundation repair work, strange as that seems. Is your place on a cliff or sloping site? If yes then there might be some truth in the 'experts' saying it needs to be done now rather than later.

      Comment


      • #4
        Really Meehole? A quick online search suggests there's a few piling and drilling businesses in the area and engineers too.

        cheers,

        Donna
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        • #5
          There is as ended up putting the job on builderscrack and got a few replies with there companies based in the Hutt and good reviews

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          • #6
            Not sure why we in Auckland are getting calls and emails from people in Wellington region then. At least a dozen in the past 6 weeks and all claim there is no one local. In fact I have googled myself and can't find anyone to recommend apart Britain's house movers. They only want to lift the property and repile.
            Builderscrack, good luck with that. Anyone that is any good does not need to go there. Ever noticed that you can't review Builderscrack???

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            • #7
              Hi James

              I have a 1900's Villa in Wellington I've spent a considerable amount of time examining my piles and speaking with friends who own similar houses. The house is mainly on Totara Piles (on the outer piles) if you stick a long screw driver into the soil you'll usually find it has rot beneath. It was my thinking the piles the are deep under the dry house would be fine. But a friend who dug his piles up through a bedroom floor discovered the soil holds moisture about 300mm down and rot was found.

              It also depends on the type of soil you are on. We are on clay , but there's sand on the flats like Miramar and Lyall Bay. I paid for a Scala test this showed a piling company would need to dig down to between 300mm - 900mm to find bedrock for the piles to sit on.

              I have only found two Wellington companies that specialize in repiling. John Wilson's son who has taken over the business - called the foundation company and Rob van Dreil of Grade A Building.

              I've decided not to use an Engineer or Surveyor for repiling the house. As far as I'm concerned its a like for like replacement. The house is on a flat hill. The main complication is half the house is sitting on the floor. So we either have to hand dig and tunnel or lift up the floor boards and carpet and go through the floor. The state of the piles from previous botched renovations is like a Jenga game gone wrong so it needs doing. Having said that the house has been through numerous earthquakes and its still in the same place.

              I too was surprised to see only two dedicated companies. I believe other building companies do do this but they don't advertise, excavation and drilling companies don't also have an online presence. There's a real shortage of builders with lots of work available in the Wellington area. I keep hearing eight months booked up. So if you are a Welly builder I'm sure they'd rather install a kitchen than hand dig mud for a living.

              Good luck and I'd like to hear of any more repiling companies other than the one's I've mentioned.

              thanks Fever

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi
                What is a "The house is on a flat hill"
                Most hills I have seen are not flat

                Richard

                Comment


                • #9
                  We are at the top of the hill ... which is flat

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We recently excavated out under a house to replace the piles and used three conveyor belts lined up to take out the soil from under the house. It can be done however I don't know of another company that has done this before, I'm sure we are a first (in regards to repiling).
                    Like for like is arguable, being as its the foundation which is an integral structure of the house if more than 25% of the piles are being replaced then it will require a consent. Those 2 companies you mentioned would more than likely only undertake the work if it a consent was applied for. You won't find many builders wanting to do the work, it is specialised work and alot of them sub this work out as they are not the experts and they don't want to do the 'heavy digging' so to speak.
                    Also just because the house has survived earthquakes doesn't mean its structurally sound. Houses on piles do fare better in earthquakes than houses on concrete slabs, that is a fact.
                    As a by we don't hand dig if we can avoid it, with the calibre of workers available we have invested in machinery, a real assortment, to do the work instead of humans.
                    Repiling a house is like going to the dentist and getting fillings when you'd much rather pay for veneers or whitening. Money spent on the foundation repairs would usually buy a top end kitchen, that's why so many places get reno'd without getting this work done. Sell the property with the flash kitchen to some unsuspecting buyer who in a competitive market didn't get a building inspection done before the auction.

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                    • #11
                      Some great points Meehole. Conveyor belts is a great idea. Do you think an engineer would always be needed or simply going with a specialist company is enough. I used the words like for like ... more for not needing drawn plans rather than avoiding consent. I assume you would always need consent. Your last sentence is so true.

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                      • #12
                        We only use an engineer when its technical repiling that involves things like putting steel cages into pile hole depths of greater than 1500. Even when we replace a concrete ring foundation with timber piles we have it drawn up by just a draughtsman as we apply for a consent. Most old houses these days require bracing and fixings to comply with the current building code so that justifies the requirement for a consent and a full repile.
                        When we first started repiling in Auckland in 2009 the banks were not keen to lend on houses that needed repiling. As time went on more people took risks buying at auction without inspections and the banks were happy to lend, however we are now seeing a return to how it was. We are also seeing homeowners starting to offload their properties with foundation issues, not bothering to repair as in Auckland they have increased their equity substantially and just want to sell up and move on.

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                        • #13
                          Last I heard John Wilson still works for his son's company. Probably not so much on the tools though.

                          We used him quite a few times, totally recommend. Very experienced and honest as the day is long.

                          Imagine his son is similar, but have not engaged him so far.

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                          • #14
                            survived earthquakes? then it is structurally sound? the piles likely isolated the shake, but you said floor out of level?

                            repile in stages and the 25% rule allows for this (but it is undetermined and could be 50% (as not deemed substantial?))

                            thought about lifting and developing basement? (This kills two birds...)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by John the builder View Post
                              survived earthquakes? then it is structurally sound? the piles likely isolated the shake, but you said floor out of level?

                              repile in stages and the 25% rule allows for this (but it is undetermined and could be 50% (as not deemed substantial?))
                              Would you bet your LBP status on those comments? As professionals who specialise in foundation repair work we would not recommend repiling in stages, leave that to the cowboys and scrooges.

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