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Excavate down into the ground to get additional head height for a Queenslander

Discussion in 'Renovation & Home Improvement' started by Kai41314, 22nd Sep, 2015.

  1. Kai41314

    Kai41314 Well-Known Member

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    I read an article from Cherie Barber about the options of raising a Queendlander to legal height.

    She mentioned an interesting option which is to excavate down into the ground to get additional head height. My property has a 2.2m height so it might be worthwhile to consider this option.

    Has anyone tried this approach? How much would it cost for about 100m2?
     
    Last edited: 22nd Sep, 2015
  2. montoya

    montoya Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't you have issues with flooding? Presumably queenslanders are in areas where the houses needed to be raised for such reasons.
    How does it compare with the cost to raise instead?
     
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  3. Truly Exotic

    Truly Exotic Well-Known Member

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    it would depend on whether it is flooded, or it could have been the "in" thing at the time to do highsets,

    but if it works, then id say go for it!!
     
  4. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    Not at all. It's just the style of house built around the time. Some are flood affected and some are not.
     
  5. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Our house was head height to the dirt, but we wanted to build under so had to raise or excavate. We chose to excavate enough to install a slab. That should have been cheaper than raising, however, we hit rock and needed a rock breaker, so in the end, it cost us about as much as if we had raised.

    We had to hold back soil (high at front, single level at the back) so this was a cost we had to have either way.
     
  6. Bran

    Bran Well-Known Member

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    Yep. My place is excavated under. It has kept the overall façade original, and the extension is entirely invisible and unexpected from the front.
     
  7. Kai41314

    Kai41314 Well-Known Member

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    How much did it cost eventually? Is it possible to find out if there are any rocks underground before the work started?

     
  8. Kai41314

    Kai41314 Well-Known Member

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    So are you happy with the outcome? How much did it cost and who was the builder?

     
  9. Bran

    Bran Well-Known Member

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    Excavation often preferred, and cheaper than lifting to my knowledge. About 60-70k but mostly DYI over time so hard to say exactly.
     
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  10. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    From memory we paid about $16K for the rock breaker, but that could be wrong because it was a long time ago. I do recall the builder coming upstairs to ask me whether we wanted to stop two thirds back instead of continuing to smash through the rock. We stood in my kitchen and as the rock breaker was doing its slow thunk, thunk, thunk, the builder was matching it with "one hundred, two hundred, three hundred". He was about right too :eek:

    We could have stopped then, at a 1.5 car garage (tandem) and have a cramped downstairs, or keep on going and follow the plans. We thought about it for a minute and said "keep on going".
     
  11. Sonamic

    Sonamic Well-Known Member

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    Not all Qlders flood. Not all of Brisbane/ Qld is a flood zone. Please don't assume, like many Southerners do, that because a house is on stilts or in Qld it automatically means flood danger. Granted some actually are, but a high percentage are not. They are raised for ventilation under the house to relieve some of the Qld heat and as a bonus can also be built on sloping ground. Hope that helps. :D
     
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  12. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    One advantage of going down is that your extension is semi earth-sheltered, and should stay at a more consistent temperature year round.

    Just don't get carried away and build an Iceberg House...

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Kael

    Kael Well-Known Member

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    But it looks so epic!
     
  14. SouthBoy

    SouthBoy Well-Known Member

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    Bran, the link below says you need to have interior floors raised above the exterior ground. Did you have a issue here? Also have you had any issues with dampness in the base of the walls?

    http://www.abis.com.au/blog/building-under-highset-homes.

    1) Has the floor been raised so that it is a minimum of 150mm above the exterior finished ground level? If this is not done the area is likely to flood during heavy rain.

    2) Has the floor and the base of the walls had a moisture barrier installed. If this is not done the area may be affected by conditions of dampness which promote the development of mould and timber pests such as fungal decay and termites.
     
  15. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Yes, grab a shovel

    I had a genius engineer from council come up with an idea to dig down for clearance... Genius didn't think that would just create a swimming pool underneath! Does depend on the site.

    And is Cherie dabbling outside the realm of "paint everything "

    Also with your height you'll need 200mm approx plus you'll need more to pour a slab under so there's another 200mm ish
     
  16. headsonbeds

    headsonbeds Well-Known Member

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    I've done a few and would always raise. You've still got to re stump either way and that means you'll need the house raisers anyway it only takes a couple of hours to raise a metre. Excavation is expensive and fill can be hard to get rid of. Also your ORG ,plumbing overflow, needs to be 100mm below floor level. As for flooding being the reason Queenslanders are on stumps - what are you guys smoking!!! Some of the most beautiful hill tops homes are on stumps.
     
  17. RPI

    RPI Property Lawyer, Town Planner Business Member

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    Agree on the raise. Not only raise some, raise to 9.5m above natural ground level. Then don't put in a slab, put in a suspended floor. Cheaper plumbing, electrics and if you happen to need new plumbing or electrics in the future then it is significantly cheaper. Also much cheaper if there are termite issues later on.
    Another bonus is in any heavy rain event water just runs under the house
     
  18. Kai41314

    Kai41314 Well-Known Member

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    What is cost of putting in a suspended floor?


     
  19. RPI

    RPI Property Lawyer, Town Planner Business Member

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    A lot less then a slab
     
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