Procedure when dealing with suspected subsidence or heave.
What happens first?

We undertake a preliminary structural engineering survey of the building and/or site and quickly produce a detailed report which gives conclusions and recommendations about the actions needed to tackle the problem. Copies of the report are provided for you and others as required.

What is in this report?

All unusual features are noted including unusual cracks in the structure as well as in the ground and any unusual floor slopes. Drain and tree locations are noted. A history of the events leading up to the time when the problem became apparent is also usually included.

What could be recommended and who sorts it out?

The Recommendations section of the report may call for any of the following:

  • drain testing
  • soil sampling and testing
  • crack monitoring
  • tree identification

We can organise it all, with your agreement.

Who pays for this?

The cost of our preparing the preliminary report and any immediate follow-up tests is funded by the client, initially. Where an insurance claim is to be made then these preliminary costs can count towards the insurance excess.

Once the claim is accepted and we have paid the excess, who pays?

Assuming your insurance claim is accepted, you sign a mandate directing your insurers to pay any moneys into our clients’ account, from which we then pay your builders, etc as required.

Who sorts out the underpinning?

We:

  • design any underpinning, etc which is required
  • draw up a specification and other construction documents required for any works to commence
  • deal with any necessary Building Control applications
  • organise a tendering process
  • advise on the best tender
  • oversee the work
And what about the cracking?

Likewise, we organise repair and redecoration to the prevailing standard, often as part of the underpinning contract.

What else do we need to do?

If the underpinning procedure is extensive your house may become uninhabitable whilst it is being undertaken. You may therefore need to arrange alternative accommodation and to have your furniture either stored or moved to your new accommodation for the duration of the procedure. Your insurance company will reimburse the cost of temporary relocation to a dwelling of comparable standard. We would advise you of such a need, well in advance.

How would you summarise this?

In short, apart from answering non-technical questions and re-housing, we organise everything.

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