Modular Stump Homes
Modular Stump homes
At TR Homes we build most of our home designs using a modular construction method. This means we build the homes on concrete slabs – or modules - in our purpose-built construction yard using prefabricated BlueScope steel frames and top-quality building materials. A recent TR client required their modular home to be installed on stumps due to the slope of their block located in Preston Beach, WA.
TR Homes has the capability to install any of our home designs onto stumps.
If you have a sloping block which falls left to right or front to back by more than a metre you may have been told that to do a traditional slab on ground build you are going to require extensive earthworks and retaining, or there will need to be steps in the home itself. Either way these options are probably going to be very expensive. There is another way: elevate the home to negate the slope of the block.
The first step in designing a stumped or elevated home is to have the block surveyed so that the gradient of the block can be determined. This will then influence how high the stumps will be.
Once the home design has been resolved, an Engineer is engaged to design the concrete footings and the type, size, and number of stumps required to support the home.
Whilst the home for Preston Beach (The Killara design) was being built in our construction yard, the Earth Worker cut the top level of grass and soil from the block. The footings were excavated and concrete poured in preparation for steel stumps to be installed.
When the Killara design was completed in our construction yard, it was transported - in modules - on the back of two trucks to the Preston Beach block. Once on site, the modules were craned into place and the ground team worked to connect the modules and install the home onto the steel stumps
So, how do you know if you might need stumps?
There are many reasons for looking at stumping or elevating your home. The most likely reasons are;
- There is a slope on the block left to right or front to back of more than a meter;
- Soil conditions are highly reactive which make slab on ground builds costly;
- The block is in a flood plain or there is a high-water table;
- There is a view or outlook that you would like to capture that you normal wouldn’t with a slab on ground build;
- To be able to utilize the space under the home for storage.
Could blocks be levelled instead of stumped?
Yes, they can but you would have to factor in other costs such as retaining, stone pitching, and capturing and directing any rainwater away from the home. These things are achievable however the cost can sometimes be prohibitive. Stumping offers an alternative solution, with possibly a lower price point.
What are the pros and cons to stumped homes?
Pros: Stumped homes can provide a more cost effective option when the block has a slope or the soil conditions are reactive. If the block is a flood plain, high ground water table or high moisture content. An elevated home will allow more air flow around and under the building. Running of additional power or water may be easier as you can access under the home. Introduces the possibility of additional storage under the home.
Cons: Some find the aesthetic of an elevated home unappealing. Potential for unwanted guests to take up residence under the home. Stairs maybe required to access the home and those with mobility issues may find it difficult although this does depend on the size and slope of the block though. Old stumped homes can sound hollow and drummy.
Can TR advise me if my block will need stumps or do I need to get a specialist in?
Yes, a TR Sales Consultant with support from our Construction team will be able to work with you to understand the parameters of your block and the best direction to take. We will be assisted by a licenced Surveyor and a certified Consulting Engineer to ensure that every consideration is addressed.
How is the block prepared for a stump home?
An Earth Worker will do a small cut removing the top layer of vegetation and soil. Then, as per the Engineer’s design, the footings will be excavated to the prescribed size. Reinforcing will be placed in the footing and then the concrete will be poured. After the concrete has cured the stumps will be secured to the footing and bracing (if required due to the height of the stumps) between the stumps will be fitted off.
What are the stumps made from? Are they stable?
The stumps are made from steel. They are galvanised so they will stand up to almost any environment. The size, location, bracing and number of stumps will be determined by a Structural Engineer which will be submitted as part of the Building Permit application.
What maintenance do the stumps require?
Structurally all most no maintenance is required. If the stumps are left exposed an inspection every 6 month is probably a good idea as part as a general home maintenance schedule. The odd clean out of spiders’ webs and checking for any other uninvited guests will be most of the up keep required
Will my home sound ‘hollow’ inside when I walk because it is off the ground?
No, there are many floor sheeting products available to reduce or eliminate that hollow sound. There is also the ability to insulate under the floor to provide extra warming and cooling properties to the home.
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