Melbourne’s Historic Homes: A Quirky World of Underpinnings

Oh, Melbourne! It’s a place where you can use your umbrella to see as much sunshine as rain, where buildings are just as characterful as locals and the weather is always pleasant. Many homeowners struggle to keep their houses standing despite the charming facades of cobblestone streets. It’s not the usual dinner topic, but it is more interesting than one might expect. Extra resources!


Let’s first talk about dirt. Melbourne soil can be like the one friend that we have all had who is unable to decide which food they would prefer. It can be sandy at the coast, clayy in the suburbs or rocky on the edge. The fickleness of the earth means no two underpinning projects are exactly alike. Sometimes you just need a bit of salt; other times, a splash of vinegar.

The methods are next, because there is more than one method to fix your house (or tame the cat). Old-school methods are like using fabric patches to patch up old jeans. The foundation is excavated and concrete is used to fill in the gaps. This isn’t glamorous but does the job.

A resin injection is something out of an old sci-fi film. Imagine that a physician injects resin into your house’s foundation to give it a boost. The soil becomes stronger and more stable, without requiring any major surgery.

We also have a trick called beam and base. Imagine your house having stilts that are more advanced and not as noticeable. This is how you can prevent your home from taking a snooze one day.

Why the excitement in Melbourne? There’s a pride factor involved, as well as the desire to prevent our houses from playing dominos. There are many homes that have more stories than textbooks. Victorian houses, in particular, make it feel as if you’ve gone back to the past. Staying upright not only makes sense, but it also preserves the past of our country for future generations.

Melbourne has its moods swings. I’m talking about the weather. It’s not uncommon for foundations to move faster due to the constant sun-rain dance than fashions in Brunswick Street cafés. You can avoid waking up one morning to discover that your house is a version of Pisa’s Leaning Tower by performing regular inspections and taking preventative action.

Underpinnings are a tricky business. Most of us would not know where we should start without Google, or the assistance from a friend who is very knowledgeable. The pros are not just heavy-duty machinery. They also know about the soil, local regulations and how to work with each home’s quirks.

Melbourne’s underpinning is more than just keeping the house standing. We also want to respect our heritage and be prepared for Mother Nature’s next surprise, whether that’s a sudden hailstorm or a beautiful sunny Christmas Day.

Don’t forget to keep the conversation going when someone brings up underpinnings in Melbourne. The subject of underpinning in Melbourne might not seem exciting, but neither are taxes and discussing insurance policies. We still feel it is important enough to address.