Unsung Hero of Our Buildings: Underpinning

Oh, underpinning at home depot. Doesn’t that sound like something done by a super hero? It’s like, “Never worry, Underpinning Man will save your sinking home!” In reality, the story is less about capes than concrete. Keep reading, even if it doesn’t seem exciting at first. It is the unsung heroine of construction.


You’ve built a house. The building has been proudly standing for many years. You’ve probably noticed that it looks a little… worn out. There may be cracks on the wall or a door that will not close. Your building is like a bar stool that has been leaned on too much. Underpinning is the solution.

Imagine buying your tired building those high-tech, fancy running shoes used by marathoners. Underpinning is a way to give your building a fresh lease of life. It strengthens its foundation.

Why would an entire building decide to suddenly become wobbly? Sometimes the earth below decides to have a bash and doesn’t invite the building above. The earth moves, soil shrinks or is washed out during droughts. This leaves our buildings unsupported.

Enter stage left: underpinning methods! Mass concrete made the old-fashioned way is simple, but very effective. The foundation is divided into sections and filled with concrete gradually. The process is not difficult, but it does require patience and precision.

This cool technique called mini-piled underneath is for those times when it gets really difficult – such as trying to thread the needle on a rollercoaster. The technique involves drilling deep (up to 15 metres) into the earth. To find solid ground that will support the building above.

Why should we be concerned? Imagine if you arrived home one day and found that your house was lying down… in the wrong direction. It’s not ideal, is it? Our homes and offices are kept upright by underpinning.

We can also use old structures for different purposes, without them falling apart like cookies in milk. You want to transform that old, creepy basement into an elegant wine cellar or a man-cave underground? The Underpinning team says “no problem!

Let’s also not forget history! What about those ancient structures you like to take pictures of on Instagram? Some buildings are still standing because of some subtle alterations below the ground.

Next time you are admiring a skyscraper or an ancient castle, don’t forget that there is more than dirt and worms going on beneath the surface. Engineers and soil mechanics are performing a complex ballet to maintain the structure of buildings.

Without getting too poetic, underpinning ensures that our foundations are as solid as a rock as we evolve aboveground.

Remember: strong foundations are the key to success, whether it’s for buildings or relationships. But that is another story. Don’t forget: strong foundations are the key to success, whether they be in buildings or relationships… But that’s for another time! Enjoy the journey, it’s going be a great adventure in this digital world.