Re-stumping is one of those aspects of renovating that’s a bit of an unknown to a lot of people, and as such can be a bit scary. I’d like to give you a few pointers.
When it comes to re-stumping I’d first like you to consider that an average home is likely to have around 90 to 100 stumps. This is something you might be able to just go and check for yourself. On average it costs around $70 to $80 per stump (material and labour) to get a house re-stumped so keep that in mind when getting quotes. You can pretty easily work out roughly what your job might cost by multiplying the number of stumps with a cost per stump. This figure will and should include the cost of getting a permit.
So what is the process?
Okay, first of all you’re likely to be getting quotes from a number of people. Please get a few quotes as there are some interesting characters out there who do re-stumping.
Your re-stumper needs to be licensed, have an ABN and now there’s new legislation in place requiring them to be a registered builder too. So don’t be afraid to ask to see their qualifications.
Once you’ve selected the re-stumping company to use, you should only be putting down 10 per cent as a deposit – no more, and make sure you get a receipt for your deposit.
That company will then need to submit an application to get a permit for your job. This will require you to provide some details as the owner to get submitted to the council. Ask the re-stumping company to first fill in their bit before you add yours. You want to be able to see what information they will be giving the council.
If it’s going through a private building surveyor rather than the council’s, the process is likely to be much quicker. A lot of re-stumping companies already have building surveyors that they regularly use.
Once the job has been approved, you’ll receive a copy of the permit in the mail.
The re-stumping company will jack up the house, remove existing stumps where required, dig holes where needed, re-level, re-stump, etc. Once they get to the point where the new stumps are in place in the empty holes, a building surveyor will come out and inspect the job and give their okay to get the concrete poured. Once that’s done, they’ll come back and do a final inspection.
Without the final inspection the job isn’t complete and you won’t receive a completion certificate from the council. You shouldn’t pay a re-stumping company its final payment until this certificate is received. Why? Because even if you have a tax invoice from it, without the certificate the job is considered illegal, will cause you problems when you try and sell and it will also mean that you won’t be able to claim it on tax. Without the final certificate from the council the tax invoice isn’t worth a cent.
Having said all this, if you’re aware of all these pointers and check all qualifications, this job won’t be a headache. It’s just another aspect of renovating that you get a professional to perform. All in all, most re-stumping jobs don’t take more than a week to do and then it might be another week or so before the final inspection is performed and the certificate issued.
Ana Stankovic is well known as one of Australia’s leading renovating-for-profit specialists and is regularly featured in prominent industry publications, expos and continually educates investors. To find out more or sign up for Ana’s free newsletter, visit www.RenovateAndProfit.com.