Reg 126 House Restumping


What is Restumping or Reblocking?

Restumping is crucial to ensure the safety of its occupants. Re-stumping, re-blocking or re-piering are terminology that is used interchangbly to describe the same process and procedure (Reblocking = Victorain Term. Repiering = NSW term and Restumping in most states) Replacing damaged stumps will prevent substantial structural damage and failures therefore keep the structural integrity of your house intact and fortify the house for many years to come. Restumping brings peace of mind and the process can expose problems that previously were difficult to diagnose (such as termite damage) which may have threatened the safety of the home. The floors will be more level, doors and windows will open and close properly. Restumping can also present you with the opportunity to choose a modern supplier solution, a different material such as galvanized steel, which will protect the home against dry rot. It also makes termite inspections far easier as termites have to build tunnels on the external surface of the steel if the stump has an integrated nut design.

Many houses in Melbourne use either wooden or concrete stumps as a foundation to support the structure that sits above the ground. Timber stumps will typically only last up to 20 years & brick / concrete stumps can become uneven as a result of natural ground movements overtime. Concrete stumps will fail from the internal expansion of the steel inside the concrete and there by crumbling.

Restumping, or reblocking, restores and enhances the foundational structure of a residential property. In this process, some or all of the existing stumps supporting your home are replaced with new ones. Restumping becomes necessary when the original stumps start to show signs of damage or deterioration, such as cracks, sinking, instability or termite attacks. Doors that jammed, sloping floors, cracking plasterboard, creaking floors and windows that don't open are early warning signs of a foundation issue.

Restumping involves replacing old timber stumps with new steel stumps, with the intention to reset levels of your sub-floors.

Common causes that lead to Restumping being required?

Over time soil shrinks and swells with the seasons, plus the soil directly underneath the home stays quite dry from being covered. Meaning the rain falls only on the edge stumps. All of this along with gravity will cause the perimeter stumps to sink further than the internal stumps. Decades ago it was common to just replace one stump as it rotted or deteriorated as it gave a quick fix, even if it didn’t correct the overall problem. Now people understand its a better to address to the whole problem, yes it’s more costly to replace more than one stump but it keeps the home safe and secure for decades to come.


Timber stumps typically last 40-50 years. If your home was built before 1970 it may need restumping.


Drying caused by drought or prolonged hot weather can cause internal cracking and cause stumps to move.


Too much moisture under a home can cause movement and expansion.


Many homes in and around Melbourne are built on reactive clay, fill or other unstable soils. This can lead to cracking in brick walls and movement in foundations. All the new areas that Melbourne is expanding into has less suitable soils for building than in the past generations.

Reg 126 Building Permit Application

Pros and Cons of Timber Stumps

Many houses built before 1970 have timber stumps, as timber was the choice building material. Today, the most appealing advantage of timber stumps is the low price point. Some building projects mandate treated timber stumps, such as restumping character houses or houses in extremely wet conditions.

The main issue with timber stumps is the short lifespan due to the inevitable decay of natural materials. In wet soil, timber stumps have a lifespan of as little as 20 years. You can attribute this short lifespan to dry rot and termites and borers.

Pros and Cons of Concrete Stumps

Concrete is the traditional cheap temporary material for restumping, reblocking and underpinning projects. Concrete stumps are very heavy to get into positions are not adjustable and tend to settle after installation. Concrete stumps are durable, securely connect to your house and are low maintenance.

The disadvantages of concrete stumps come into play when your soil has a high moisture content. Water causes the metal parts of concrete stumps to rust and erode, quickening the decay process. Furthermore, vibrations in the ground cause concrete to crack, or concrete cancer as we call it. Reinforced concrete has a lifespan of between 15-30 years.

Pros and Cons of Steel Stumps

Steel stumps are the most expensive, but they are also the most versatile for optimal foundation support in all kinds of soil.

The main concern for using steel stumps is rust, and the only way to avoid rust is to opt for galvanised steel instead.

My personal favourite would be adjustable steel stump by Level Master. These adjustable steel stump allow you to level a floor very accurately without the need for hydraulic jacks and packers, making house stumping or re-blocking much faster. These products are hot-dipped galvanised with 60 microns zinc coating with an expected lifespan of 50 years. The animation below shows how easy it is to adjust the steel stump by simply rotating the nut clockwise to raise, or anti-clockwise to lower.

Level Master Adjustable Steel Stump

What is Level Master Adjustable Steel Stump

Essentially, adjustable steel stumps are made of 4 components the stump top

  • Stump top
  • Adjustable connector
  • SHS (Square Hollow Section) post
  • Baseplate

All components are changeable to suit your situation. For example, you can change the stump top to support timber bearers, or LVL bearers or even C-purlins. Depending on the load, you can also change the SHS posts, ranging from from 75 x 75 x 3mm SHS to 100 x 100 x 5mm SHS.

Click HERE to access the full product catalogue for Level Master.

Design Resources for Level Master Adjustable Steel Stump

The most important criteria in engineering design, is to ensure the products are designed by a qualified engineer, independently certified, and as a standard practice, to have all drawing and Revit files available for the architects, building designers and engineers.

All Level Master Adjustable Steel Stumps have existing engineering certifications, which can be downloaded HERE.

For AutoCAD Users, .dwg files can be assessed HERE.

For REVIT user,  .rfa files are renderable and can be dragged and dropped from the unique QARC4Revit browser. For access to our REVIT Library click HERE.

If you know what you want, you can use the stump builder tool HERE.

For the full catalogue for Level Master, click HERE.

What is the process of Restumping

The restumping process involves a series of steps. The initial phase consists of conducting a thorough assessment of the stumps and floor level, carefully inspecting for any signs of deterioration, damage, or unevenness. Simultaneously, an evaluation of the soil composition and stump depth is carried out.

Once the assessment is complete, the next stage involves the jacking and removal of the existing stumps. This step requires specialised equipment and techniques to safely lift and detach the old stumps from their positions. In some cases, additional excavation work may be necessary. Following the removal of the old stumps, the process proceeds with the placement of the new stumps. These stumps are carefully positioned and adjusted to achieve optimal load-bearing capacity and stability.

Adjustable steel stumps, such as Level Master are used to save labour costs as they are much faster to install and adjust in the future. See video as below.

Adjustable steel stump Reg 126

Restumping or Reblocking Cost Range

The usual price range for re-stumping in Australia is $500-$700 per stump. Some professionals may charge a bit more for steel adjustable stump, compare with traditional bored timber stump, but they’ll save you money in the long run.

Restumping Cost Factors

The number of stumps that need replacing

As mentioned above the price will depend on the number of stumps that need to be replaced.

The height of your property

If your house is very low then it will be difficult for workers to access underneath. They may also need to excavate or dig in order to restump. So lower houses are quite often very costly to restump. There are people who lift the floor boards so they can access the stumps from within the house which reduces the need for digging trenches.

If your house is quite high off the ground, they may be able to bring in a mini-digger, making the restumping job easier which saving labour costs but increase the cost of materials.

Soil conditions

The condition of the soil under your house will affect the amount of work involved in a re-stumping job. The proper way is to have your soil tested and an engineer specify the depth of the foundation footings. This will avoid errors and additional costs in the future. Soil tests are performed by professional Geo Tech consultants.

Can it all be done at once?

Ideally, the re-stumping job would be done sequentially in one go. However, if it needs to be done in sections—requiring workers to come and go several times—this will increase costs.

Existing foundations

If the existing foundations can be reused, this will save time and money. Refer to the soil tests to check that the existing foundations are suitable.

Existing stump holes

If the existing stumps holes can be reused, this will also save time and money. However, if deeper holes need to be dug, this will increase costs.

10 Questions to ask before engaging a restrumping contractor

Before you sign a contract, be sure you’re clear about the scope of work agreed. Ask the contractor:

  1. What type of stumps are you going to be replaced with? Timber? Concrete? Steel?

  2. Will the floor level be at the existing height, or higher?
  3. Are replacement of rotten/damaged bearers and joists included in the quote?
  4. What internal damage is likely?
  5. If they are pulling up floor boards or carpet, will they reinstate them?
  6. Is levelling of floors guaranteed? If so, how many months or years?
  7. Will doors and windows be restored to good opening condition?
  8. Will old stumps and other waste be removed as part of the quote?
  9. How long will the process takes? Can I stay in house or do I have to move?
  10. Is Reg 126 Certificate of Compliance for building permit application included in the quote?  

In Victoria, you’ll most likely require a council building permit. Every application to undertake building work must be accompanied by sufficient documentation and information of a suitable standard to demonstrate the work will comply with all relevant Acts, Regulations, Codes and Standards. While this sounds complicated, it does mean the work will be independently certified and inspected. Be sure to find out if your contractor will obtain the Regulation 126 Certificate of Compliance and building permits as part of the quote. ArchiEng engineers are specialist engineers with over 20 years experience in the building industry. If you require Reg 126 for your project, feel free to contact us at

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