Structural Work

Our team of qualified and dedicated all trades experts carry out a wide range of important structural work across numerous properties.

Our specialists have extensive knowledge and experience, laying the correct foundations and attending to internal and external structures for any size of building project.

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Foundations

Despite not being visible when a house extension is complete, laying appropriate foundations is an important element of any building project. It’s not only essential that you choose the right foundation system for the soil type present, but also that measurements are made very carefully and accurately to plan. Errors in this area of a building project could have serious ramifications, and in worst case scenarios, could involve a completed project being demolished, wasting considerable time and money. Ground conditions vary, from project to project, and problems are often only apparent when you break ground.

Hometech’s dedicated team of building specialists can take care of preparing your site and laying the correct foundations for your building project. Costs can vary depending on the types of foundation used and it’s sensible to have an appropriate contingency budget available for your project.

Types of foundations

Simple/strip foundations - it’s standard to place as little solid concrete as possible into trenches and then to add blocks up to ground level, where the walls switch to brick or stone or whatever the chosen external cladding is. Just above ground level, the footings are topped with a damp-proof course and then the ground floor becomes fixed

Engineered foundations - if, however, the ground is considered difficult, you could dig the foundation trenches deeper and then fill with a greater depth of concrete, sometimes fitting sheets of polystyrene beside the trenches to act as a slip membrane. If the site requires deep foundations then using concrete rafts is a solution

Piled foundations - piles are driven into the ground and then filled with concrete and the foundation gets topped with a ground beam

Raft foundations - a concrete raft ‘floats’ on the ground beneath. The structure is made up of an extra-thick floor slab, strengthened by masses on steel reinforcing. Rafts have the advantage of providing the base of a ground floor solution, not just wall trenching, but they are reckoned to be rather more complex to construct.

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Structural Slappings and Timber Work 

We carry out a range of structural repairs and alterations to buildings. This type of work varies and can involve simple structural crack repairs, to major stabilisation, consolidation or underpinning works.

Our specialists have considerable experience of shoring up existing structures to allow the fitting of new windows and door apertures. We’re also frequently asked to remove internal supporting (load-bearing) walls from within a building structure and fit new supporting steel work, when customers are looking to increase the size of upper rooms, as part of a house extension.

Structural Timber Work

Timber frames typically describes a system of panelled structural walls and floors constructed from small section timber studs, clad with boards, in which the timber frame transmits vertical and horizontal loads onto the foundations.

Timber frames can be a suitable choice if the structural shell is required quickly, or if ground conditions are particularly poor, or if the building design doesn’t include large structural spans. Timber frame structures can typically achieve a better thermal performance than masonry structures, which have a thinner construction.

Hardwoods are commonly used in the construction of walls, ceilings and floors, while softwoods are often used to make doors, furniture and window frames. Some examples of the most popular hardwoods include oak, maple, mahogany, cherry, walnut, and teak.

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Concrete, Steel Beams And Frames

Reinforced concrete is a versatile composite and one of the most widely used materials in modern construction. As part of the main structure of any building, reinforced concrete beams withstand the burden caused by live or dead loads, and in turn distribute that load to concrete floor plates and column binders.

Types of beams that are often encountered

  • Simple beams are beams that rest on two columns at each end of the beam

  • Cantilever beams are blocks that only rest on a single point of the column at a certain end

  • Eaves are beams that pass through the main culm column as the point of support

  • A continuous beam passes through several main columns as its supporting point.

Structural steelwork is generally used to form the ‘skeleton frame’ of a building, typically consisting of columns and beams which are riveted, bolted or welded together.

Steel framing is a building technique with a "frame" of vertical steel columns and horizontal I-beams, constructed in a rectangular grid to support the floors, roof and walls of a building which are all attached to the frame.

Our dedicated team of building specialists ensures that any structure or house renovation work undertaken meets exacting legislative and regulatory standards.

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Underpinning 

In any construction or building renovation work, underpinning is the process of strengthening the foundations of an existing building or other structure. Underpinning may be necessary for a variety of reasons:

  • the original foundation isn't strong or stable enough

  • the planned usage of the existing structure has changed

  • the properties of the soil supporting the foundation may have changed due to subsidence or design

  • the construction of nearby structures necessitates the excavation of soil supporting existing foundations

  • to increase the depth or load capacity of existing foundations to support the addition of another storey to the building.

  • it’s more economical, to work on the present structure's foundation than to build a new one

Underpinning is accomplished by extending the foundation both in depth or breadth so that it either rests on a more supportive soil stratum or distributes its load across a greater area. An alternative to underpinning is the strengthening of the soil by the introduction of a grout.