While many homes are built on solid foundations, others are built on stump foundations. These combine a sub-floor of horizontal beams that are supported from below by stumps. They're especially favoured across sloping ground or in areas that are prone to flooding. In some cases, stump foundations are used simply to provide a better view.
Regardless of why a stump foundation was chosen, the material those stumps are made from makes a big difference. That's true whether you're having a new property built or need to have an older property re-stumped. The traditional choice was timber, but these days you're generally going to be choosing between concrete and steel.
While both options have their own benefits and drawbacks, steel stumps are the smarter choice. Here are just a few reasons why.
Ease of Installation
Concrete stumps require a long and difficult installation process that can push up labour costs and extend the amount of time the project takes. This tends to be a more serious problem than you might expect since stumping or re-stumping is almost certainly going to have to be done before other tasks can even be started.
In contrast, steel stumps can be made adjustable, which means they can be adjusted at your site in very little time to meet the property's exact needs. They are also much lighter and less bulky than concrete stumps, which makes them much easier to handle. As such, going for adjustable steel stumps can save a significant amount of time, money, and effort during installation.
Just as concrete stumps are stronger and more durable than timber stumps, steel stumps are stronger and more durable than concrete ones. Steel stumps are treated to a hot-dipped galvanising process to ensure they provide exceptional strength and stability. Whereas concrete can crack over time and be damaged by the elements, steel stumps should last for decades without showing any signs of wear, even when they need to hold heavy loads.
Steel Stumps Support Steel Beams
Properties are increasingly using steel beams, especially during renovations. This is largely because steel beams last so long and can hold so much. If a renovation is going to be adding something heavy, such as stone flooring, it only makes sense to use stronger beams. This can be an issue with concrete stumps since they aren't ideal for holding steel beams. In contrast, adjustable steel stumps are perfect. Using them allows you to take advantage of stronger beams and future-proofs your home in case you want to make upgrades in the future.