It is common practice for a first-time homeowner to buy a house that's a little bit out of shape because it's more affordable than a newly built house.

It goes without saying that there will be an immediate need for renovations in cases like this. Many first-time homeowners tend to forget that the foundation is the most important section of a house and they go ahead to renovate kitchens and bathrooms first, only to realize later that the foundation on the new house might not be as stable as they thought.

Why Start with the Foundation?

Many older homes have a stumped foundation. This is the kind of foundation that uses wooden stumps to provide structural support to the entire house, thereby ensuring that it is stable.

The obvious reason why you should start with restumping an old foundation is that your house could easily collapse in the middle of a kitchen or bathroom renovation exercise if you chose to start renovating either of those two rooms first.

A less-obvious reason to start with restumping the foundation is that this could be the root cause of problems that make it necessary for you to renovate other sections of the house.

The unsightly cracks that you intend to get rid of on kitchen and/or bathroom walls might have well been caused by the shifting and settling of wooden stumps within the foundation. Renovating the crack-filled walls without restumping the foundation is similar to treating the symptoms of a disease rather than the disease itself.

What Does Restumping the Foundation Involve?

In theory, restumping the foundation is a relatively simple task. It simply involves an inspection and the replacement of damaged or rotten wooden stumps. The inspection is carried out to determine whether all the wooden stumps underneath the house are damaged or only a few of them.

This information helps the restumping specialist to determine whether you'll need to restump the entire foundation or only a section of it.

In practice, a restumping job is not as simple as it sounds. If not done right, you might end up with a collapsed foundation soon after the restumping exercise.

Are There Alternatives to Wooden Stumps?

Wooden stumps are no longer the material of choice for stumped foundations. Concrete and steel are more preferred nowadays, and nearly all new residential buildings have either of the two kinds of stumps within the foundation. You can choose to replace wooden stumps with stumps made of either of the two materials.

To learn more, contact a restumping contactor.