Raising a House Vs. Digging: Can You Still Achieve the Legal Height?

house in Brisane raised to reach the legal ceiling height required to build another living space underneath

Raising a House Vs. Digging: Can You Still Achieve the Legal Height?

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The legal height of a “habitable room” in a Queenslander is 2400mm, measured from the floor to the lowest part of the ceiling. Anything below this isn’t deemed a liveable room; it’s classed as a utility room. This may seem trivial, but it can affect the way the house is marketed when it’s time to sell – instead of a 5-bedroom house, it becomes a 3-bedroom house with two utility rooms, for example.

If you’re concerned about whether your property is of legal height, do you have to engage house raisers in Brisbane? If raising isn’t an option, can you excavate into the ground to achieve the additional head height needed? Let’s weigh it up in this article from Meier House Removals.


Should you raise your house or dig down?

Creating a second storey in your home in Brisbane is very appealing; not only does it improve the aesthetics of your property, it also affords you a better view and reduces your risk of flood damage. While timber houses, such as Queenslanders, are easy to raise – this isn’t the case for other types of houses such as brick and brick veneer homes. Because of their structure, the process can be cost-prohibitive.

People are combatting this by achieving the legal head height by means of excavation.


What about flooding?

The problem that many people run into here is that Queenslanders are often positioned on flat plots of land, which is why they need to be raised in the first place to avoid flooding.

If you’re unsure about whether digging will increase your risk of flooding, call Meier House Removals and we can assess your property to suggest the best course of action and explain about any necessary building and planning approvals you’ll need.


How does excavation achieve the Queensland head height?

Excavating maintains the original look of the house, with an extension that tends to be invisible from the front.

Building in under” the property is relatively straightforward, although this alternative to raising often compromises on quality and is best suited to ground level floors and steel posts – rather than concrete or timber posts.

Some potential avenues to achieve the legal height by building in under include:

  • Restumping then building in
  • Restumping, slabbing, then building in
  • Excavate down, retain, stump then build in
  • Raise, stump, slab, then build in

The average Queenslander can achieve Brisbane City Council’s residential height limitations and can connect the new addition seamlessly to their existing structure.


The best process for your home

For the most straight-forward process and best results, we recommend making house raising your first consideration. If, for any reason, this isn’t possible, you may be able to achieve the legal head height by digging. Call Meier House Removals for a quote and assessment on 07 3171 9358 for further advice and to ask any questions you might have.