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How to Restump a House

By Tom Raley
Beach House on Stumps

If your house rests on stumps they will eventually need to be replaced. If your floors are beginning to fluctuate or sag, or doors and windows no longer open or close smoothly, this may be an indication the stumps need to be replaced. Stumps can be made of timber, steel, or concrete. Timber is generally the least expensive and concrete considered the strongest. If you use steel stumps your home may have a tendency to sway slightly in high winds.

Raise the structure off the existing stumps to allow the old stumps to be removed. This process can be done one section at a time, or for the entire home. Use a heavy jack to slightly raise the house, then insert supports in the form of timbers of scaffolding. It is very important the supporting structure be of sufficient strength to support the weight of the structure.

Remove the existing stumps in the area you have supported. If the existing stumps are made of wood, you can use a chainsaw to cut them in half. This will reduce the amount of weight you are working with and allow you more overhead working room. It will be necessary to dig around the stump in order to loosen it enough to be removed. Use a pick and shovel to remove an adequate amount of dirt to loosen the stump, then remove it.

Remove all existing stumps in the area you have temporarily elevated. prepare the hole for the new stump, clearing away all loose dirt and debris. Carefully slide one end of the new stump into the hole, raising the opposite end until the stump is upright. Use a level to ensure the stump is straight up and down, then secure it in place by packing dirt into the hole around the base of the stump.

Check the level between each new stump to make certain the house will sit level when lowered onto the new stumps. It is important the new stumps rest on the bottom of the old hole, not on fresh fill dirt. The dirt in the base of the old hole is already compacted, which will form a solid foundation. If the stump is placed on loose dirt the weight of the structure will cause settling and the home will be unlevel.

Repeat this process for all existing stumps. When all new stumps have been installed, slowly lower the structure down onto the new stumps. Make certain all stumps line up properly with solid contact points on the foundation of the structure. Remove the temporary supports and jacks and your project is complete.


Things You Will Need

  • Jack
  • Shovel
  • Pick
  • Chainsaw (optional)
  • Level
  • Various Timbers

About the Author


Tom Raley is a freelance writer living in central Arkansas. He has been writing for more than 20 years and his short stories and articles have appeared in more than 25 different publications including P.I. Magazine, Pulsar and Writer's Digest.