New home foundations – why would you build on stumps?

New home foundations – why would you build on stumps?

Although not a very glamorous part of building a new home, the foundations are a crucial part of the construction process.

There are three main reasons why a home would be built on stumps: topography, overland flow path and flood zone areas.


Topography, which is the arrangement of the natural and artificial physical features of an area, won’t influence the building method of construction if the site is flat. If it’s sloping though, topography will influence the new home design. When designing a home for a sloping site, the need for excavation or fill should be minimised, working with the slope of the land where possible, by stepping the home. Where this isn’t possible, stumps are the best option as they will help to create a level platform to build from without affecting the slope of the land below.

Stumps can be made from galvanised steel, treated timber or cast concrete. In each instance the stumps need to be sized and spaced correctly by an engineer.

Read about different types of stumps here


Overland flow and flood zones

Even if a site is flat there are other reasons why the home may need to be built on stumps. When a site is affected by overland flow paths or flood zones there are minimum floor level heights that must be adhered to. The best way of achieving this minimum floor level without impeding the path of overland flow or flood waters is to have the home constructed on stumps.