Firm Foundations Ltd

Firm Foundations Ltd, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14 7BB


Highland Road,
Badgers Mount,
TN14 7BB


Tel: 01959534634
Mobile: 07860576306

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Member details

Joined: 10/02/2010


Subsidence Surveys - Specialist Foundations - Underpinning - Piling

Firm Foundations Ltd

Are Specialist Contractors offering a comprehensive package for both private and business clients, ranging from straightforward traditional underpinning to complex stabilisation projects as well as specialist foundations designed for use in difficult ground conditions.

Since formation in the early eighties, Firm Foundations has built and continues to build a lasting reputation based on accumulated years of experience in the building industry. We believe that the most important aspect of any trading business is the personal attention that clients receive, George Prall, the managing director spend’s a great deal of time overseeing all contracts as well as designating a site Forman responsible for the daily running of each contract.

Starting with tried and tested traditional underpinning methods we constantly review procedures to ensure the most economical solution is used.  Over the years we have enhanced and developed installation methods from large development sites for use on small project ranging from specialist foundations for small extensions to limited development sites.

We have over 25-years experience of practical design and installation of specialist foundations in difficult ground conditions adapting traditional systems for a variety of projects from small extensions to access limited developments.

Over the years we have adapted our traditional underpinning systems to act as retaining walls for basement creation projects making extending downwards a lot more practical. Notwithstanding our professional capabilities we are more than happy to install any pre-designed engineers specialist schemes.

Case Studies

Underpinning, Basement Creation


Quite possible the most interesting and challenging project we have ever undertaken.

We were approached by the surveyor of the owners of a restaurant at 104/106 High Street, Esher who had purchased the shop next door.

The client intended to refurbish the shop with a view to extend their restaurant space within.

Their intention was to create a basement area for development into a private drinking club extending throughout the three units.

The logistics of this site were challenging with the High Street shops being part of a terrace with limited rear access.

Utilising the highway was possible to an extent but the main access was via a narrow rear access passageway.

Once access was created safe a working platforms were needed to carryout the works safely for which a scaffold platform.

This platform provided facilities to hoist excavated materials from the basement while keeping staff working at ground level safe.

Traditional underpinning cannot act as structural walls for a basement conversion as it’s designed to work with vertical loads only.

The problem with lateral restraints when the internal ground level is reduced has been overcome by reinforcing the upstands. Each pier is cast in strict sequence where on curing works as self-retaining

The first stage was to complete the basement structure prior to the main refurbishment works.

This was successfully completed providing access to tunnel beneath the existing restaurant.

The client hoped to keep their restaurant open while the underpinning is installed which we were able to do by just avoiding excessive noise during busy lunch periods.

As with many projects complications become apparent in this case steel beams were found necessary to support the upper structure.

We were able to design and install these beams but heavy propping was required beyond that of traditional steel props.

It took a great deal of effort but the basement construction was completed satisfactorily.



Piling, Specialist Foundations


This project is a good example of how important it is to assess the local ground conditions before proceeding with any building work that requires foundations or increases the building loads to existing foundations.

The project started as a typical pub refurbishment contract updating this popular local Gastro Pub but difficulties were encountered when excavating the foundations for a large inglenook fireplace.

All the trades associated with this project were from outside the local area and therefore made no allowance to the known subsoil for which Firm Foundations were fully aware.

The local subsoil in the Sevenoaks area is granular but in some locations it is overlain by peat where lakes existed the depth of which varies.

The inglenook fireplace has a relatively low loading with a minimal foundation requirement but when the main contractor started excavations the peat sub-soil was encountered at which point Building Control would not pass the excavation as suitable for building from.

The contract engineer realised the implications of this finding and requested the contractor source a piling company to design and install a suitable piled foundation.

As we are local to that project we were approached by the contractor when we were able to provide a competitive cost to install the required piles and construct the reinforced concrete slab the engineer designed.

In granular subsoil's or where ground water is likely a steel cased driven pile is required the benefit of which is the final set provides accurate pile loading capacity.

With considerable experience at working in confined spaces we were able to complete the new foundations quickly and professionally.

As well as the inglenook fireplace the project required installation of a steel beam at first floor level which creates point loading.

It is not possible to install one pile especially in soft subsoil’s because of lateral restraint this can only be achieved with carefully designing the  floor structure or at least 3 piles will be required for triangulation.

These types of refurbishment projects are strictly controlled where timing is paramount, Firm Foundations are experienced in providing a swift service where necessary to assist tight schedule.

The project was tendered, started and completed in a few weeks allowing the main contractor to complete their project on time.


Member type

FMB member with TrustMark

  • Have signed the TrustMark license
  • Have had an inspection on a job in progress on joining and on a completed development every three years thereafter
  • Has a minimum of twelve months trading
  • Verified no un-discharged bankruptcies or relevant and outstanding County Court Judgments
  • Have passed credit checks, public record and director checks
  • Has Public and Employer (if applicable) Liability Insurance
  • VAT registration (if applicable)
  • Confirmation of business address/details
  • Firm Foundations Ltd has agreed to abide by the FMB Disputes Resolution and Complaints Procedures
  • Has signed up to the FMB Code of Practice
  • Can offer the suite of FMB Insurance warranty products for the domestic and commercial markets (contact the FMB Insurance office for rates)

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