Starting in July 2021, all houses in The Netherlands will receive a so-called ‘foundation label’. This label indicates the condition of the foundation. It indicates the risk that the house will have unwanted settlements and that the (new) owner will have to repair or even replace the foundation. Issuing that label is a general assessment of the risks of a particular type of home, foundation, and location. Especially the timber foundations under old houses are sensitive to the decline of the groundwater table. As an effect, the timber foundation piles will stick above the water table. In the air-water zone, the wood of the foundation piles and foundation beams will rot, reducing its bearing capacity.

Allnamics Foundation Experts ( have been researching the quality of existing and newly constructed foundations for many years. The foundation usually receives little attention from its owner or when a house is bought: it is underground, and it is assumed that if a house has been standing for years, a problem-free future is guaranteed. However, there are plenty of reasons to determine the foundation’s quality. For example, when buying/selling or splitting the ownership of a house. Some areas in the Netherlands are strongly declining to require a lowering of the water level or drying out of the soil, with all the risks associated with certain types of foundations. If a foundation needs to be repaired, it often costs a lot. All house parts are accessible for maintenance and improvement or replacement; the foundation is an exception.


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