How does the home owner get a fair price on the cost of foundation repair? To begin with,
remember the following rule of thumb.
Foundation repair companies sell piers. The more they sell and the more they can charge you per pier, the bigger the salesman’s commission and the more the company makes.
Be aware that in large metropolitan areas with foundation problems, several companies that do foundation leveling may also own other foundation repair entities.
This means you have a real possibility, without you realizing it, of getting multiple bids from the same company. They just use different names. And the different phone numbers could be going into the same office.
Beware that most every foundation repair contractor has a preferred type of pier.
It’s the soil.
If your slab-on-ground concrete foundation sits on heavy clay soils that dry out , then swell up when heavy rains come, the foundation is in danger of movement.
It’s exactly this kind of expanding then shrinking that causes most of the common signs of foundation stress and damage.
A lot of foundation repair companies will tell you that the sticking doors, windows that are hard to open and close, diagonal cracks in the drywall and brick, and sloping floors are signs that you might need foundation leveling.
And the main culprit is the clay soil that swells and shrinks.
We had a classic case of the soils reacting to the weather this past summer in North Texas. Weeks of little or no rain, depending on whether you were lucky enough to be under a stray pop-up thunderstorm or not. (Shrink)
Then along came Tropical Storm Hermine. (more…)
So how much is it going to be, what is the cost of foundation repair? The straight answer: it depends.
Foundation repair costs vary because each situation is different. It depends on how many piers are needed to underpin the foundation. You may need piers all around the house or maybe just in front. One of the worst cases is when you have a foundation that slumps in the middle. The repair company has two choices. Either tear up floors or go in underneath with tunnels.
The foundation repair cost can also vary by types of piers needed. Steel, bell-bottom (or drilled) and concrete pilings are the most common types. Helical steel piers are sometimes needed on hillsides. There are just too many variables to be able to just throw out a figure for the foundation repair cost.
Here’s what I do know. I live in North Central Texas and two of my neighbors have had foundation repair. Their foundation repair costs were both about $7,000. I was nosy enough to ask. (more…)
In 2006 I had my concrete slab foundation inspected by a local structural engineer and wrote about it on this blog. I also scanned his report into a PDF file and posted it. However, in the throes of changing hosting companies the link to this report was broken and remained so for some time.Â The link to the inspection report has now been fixed. My apologies for taking so long to do so.
If you’d like to see a sample of the kind of information you should get back when hiring an independent structural engineer to inspect your slab foundation you’ll find the link in this post.
A friend of the family is down-sizing and has put his home up for sale. He and his wife have too much house and are looking to move into a condo. A real estate agent was engaged and the process started.
The home inspector said there was a “dome” on the floor of the master bedroom. Nobody else could see what he was talking about, but a foundation repair company was called to check the concrete slab. The inspector for the repair company didn’t find a problem with the master bedroom floor, saw no “dome” but thought the house could use 9 piers. He had used a Compulevel or similar tool according to my friend.
Wanting to verify the need for piers and having good sense, the real estate agent called a different foundation repair contractor who sent out an inspector we’ll call “Bob.” Armed with similar tools, “Bob” came to a different conclusion. (more…)