If you have your concrete slab foundation inspected by either a repair contractor, or better yet, an independent professional structural engineer, you are likely to get an elevation report produced by one of two tools:
A Compu Level or a manometer. When I had my inspection done, the engineer used a Compu Level. I received a report that detailed variances in elevation from one end of my slab to the other. For example, there was a 3-4 inch drop in one corner of the house when compared to the center of the slab.
Nice to know. I suppose. But in practical terms, what does that really tell you? Unless you have a benchmark of some kind to compare the readings against, not a whole lot. Do I have elevation readings from when the slab was newly poured? No. (more…)
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.
You have the classic signs of concrete slab foundation distress. OK, your house does. Doors and windows don’t work right, you have cracks around the frames or cracks in your brick veneer. You think your foundation is going to need some work. Then you open the mail or the newspaper and there it is. A “valuable coupon” offering a tidy little sum off the foundation repair job.
The fine print says you must present the coupon at the time you receive your free estimate. It also says you only have a couple of weeks to make that call or the coupon expires. What to do?
First, take a deep breath and rest in the knowledge that these coupons will be coming back around every few weeks. Unless you have really sudden and severe damage to your house and foundation you have some time to make an educated choice. (more…)