Author Topic: Foundation repair needed... looking for advice  (Read 930 times)

thenewguy

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Foundation repair needed... looking for advice
« on: November 28, 2017, 07:33:12 AM »
So, our home (15 years old) has a slab foundation with a crack running through it, and in the last few months we've been noticing cracks in drywall (jagged, and radiating outward from corners of window and door frames), doors sticking, and trim pieces separating from brick outside. Seems to be corresponding to a crack in the foundation running east-west.

We had 2 different reputable contractors out to take a look. Fortunately both came up with the same diagnosis, but they differed a bit in the scope and cost of repairs.

Contractor #1
7 piers (all external along southern edge of foundation)
Lifetime Transferable Warranty
Bid: $2650

Contractor #2
10 piers (8 external along southern edge; 2 breakout in garage)
w/ Lifetime Service Agreement: $5000 (1 future adjustment per pier)
w/ Lifetime Transferable Warranty: $6000 (unlimited future adjustments)

Am I oversimplifying by thinking of just going with the least expensive bid since it has a lifetime warranty? I think my hesitation in going that route is fear that in 5-10 years we will start seeing symptoms again and will need one or more of those additional piers that Contractor #2 would have included from the start.


Contractor 2 suggested watering the foundation (soaker hose every other day for 30-45 minutes)... said this would help prevent further movement, and may even shift things back to their original position and make foundation repairs unnecessary. I liked that he suggested something other than hiring his company as a possible solution... wasn't just out to get our money.  However we've been watering it for about 3 weeks, but no noticeable change.

tomorrowsomewherenew

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Re: Foundation repair needed... looking for advice
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 08:41:36 AM »
How about asking Contractor #1 why he didn't suggest what contractor #2 did? Does he think it's overkill for your situation? Does he think his method will work better? And why?

Better Change

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Re: Foundation repair needed... looking for advice
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2017, 09:54:51 AM »
Isn't this pretty common in Texas?  Could you ask your neighbors what they did?  I'm sure someone is going through or has gone through something similar.

We have a settling slab foundation, too, but our house is over 60 years old.  We brought in (a few) structural engineers rather than basement/foundation contractors, because the engineer is happy to take the $120 payment and give an honest answer.  Maybe think about an "expert" opinion rather than that of someone who stands to make thousands simply by putting more piers in.  We had an estimate for 2 piers (2100 sq. foot house), but it was a suggestion rather than a necessity.  Sure, the cracks are kind of ugly, but it's not a true structural issue yet.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Foundation repair needed... looking for advice
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2017, 01:02:52 PM »
Even after the piers go in, you'll need to water your foundation in the summer.  That's when the ground dries out and contracts, throwing everything out of whack.  Watering this time of year is not going to help you much.

I recommend asking around for what other people think of these companies' work (especially realtors!).  I bought a house that had had previous foundation work done. The walls started cracking a bit a year later.  I then found out from the structural engineer I hired to make sure everything was okay that the company that had done the work had a reputation for "over-fixing" the outer walls, which then created a small bowl effect (the center of the house would sink a little). It didn't create serious structural issues, but it was a cosmetic issue and made selling that house a headache.

Either the inspector or the structural engineer also recommended that we remove a bunch of trees that were pretty close to the house.  Oak trees, especially, suck up all the water in the soil and contribute to the settling issues.

Dave1442397

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Re: Foundation repair needed... looking for advice
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 03:04:04 PM »
I'd be leery of any lifetime warranty. That's based on the lifetime of the company, and around here, they seem to just go out of business and start up under a new name whenever they get hit with a lawsuit.