Hiring a Foundation Repair Contractor
Is your home sagging around the edges? Don't give up hope, call your
local foundation professional for a facelift.
There's nothing like a sagging or cracked foundation to strike fear into the
heart of a homeowner. Can it be fixed? Will it put a permanent dent in my
property value? Don't despair; there are many methods for repairing
foundations. Your first step is to call a professional foundation contractor
to analyze the problem. These suggestions will prepare you to speak the
industry jargon and identify the right person for the job.
A contractor will come out to your home to propose a solution and a price
estimate. Be prepared for these basic mechanical buzzwords. The "footing"
is a wide ribbon of concrete under the walls that provides support to the
foundation. "Underpinning" is a method of supporting or raising the footing
from underneath in order to keep it stationary. Other phrases include "load
bearing surface" or "strata," the material or ground supporting the weight of
Whenever hiring a home improvement or repair company, including a foundation
contractor, it's a good idea to ask for several references and to call them.
Ask the company if it belongs to a state or national professional trade
association, and if it has liability and workmen's compensation insurance.
Place a final call to the Better Business Bureau to find out about any
Remember that some contractors only install new foundations, while others
repair existing ones, so be sure to identify a repair contractor. Don't
focus solely on price; pay more attention to reputation and quality of
materials and workmanship. The longer a company has been operating in your
area, the likelier it is to be reputable.
Don't be surprised if different contractors suggest different ways to fix
your foundation. One method to strengthen foundation walls is by installing
steel piping, concrete piers or other materials in the ground. Another
called "wall anchoring" involves burying a steel plate or anchor, concrete
pad or other structure, then installing support rods into the foundation to
buttress the basement walls. The rods are connected to the walls using
plates. Beams may be used to level the house. "Mud jacking" is a method
used to raise a patio or driveway slab by pumping dirt and cement underneath
to "float" it to the desired level.
Don't take a final estimate until the contractor actually inspects your home
and the ground conditions around it. Be skeptical of companies that give
snap estimates over the phone. Get several estimates and be sure to provide
each with the same information so you can evaluate them equally.
Sources used to create this article include www.kansascity.com