FOUNDATIONS - THE REAL STORY
Are you considering foundation work? Do you think you need piers?
Instead of contacting a foundation company for an estimated cost and recommendation to install (or adjust) piers under your monolithic (or pier and beam)
foundation, contact a reputable structural inspector. A certified structural inspector will tell you if you even need piers or not.
Piers can cost +/-$200 or more per pier. The primary goal of the foundation representative is to sell you piers without regard to a lasting benefit.
Oftentimes a warranty is issued, but does not guarantee the lasting worth of the piers.
The Professional Engineer/Structural Inspector will provide an unbiased, honest and informed evaluation of the structural condition
of your foundation including practical solutions. He will provide a sound economical method of maintaining the structural integrity of your foundation
for the present as well as in the future and seal the report with his Texas Professional Engineering stamp.
In lieu of installed piers the structural inspector may suggest other methods of improving and maintaining the physical condition
of the foundation, if there really is a need. To improve a potentially damaged foundation the following work can be performed:
Removal of specific trees and stumps located near the foundation, or suggest methods of protecting
both the trees and the foundation.
Move in additional soil and spread around the perimeter of the foundation to create a positive slope away
from the monolithic foundation that may not have been installed during the original construction period.
Install a sprinkler system and/or soaker hoses to provide a cost effective means to continually
maintain stable soil moisture content at a cost less than installed piers.
Reducing your monthly water costs.
However, if you need to install piers the structural inspector will provide a graphical sketch of the floor plan,
type of piers to install, placement of piers, spacing between piers and the amount of lift (in inches) of each pier to bring the foundation
back to a reasonable level. More importantly, the structural inspector will suggest that you secure a minimum of three bids from reputable,
bonded foundation companies with a guaranteed warranty before work is started. The successful foundation company should have
a minimum of ten (10) years experience in the Houston Area.