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unfortunateluck 09-26-2011 08:49 AM

Picking a piering company -what would you do?
Long story short: we purchased a 20 yr old house back in Nov10. Subsequently discovered west wall of basement had 4 cracks and all were leaking. Had a basement company come out to repair all cracks and put an interior drain in along that wall. We were happy with their work. A few months after that, we discovered a huge crack above one of the windows. That got us thinking it was structural. We had the same basement company come back and check things out. They said the SW corner had settled 1" and recommended piering that corner. However, the engineer who came out could not give us the info right away. He had to go back and talk to his "production guy" before he could make a final recommendation. Only then did we get a drawing/bid for the piers. Meanwhile we had another piering company come out, who more or less made the same recommendation. The difference was that the guy who came out is the guy who came up with the drawing. We liked that. BUT- that guy's company has gone by a different name in the past than he goes by now, and then ALSO has even another company by a different name that does "waterproofing". SO--knowing these facts, who would you choose? We are leaning toward the company who did our cracks and drain, since then all our basement work will have been done by one company. And it is a pretty reputable company who does business across the country. They're not like the other guy who has gone by 3 different names. The only thing we are hesitant about is the fact that the guy who recommended the final piering configuration never even saw our house. What would you do?

TrapperL 09-26-2011 10:52 AM

Were either of the guys that did the inspection an engineer? If not, you're still looking for the right company. I'd suggest hiring an engineer that will assess the issue, explain the why it happened, and give you a plan of action that will be carried out by whoever you get to do the work. He might also have a recommendation for a company that he knows does good work. What kind of warranty did any of the companies offer?

unfortunateluck 09-26-2011 11:03 AM

Well shamefully I don't know if either guy is an actual engineer. One of them took measurements with a laser level and some other "fancy" stuff, and the other just looked around. However, we DID hire an independent structural engineer who said the house settled due to poor soil conditions and fill dirt used by the builder. Basically a shoddy builder. He also said he believed the settling was done and had all occurred before we moved in. This engineer also did not use ANY kind of measuring device, besides his eyes. He recommended the same solution basically, piering the SW corner. We asked him for recommendations, and he gave us two company names, one of which was the guy who used to go by another company name and now goes by a new one, plus has a separately named "waterproofing" company. Both are offering lifetime warranties and also monitoring measures installed after the job is complete. The "3 name" guy seems much more assertive and confident, but he is also the "president" of the company and not just a "worker bee" giving bids. we are just skeptical since he has changed company names before and he is a smaller outfit. I mean, your warranty is only good so long as you are actually in business!! Plus, they will have to dig up part of the drain we had put in, which would then negate our warranty on that (unless obviously we go with the same company for all the work). We just want to pick the company that will do the best job and truly stand behind their work. We have found the basement repair industry to be very difficult to navigate, as it is hard to know who has the best product, who will stand behind it, and who is giving you the best solution for your problem. Ugh.

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