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Old 01-17-2012, 05:54 PM   #1
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Pier & beam leveling


I've got a 1200 sq.ft. home on black clay soil here in Texas.

The piers are settling and I was quoted a price of $9,200 to adjust/level the foundation. The contractor said I shouldn't have any issues with it for maybe 3 to 5 years, after his work is performed, but he would not guarantee it.

My question is: Should I run away or give him the job..??

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Old 01-17-2012, 05:59 PM   #2
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Pier & beam leveling


No one here can see the job, do core samples or know what's common to do in your area to fix this.
An engineer could do all that and spec out what's needed to give you a permament soloution.

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Old 01-17-2012, 06:11 PM   #3
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Pier & beam leveling


Quote:
Originally Posted by NAIL BENDER
I've got a 1200 sq.ft. home on black clay soil here in Texas.

The piers are settling and I was quoted a price of $9,200 to adjust/level the foundation. The contractor said I shouldn't have any issues with it for maybe 3 to 5 years, after his work is performed, but he would not guarantee it.

My question is: Should I run away or give him the job..??
Tell him to run away....
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:40 PM   #4
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Pier & beam leveling


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Originally Posted by Joe Carola View Post
Tell him to run away....

I'm with you on that Joe....

I got a return phone call from another Foundation Specialist a few minutes ago and he said he'd have to take a look for himself, but felt $9200 was about 3 or 4 time what he'd do it for.

So we will see.... Thanks
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:04 PM   #5
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Pier & beam leveling


This is a very common question on this forum, and from personal experience I can tell you that foundation settlement on expansive clay soil is very common. I recommend that you hire a local structural engineer to perform soil testing, and write a report, with recommendations for the appropriate foundation fix. You can bring in 30 different foundation companies, they are all going to tell you that their solution is the best, so how are you possibly going to decide?

This is a big money, very serious matter. On something that is relatively standard, such as installing a new electric service, or installing a new roof, it is reasonable to solicit bids, review the qualifications of the bidders by checking references, and make an informed decision based on a combination of their proposal, recommendations, and their price. But this is a different matter, you are going to get multiple solutions that are going to be difficult or impossible to evaluate, and just because they have a reference from someone else saying it worked, does not mean it is the appropriate solution for you. That is why I suggest finding a structural or geotechnical engineer to prepare a report and recommendation for repair, they should be independent, and you should have reasonable confidence in their recommendations.
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:35 AM   #6
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Pier & beam leveling


Many of the pier companies have engineered systems so a structural engineer is not required.

A helical pier will hold up a heck of a lot of load. (a lot more than a little ole' house) Why the contractor you talked to didn't want to guarantee it I don't know. I could be he was using a push post system which have a tendency to sink over time.

If it was my home I'd take a close look at a helical piering system.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:35 AM   #7
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Pier & beam leveling


Even though the systems are engineered i would never let someone other than a structural engineer spec out the number and the locations of the piers.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:36 AM   #8
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Pier & beam leveling


They pretty much are spec'd out by the load requirement, placement and pier size. The manufactures have tables for all this so you don't have to reinvent the wheel. But if you feel more comfortable then hire and engineer to spec it for you. He isn't going to guarantee the work, the contractor is... so he best know what he is putting in.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:56 AM   #9
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Pier & beam leveling


My point was that there are at least ten very different systems out there, including diverse options like mud jacking, helical piers, concrete piles, and steel piles, plus numerous subvariants of each. Most contractors specialize in one technique, often proprietary. None of these techniques are "fully engineered", the size and spacing of the elements depends on the soil type, which must be evaluated by the contractor. Or they might simply have local knowledge based on similar jobs, and they could guess how many piers are required and at what spacing, which I have seen firms do.

So with all the options, how do you know which one is best? Are you going to trust the contractor to give you an accurate analysis of all the options? That is like asking a Coke salesman to discuss the taste of Pepsi, not likely to be an unbiased opinion. Of course the engineer is not going to guarantee the job, he isn't going to do the job, that is the point. He will presumably take soil borings and design the best solution, or at least select the best option. If the Ops does not wish to spend the money on an independent opinion, they can select a contractor based on the same method used to hire a roofing contractor.

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