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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2 story concrete slab home in Texas.

I have had a total of 6 foundation companies come out to do estimates.
Prices range from 4k to 10k with 4k being concrete piers and the 10k being steel piers.

Obviously the companies with the steel beams say they work better.
And I am sure they do but they are double the price.

Can anybody offer up some facts or know of any studies done on this?
 

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If you started with the foundation companies instead of a forensic engineer, you got off to a bad start. You need an engineer that is going to represent your interests and give you a plan of action. The best one in Texas, and I've worked numerous jobs with him, is Homer Parker out of Round Rock, Texas. I'm not affiliated in anyway to Homer. He's a great guy that can make it as detailed as you can understand it or as easy as it takes for you to know exactly what's going on with your foundation and why. But trying to make heads or tails out of information from someone who's trying to sell you something is not good business on your part. Homer travels several surrounding states but if you don't want to contact him, look in the phone book. The report is not near as expensive as you might think.
 

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You kind of left out all of the important details. Like exactly what is the problem? And what kind of solution are you looking for? Given that you are in Texas, I am going to guess that you have expansive clay soil, and you are experiencing issues with differential settlement of your slab, leading to cracking of the foundation, out of level doors, possibly cracks in your plaster walls. But of course you did not say any of that, so possibly I should try out for the Mentalist TV show, or else I am so far off I should be on "It's Worth What?".

You had six foundation companies come out and offer opinions. Here is an alternative strategy for designing a fix. You hire a structural engineer familiar with foundation issues in your region. You pay the engineer a reasonable fee, perhaps $500 or $1000, they do an in depth analysis of your specific foundation problem, and recommend a specific solution that they believe is cost effective. Your type of problem absolutely requires a hands on investigation, including perhaps a soil boring, to identify the exact problem, and come up with the optimal solution. Here on the internet chat forum zone, we can speculate all day, especially since you have not given us any pertinent facts, but at the end of the day we cannot help you, except to point you in the direction of hiring a local professional who can do the inspection, and offer an unbiased opinion on a reasonable fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your replies, however, I was not looking for answers on how to solve my foundation problems.

I was simply asking if anyone has the facts or knows of any studies done on concrete piers vs steel piers?

I have already hired a structural engineer, not affiliated with any foundation company. He did suggest steel piers in his recomendations but again the price is much higher.
 

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I recently bough a home that unfortunatly need a little bit more repair than anticipated. I'Ve also wondered wether or not concrete will do the job. The last ressource posted is unavailable but here is the archive.org Version for those interested:

https://web.archive.org/web/20121016133535/http://www.foundationrepairofmissouri.com/foundation-repair/foundation-problems/settlement-sinking.html

I quote:

Concrete can crack and break when under pressure, and even in response to temperature changes, making concrete piers a flimsy repair method.
http://www.toolerant.com/foundation-repair-costs-diy-good-idea/ also claims, that

Slab cracks can happen and then the foundation is broken beyond repair. Replacement can cost over $30 per square foot and since the entire foundation must be removed and replaced, the disruption is at maximum levels.
Disruption is not much of a problem since the house is currently empty. I would hate to have my foundation fail anytime soon - my aim is not a quick flip and i feel it would be dishonest. Does anyone have experience using steel piers? Seems like an awfully expensive option though and i'm not keen on getting talked into something unnecessary by a contractor (no going DIY this time!)

have a good day :)
 
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