Compare Foundation Repair Contractors

Since all of the foundation contractors claim to be the “best” and offer a superior repair method,  you should be armed with some of the important questions to ask.  Below are key questions and the “correct” answers with some explanations.

Also, some terms / terminology are below.

  • Piers = Drilled Piers, Drilled Piers with Bells, Bell Bottom Piers – excavated holes that are filled with concrete and steel rebar to create a single unit
  • Pilings = Piles, Concrete Piles – concrete cylinders measuring 12 inches in length and 6 inches in diameter that are pushed into the ground; can also be hollow steel pipes
Final Inspection of Bell Bottom Pier Excavation
Final Inspection of Bell Bottom Pier Excavation

1) During the installation process, are the piers or pilings inspected for the proper depth and alignment?

Bell Bottom Piers – Yes.  Physical examination with a specialized tool and flashlight is performed by a third party engineering company.

Pilings – No. Impossible to determine because it can not be viewed or tested.

2) Does the foundation contractor’s repair method offer an acceptable “Factor of Safety?”

Bell Bottom Piers – Yes. Bell Bottom Piers can support 5 to 10 times the weight of standard 6 inch concrete pilings.

Pilings – No.  Factor of Safety = 1. Since the weight of the house is used to push the concrete pilings into the soil, the pilings are only capable of supporting the weight of the house. Assuming the pilings are stacked in a vertical alignment, any significant change in soil conditions (moisture) or additional weight inside the home can produce failure of the foundation repair.

3) Can the homeowner make structural changes with the home, such as a room addition, without voiding the contractor’s Service Agreement (Warranty)?

Bell Bottom Piers – Yes.

Pilings – No.

4) Does the foundation contractor’s repair method offer resistance to Uplift and Heave during very wet soil conditions, when the soil expands?

Bell Bottom Piers – Yes.

Pilings – unconnected pilings, No.

5) Does the repair contractor have a 30+ year history of outstanding performance and testimonials in the state of Texas?

Bell Bottom Piers – Yes.

Pilings – ???

6) Does the foundation contractor invest more time and labor, and use more concrete and steel rebar, to create a single piece and much stronger support structure for a concrete slab?

Bell Bottom Piers – Yes.

Pilings – No.

7) Does the foundation repair contractor require the homeowner to forfeit his/her right to sue with the use of a contract clause for Mandatory Arbitration – a system that offers no judge, no jury, no explanation of a decision, no requirement to follow the law, and no appeal – a system where the individual consumer (you) loses more than 90% of the time?

Bell Bottom Piers – No.

Pilings – Yes, contracts require homeowners to forfeit their right to sue in a court of law.

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