Frequently Asked Foundation Repair Questions
Q: What is the cost to level a foundation?
A: The average cost to do a residential foundation repair in north Texas is $7,000.
Many companies have a minimum charge of $2,000 or $3,000. The cost to lift an entire 2,000 square foot home (40 feet by 50 feet) up a full foot if the interiors are installed through the slab, will be around $24,000.
Of course, when the work is complete, there will be a need for expensive plumbing repairs and the expense of redoing the interior. Using tunnels will preserve the plumbing. With plumbing tunneled out before the lift, hanging the plumbing from the slab (per code), and accessing the interior pilings through the tunnels, the full lift would cost about $42,000.
Q: When is a foundation beyond repair?
A: For a home to be beyond repair, the total cost to fix the home (foundation repair plus all other required repairs) needs to be above the value of the home. In 30 years, Advanced Foundation Repair has seen only 8-10 homes that were truly beyond repair. Homes that are beyond repair generally have one of the following problems:
1] no beams, that is a slab that is just a 4 to 6-inch-thick concrete sheet (like a patio),
2] no reinforcing, a slab that was built without rebar or post tension cables,
3] slope failure, a home is on a hillside that is moving and carrying the home with it.
Generally, any of the conditions above will also be associated with large cracks in the foundation, often over 1 inch wide. At the same time, foundations with the listed problems tend to be very unlevel.
Q: How long will the repairs take?
A: The amount of time required to complete a job depends on the scope of the repair. The table shown below gives a rough guideline on how long various repairs should take.
0-12 1 – 2
13-24 2 – 3
25-36 3 – 4
In addition, a day is required to dig and drain 20 feet of tunnel. A 36-piling job with 100 feet of tunnel would take 3 to 4 days for the pilings and 5 days for the tunnels for a total of 8 to 9 days. Jobs go faster if more men are on a crew. For every day of rain, you should figure that the job will be delayed by 1.5 days.
Q: Will foundation problems affect the value of my home?
A: A home with significant foundation problems often can only be sold at a deep discount to the market. An un-repaired home will be considered a distressed home. Buyers of distressed properties will start with the market value and then deduct an amount equal to 3 times the cost of any needed repairs. For un-repaired homes, foundation damage can have a huge impact on a home’s value.
Once a home is repaired, the fact that foundation repairs have been done generally has little impact on a home’s value. Advanced is regularly involved in situations where the completion of foundation repairs is a prerequisite for a sale to close. Such sales usually occur at the prevailing value per square foot for the market. We see from actual experience that foundation repairs restore the value of a home and do not detract from a home’s value.
Q: How long has your foundation company been in business?
A: In 2014, Advanced Foundation Repair split off its Waco Texas office and sold it to the General Manager, Jimmy Meeks. The Waco office was originally Advanced House Leveling, which was started by the Meeks family in the early 20th century. When I last talked to Jimmy, he had located a receipt from 1899 for the moving of a barn! So the short answer is we trace our beginning back to 1899.
Q: Will foundation repair ruin my landscaping?
A: Foundation repair will not ruin your landscaping, but it will affect it. For jobs that can be completed in 1 to 3 days, small plants can be saved. Ground cover such as mulch or rocks can be removed and replaced. In many cases we can work behind shrubs. When possible, we will tie a shrub up to create space for our work. Medium to large sized bushes that must be moved are likely to die. The older a plant is, the more likely it is to die. Unfortunately, with the extremes of temperature that we have in North Texas, plants just cannot survive being uprooted.
If you have special or exotic ornamental plants, such as Japanese Maples, we suggest that you contact a horticulturist for advice or to hire them to move your plants.
Q: Can I postpone foundation repairs? If so, how long?
A: Because foundation movement usually proceeds at a slow steady pace, it can often be put off. This is not always true. How long you can put the repairs off depends on the rate of movement and the type of movement. If your home is located on expansive soils, it can settle at a rate of as much as an inch a month. We have measured homes that had only a minor problem in May and were down 4 inches by the end of September. In other cases, we have measured homes that were slowly tilting with movement proceeding at a rate of less than an inch a year. Of course, after 6 or 10 years, we are talking about a home that is 6 to 8 inches out of level. Keeping your home watered is critical to limiting downward movement in dry periods. Ensuring good drainage is critical to limiting upward movement during wet periods.
Q: Do you use contractors or day laborers?
A: We do not use day laborers or outside contractors. Our dedicated workforce works under the direction of our team of experienced superintendents and assistant superintendents. Our company’s General Superintendent has over 20 years of experience at Advanced. Each of our Assistant Superintendents has at least 15 years of experience at Advanced.