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Foundation Repair Process – What to Expect


Step by Step Walk Through – Foundation Repair Process and What to Expect 

Understand the foundation repair process and what to expect. Yes foundation repairs are a major event but prepare yourself by knowing what to expect. It eases worries, sets expectations and is a shining light at the end of the tunnel. Follow us through a full house foundation repair lift. It is the best way to highlight the process and help explain what to expect.

  Foundation Repair Process - Before foundation repair

This North Texas home has approximately 4800 SF. It needed an over-lift of six plus inches. Typically this means lifting the entire house to a level (or nearly level) condition. Then the structure is “over-lifted” an additional amount. This helps prevent future soil movement from impacting the structure after the foundation repair has been completed.

 Foundation Repair Process Step 1, 23, 4, 521 

Preparing for foundation repair liftPreparing the house for a full lift takes several steps.

  1. Pilings need to be placed around the entire perimeter beam.
    1. The Perimeter beam is the outer edge of the foundation
    2. Pilings are columns that are pushed into the ground under a foundation. This puts your house on a firm foundation.
  2. Tunnels are dug underneath the home. These run under the slab at intervals from one end of the home to the other. They are needed to gain access to all interior foundation beams.
    1. The under side of a foundation looks like a waffle. The thicker parts of the waffled underside are called the foundation beams.
  3.  A full-lift foundation repair requires pilings to be placed approximately every 8-10 feet under each foundation beam and the foundation perimeter beam. In some cases, under interiors, pilings may be up to 14 feet apart.

 Foundation Repair Process Step 123, 4, 521 

AC Pads prep for foundation repair


A/C Pads need to be lifted. The pads are what the A/C units rest on. When the house is lifted, everything next to the house moves up. Lifting the A/C pads in the preparation stage helps all the A/C connections move with the lift. Connections in the ground are uncovered to allow them to move freely during the lift.

 Foundation Repair Process Step 1, 23, 4, 521 

AC Pad post foundation repair lift



This is the A/C Pad after the home has been lifted. Notice how the A/C pad moved up with the lift.

  Foundation Repair Process Slide 1, 2, 34, 521 

AC Pad and units after foundation repair job is completed



Once the foundation repair lift is completed, landscaping is put back in place and connections are covered back up with soil.


  Foundation Repair Process Step 1 … 45, 621 

Concrete Breakout foundation repair prep



There are often areas of asphalt or concrete like garages or driveways that require a “breakout”. A “breakout” is where the solid surface is broken through so that the foundation beams can be reached. Breakouts are patched after the lift.

  Foundation Repair Process Slide 1 … 56, 721 

Garage floor break out for foundation repair



This is a foundation repair garage floor breakout. When completing a full-lift foundation repair, it is often necessary to break through the garage floor to reach the beam located under the garage. In this photo, two post tension cables have been exposed. The cables reinforce the foundation.

  Foundation Repair Process Step 1 … 67, 821 

Driveway after foundation repair lift


After the foundation repair lift, breakouts and driveway are repaired. The arrow is pointing to where concrete has been poured to cover the breakout.

  Foundation Repair Process Step 1 … 78, 921 

Plumbing pre-lift


Prior to lifting, the plumbing and electrical services are exposed. There will often be plumbing repairs required with a significant foundation repair lift. Notice the plumbing has been uncovered. This is before the foundation repair lift.

  Foundation Repair Process Step 1 … 8, 9, 10 … 21 

Exposed Plumbing



This is the same plumbing post-lift. Much to his dismay, our guy is getting a shower. A leak has sprung and needs to be repaired.

  Foundation Repair Process Step 1 … 9, 10, 11 … 21 

Utilities prior to foundation repair lift


Prior to lifting, the utilities (gas, electric, etc) are exposed. This is to help prevent damaged during the lifting process. Utilities need the room and air space to move with the lift. Without this flexibility they will break. Notice where the arrow marks the ground surface.

  Foundation Repair Process Step 1 … 1011, 12 … 21 

Utilities after foundation repair lift


Notice where the arrow marks the ground surface after the house has been lifted. The utilities moved with the lift. There was no damage to the utilities during or after the foundation repair lift.

  Foundation Repair Process Step 1 … 1112, 13 … 21 

Under slab tunnel


Remember the tunnels that were dug. They will now be used to access each beam under the home. Under slab tunnels are about 3 feet wide x 3 feet deep. It is just enough space to allow the technicians to maneuver under the home. Foundation repair pilings will be placed under each beam at 8-10 feet intervals.

  Foundation Repair Process Step 1 … 1213, 14 … 21 

Hydraulic jack in tunnel



Hydraulic jacks go inside the tunnels. Placed under the foundation beams, they will lift the home to the correct level.

  Foundation Repair Process Step 1 … 1314, 15 … 21 

Foundation repair concrete piling



Support cylinders are then placed under the beams and shimmed to the proper height.

  Foundation Repair Process Step 1 … 1415, 16 … 21 

Driveway post-lift



Notice the gaps that appear after the lift. Also notice the clean concrete exposed during the lift. Repairs to driveways and other flat work are done where needed.

  Foundation Repair Process Step 1 … 1516, 17 … 21  

Outside of house post foundation repair lift


The house has been lifted a total of 12”. Notice how the dirt along the back has lifted up with the house; a full 12”. Any plants, gate posts, or other objects next to the house would have been lifted, and would tilt away from the house. It is time for our crews to start the clean up. This is where it all starts coming together. In the foreground, we have lowered the dirt back to its original elevation. Any other objects that had been lifted out of position will also be put back to rights.

  Foundation Repair Process Step 1 … 1617, 18 21 

Outside of house after foundation repair lift



Here is another side of the house after the completion of the job. Everything has been picked up. The dirt around the foundation is back in place.

  Foundation Repair Process Step 1 … 1718, 19 … 21 

Foundation Drainage


Tunnel entrances are closed. The tunnels remain intact to allow under slab access for any future plumbing repair or piling adjustments. A gravity or sump pump drain is installed to drain water from the tunnels. This is for the foundation drainage pipe.

  Foundation Repair Process Slide  1 … 1819, 2021 

Foundation landscaping is restored



Landscaping is put back in placed.

  Foundation Repair Process Step  1 … 18, 192021 

 Foundation Repair Process Finished foundation repair



The house has been lifted. Clean up is finished.

This is the front of property after completion of a 12” full lift foundation repair.

  Foundation Repair Process Step 1 … 18, 19, 2021 


We hope this walk through helps to understand the foundation repair process and what to expect. The initial process can be chaotic. Remember that once the lift is done, order is restored. The chaos becomes order and the home is left resting on a firm foundation.


About the Author
Frederick Marshall is the CEO of Advanced Foundation Repair, LP, a foundation repair company specializing in home repairs from the foundation up including foundation repair, foundation drainage, exterior foundation waterproofing, foundation irrigation, and plumbing services. Advanced Foundation Repair has specialized in foundation repair needs of Texas homeowners for over 100 years. Connect with him on Google+.

Google Reviews

Larissa Perez
20:24 13 Jun 18
I can't say enough good things about Advanced Foundation Repair. Their professionalism, care, attentiveness, and quality of work are superb. I had a full foundation lift so they were a part of our daily life for a few weeks. Brad Bertelsen is always easy to talk to and answered all my questions no matter what they were; everything from scheduling to how the equipment works. How pilings work don't affect the job that gets done and it took time from his schedule but he took the time to answer my questions. Betrice called to inform me of an update but I was not able to answer my phone at the time. She then sent a text to inform me of the update. I was able to respond to her text so we were able to proceed with the planning. I appreciated that extra effort. The excavation crew and the lifting crew were great. They are very hard workers and very courteous. Advanced Foundation made the process of LIFTING A HOUSE seem completely effortless. We were also able to stay in our house the entire time they worked on the foundation; including when they actually lifted our home. God forbid I ever need them in another home but if I do, they will be the only foundation company I use. Thank you Brad and Advanced Foundation for helping me protect my home.read more
Henry Nance
14:01 24 Apr 18
4/20/2018 I was very pleased with my experience. During the initial visit, Jim Moravec explained the problem and the solution. We discussed cost and I decided that my "cost/solution "ratio would be best served with Advanced Foundation Repair and a crew was out in a matter of days. The work went quickly and neatly. Alfonso and his crew seemed to know what they were doing and their cleanup exceeded my expectations. I have since referred a local property manager to Advanced and as far as I know she is satisfied with their work too.read more
Carl Nemec
16:23 21 Feb 18
The last few months I've noticed cracks in the corners and some interior doors aren't latching. We had foundation repair done in 2013 around the outside of the house. I was thinking we'd need a pier or two on the inside, because I thought the middle might be sagging. The company who did the work in 2013 had gone out of business, because the owner suffered some catastrophic illness (and is now working for a competitor). Advanced Foundation was the company my engineer co-worker used after extensive interviewing of local foundation companies. Eric Vineyard, the estimator, was prompt and courteous when he arrived 5 minutes before our 9am appt. He took measurements all around the inside and outside of the house and took elevation readings afterward. Good news for me: he found that the elevation difference was within tolerance and no work was needed. The company called two days before to remind me of the appointment and were courteous about it. Overall, it was a positive experience to have a gentleman in my house and to have a good company behind him. Thanks Eric and Advanced Foundation Repair.read more
Jim Bronson
22:33 17 Jan 18
I purchased my home on 10-18-16. Unfortunately, very shortly after my we moved in my wife went into hospice and died. I did not transfer my foundation warranty. I reached out to Advanced Foundation Repair and asked if they would allow me to transfer the warranty even though I was over a year past the deadline. Without argument they transferred the warranty. This is a compassionate family run company. I give them the highest possible recommendation. In addition to this, the repairs they made to my foundation have performed great, and the house has stayed perfectly level.read more
Margaret Adams
14:12 08 Jan 18
I am very impressed with the service I received. First, Eric explained in detail what would be done and how. Then the amount of needed lift was measured. In 3 of 19 holes that were dug it was necessary to go through concrete. The workers dug as deeply as 22 feet in order to reach bedrock. Concrete was replaced, as were shrubs. My yard was cleaned up nicely upon completion. I would recommend this company to anyone needing any work done.read more
Diana Stimax
00:23 08 Dec 17
We had problems with our foundation for a few years, with several cracks inside the house, on walls, garage floor, etc. They came to do an inspection and we were very happy with their professionalism and price for the value. We immediately set that up. They did exactly what they said they were going to do and more at no extra charge. They lifted the garage and put some piers, etc underneath, the final result was incredible. The cracks inside the house closed almost completely. They also have an excellent and transferable warranty.read more
sharon higginbotham
16:24 10 Nov 17
Took three different bids and Advanced Foundation Repair was my final choice. i have a 75 year old house that needed foundation repair and realignment. Ben showed up on time for our appointment and he explained the procedure as many times as I needed to understand, it was actually very simple. He was also available for me to call anytime, which I did on a couple of occasions. Techs were punctual, there was a supervisor on site almost every hour, they did a great job, respectful of the neighbors yards, cleaned up the yard after the work. I love my house again.read more
Christopher Lorenzo
19:36 06 Sep 17
I have had multiple good experiences with Advance Foundation Repair. They stand by their work and kept me informed at all times on the repairs. Post work service was good too. I am very satisfied with their workread more
Ruth Schuman
19:56 05 Sep 17
Workers were very professional and hard working. They dug up around the house and put plants back to look nice. This company also has a trust to forever be able to redo warranted work.read more
Gwen Baumann
02:30 11 Aug 17
I can't too highly recommend this company. I had work done of my foundation by another company several years ago. That work did not resolve the problem, and that company did not fix. Advanced was recommended to me by mother, who said they were the best in the business. I agree! They were polite, professional, charged reasonable prices, and did excellent work. They also have a strong guarantee that is backed by a trust. I can't imagine why you'd use any other company.read more
Linda Krizka
19:44 10 Jul 17
Advanced Foundation repair is the only way to go! The engineer, Eric was kind, helpful and informative! The crew under Haynard's watch was unbelievably considerate. The crew was in and out of our house for 5 days. Everyone of them were happy even in the 90 degree weather. They work hard and were very polite. If you saw my house now you would never even know they were here. They cleaned up every night and on the last day it looked like new! Very thankful to have been able to work with them.read more
Michael Francis
00:48 29 Apr 17
Advanced recently performed our foundation repair and did a fantastic job! The job took four days and throughout the process, the workers were on time each day, were kind and courteous. They left our house clean each day and took great care in making my wife and newborn comfortable during the repair. They came back out to make adjustments, as was expected, and I am more than pleased with the results. Thanks to Juan Martinez, Miguel Mata and Ernesto Alvarato for doing everything I requested. I highly recommend Advanced Foundation Repair, they know what they are doing.read more
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