Phase One: Exterior Foundation InspectionThe perimeter of your home is measured and inspected for all exterior warning signs of foundation problems. Some of the signs are: brick cracks, fascia board separation, brick separation from doors and window casings, deflection in grout lines of brick veneer. A drawing is then made of the perimeter of the home noting all indications of foundation failure.
Phase Two: Interior Floor PlanAll interior walls are now drawn onto our plan of your home. Next, we take the floor elevations throughout the house using a computerized water level. This machine is set up at the highest elevation point in your home. This is the zero point for our elevation readings and all other readings should be negative readings in relation to this point. When taking elevation readings in the house, different flooring thickness – carpet, tile, wood, etc. – have to be taken into consideration. Once we have a plan of the exterior and interior walls and a set of elevation readings, we will have a complete picture of the present elevation of your home foundation slab.
Phase Three: Interior InspectionWe now match or confirm the exterior and interior signs of movement of your home. We check for interior sheetrock cracks, doors that no longer close, framing that is pulling apart in the attic, brick cracks, brick separation, etc. and then we match these structural and cosmetic indications of movement with the elevation readings. This is where our years of experience evaluating foundations is essential for your home’s long term foundation solution. Because no readings are taken when a home is built, we cannot assume the slab was poured perfectly level. We must make an educated decision based on both elevation readings and structural movement to determine how much of the floor slope was built in at the time of construction. After this is finished, we make a decision about how much of the floor slope is due to settlement problems and how to best proceed with the house leveling process. Although it is difficult to see in this photo, there is a diagonal crack in the sheetrock and wallpaper at the top left corner of the door frame. Other measurements confirmed that there had been some “settlement” in the center of the two story home.
Phase Four: ConclusionOnce we have determined if repairs are necessary (sometimes they are not), we will walk you through the interior and exterior of your home and explain our conclusions. We will make sure you fully understand our findings and how we arrived at our decision. We will not recommend work that is not needed. The majority of home foundation problems are not jeopardizing the structural integrity of the home. Rather, the foundation problems present cosmetic deficiencies (cracked brick veneer), inconveniences (fixing jammed doors) and a need for greater home maintenance (fixing broken plumbing pipes). The final decision concerning the repair of a home’s foundation depends on the individual homeowner’s tolerance of the symptoms. If there are various options for your foundation problem, they will be explained to you. Many times homeowners become confused about their foundation problems. This is because they often receive different proposed solutions and different cost estimates for the foundation repair from different companies. We would like to be very clear about Dawson Foundation Repair, Inc. – we do it the old-fashioned way – we excavate holes under the foundation, pour concrete and place steel rebar into the holes to create high strength Bell Bottom Piers that provide superior support and stability. It takes more time and costs more money but it provides the homeowner with a high quality and permanent solution.
Phase Five: How Dawson Can HelpThe final part of our inspection is our explanation of how we intend to fix your home foundation or concrete slab if we feel it is warranted. There are a number of repair methods on the market and we will help you compare the methods of foundation repair commonly utilized in Texas. We will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each house leveling method. Finally, we will give you a written estimate of the foundation repair costs which you return to our office to proceed with your repairs. Make sure that what you are being told is logical. If not, contact us and talk to one of our experienced professionals or get an assessment from an independent Structural Engineer.
Foundation Repair Estimates for Real Estate TransactionsDuring a real estate transaction the motivations of sellers and buyers are different. Home Buyers – If you are in the process of buying a home then it would be in your best interest to have the home’s foundation issues addressed on a Permanent basis. There is only one foundation repair method present in the Houston Building Codes – the drilled pier method, also known as the Bell Bottom Pier method. Bell Bottom Piers are more expensive but they are favored overwhelmingly by structural engineers. There are plenty of repair contractors in Texas offering various cheap and unproven “pushed pile” methods of repair. But if you are buying a home, why would you want to install “pushed piles” that the structural engineers at A-1 Engineering call “mostly useless” and “temporary”? Bell Bottom Piers have been around for almost 100 years – proven, time-tested, permanent. Home Sellers – If you are in the process of selling a home then we are telling you at this time that our foundation repair estimate will be the highest of the group. Why? Because we use a superior method of foundation repair (Bell Bottom Piers) that requires more labor, more concrete, more steel rebar, and more time. If you want a low cost, low quality estimate for your foundation problems then Dawson Foundation Repair is not your company. However, please call us if you prefer an estimate for the highest quality of foundation repair available.
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*We offer foundation inspections and written cost estimates for homes involved in real estate transactions. However, since the motivations of sellers and buyers in a real estate transaction are different, we charge $400 in these cases. Should either the seller or buyer engage us to perform work on their home foundation then we will discount the work by $400.