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Evaluating Your Needs

One of the most frustrating problems with repairing foundations is the absence of any accepted standards. This makes it especially important for you to have your needs carefully evaluated.

You have two basic choices for having your foundation evaluated:

  1. You can hire a registered professional engineer.
  2. You can have several foundation contractors give you estimates.

Because there are no set standards, it is likely that you will receive recommendations that differ significantly. Such variations in opinions can occur between engineers as well as contractors.

The quality of the estimate is your first indication of the quality of work that an engineer or a company will offer. A thorough evaluation will include:

  1. Measuring and drawing off the outside dimensions of your home.
  2. Drawing off your interior floor plan.
  3. Noting all interior and exterior damage.
  4. Performing an elevation survey with surveying equipment.
  5. Preparing a contour diagram.

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For pier and beams homes, the evaluation should also include a thorough inspection of your crawl space.

When evaluating each engineer or contractor and their recommendations, insist on clear explanations that make sense to you. There are many techniques for lifting and stabilizing foundations. Each technique has its strengths and weaknesses. Ask why the proposal will work. Ask under what circumstances the proposed technique will not be the best solution. In foundation repair, there is no technique that is best in all circumstances.