The big picture is: three or four big guys come and dig around the foundation, mostly outside, but some inside. They then chip away at the footer to make it square, install helical piers (a long screw driven deep into the clay soil, approximately 25 to 35 feet). They then attach pier to footer brackets and use hydraulic jacks to lift the house some what. It's a skill that must be developed, like getting everyone to smile with eyes open at once. After a careful and skilled lift they then bolt the footer brackets to the piers. House loads are now resting on these piers. Sounds easy but it's a lot of work and yes it's expensive, but what else can a retiree on limited income to do with his savings. Here are the teasers for day 1, there are two more days to go. Will take some each day. If you have question, then ask. See first pic for their phone number.
|Dustin, Steve and Can|
|Door Wall moving south|
|Lee said there are always two cracks, maybe more.|
|Steve with bracket|
|Head Supervisor Lee, and Second Supervisor Can|
|Back hoe in motion|
|Can with crawl space driver|
|Outside driver and helical piers and extensions|
|In crawl driving a pier.|
|South wall, hydraulic lines for crawl driver|
|Lee with his driver|
|Shane, the real man on the driver|
|Steve working on bracket space|
|Driving extension tubes and helical pier, Approximate 27 feet deep|
|James setting bracket and jack lifts|
|Today's crew, James Steve, Lee, and Shane|
|Lee who always smiles for his clients, now what about Valarie?|
|Jack being readied for lift|
|3 of the 5 lift jack being supplied by same manifold via one hydraulic pump|
|Laser Level, Lee's favorite toy|
|Lee marking before lift using laser level|
|Last bracket with laser level.|
|Laser mark versus Sharpy mark, moving upward|
|Hydraulic pump used for 5 jack lifts at once|
|Jack under pressure|
|Lee and Can slowly squeezing 5 jacks and footers are moving|
|Majority of gap size decrease|
|1/4 inch movement on southwest corner, 1/2 inch movement on southeast corner. The real purpose is to stop footer sinking, not get it back to original.|
|James, Lee, and Can, all done.|
|Can Pic for Wife|
|James, father of twins, soon to be groom|
Well that's day 1-3. Want to review some lessons learned, will be adding to this later this week, need to got to Pittsburgh now. All pics are on snap fish. Click this link to see more Basement Doctor Photographs
Well its now August 11, 2011, if you came this far and your not related then here are some lessons learned.. I do this because this was expensive and there are many who can take advantage.
Always get as many estimate as possible. I really learned what was going on by asking many question to the many vendors. With each vendor I always had new questions, but my knowledge bank increased. Basement Doctors answered my question, but my question base came from other quotes.
Always go with fixed price. Some vendors would sell you 21 feet of base pier length at fix torque value, then say oh its $40/foot if we need more, guess what they will always we need more.
Be careful if the bid is too good. Very low bids are a tell that something is wrong.
Always stipulate what is the final torque values on their driver. This pressure must be converted to torque based on the driver specifics. You can see the supply pressure on the driver hydraulic hoses, but good luck finding the conversion factor. Diving these piers is also a skill related to stones or other debris being in pier's pathway. I really left it up to Lee. I did see the pressure gauge spike up when he hit a rock or something.
Remember that the diameter of the helical blade for each starter pier is holding the load, if its narrow then, less load can be hold and it can be driven deeper, hence more extension lengths are needed, costing more. See bullet above about fixed price above. Get helical blade diameters on contract.
Round piers are always better than square piers, their stronger.
Always go with galvanized piers and brackets versus painted to just plane (Lee calls the black) metal. Metal rusts and if you look, one will find many spent and rusting bracket pics.
Always run a BBB check against the company. Note that some have negative results with this so called acceptable BBB recommendation. They only look at complaints and if these are rectified.
Well that's about it for now. As time progress I may add more or revises these. If you want more or just want to talk, then call or e-mail. A home is a place were family is kept. To make an investment like this takes time to make. Weight your options. If you want to pass that house along or sell it, then a repair sooner as later is always better. Love ya Pete