The 1956 Fixer Upper is now standing firm on its foundation. Fixing a foundation is something best left to professionals. It was a stressful decision choosing a company to stabilize the foundation. After five bids that varied a great deal we chose a company out of Amarillo, Texas. They arrived when they said they would and worked tirelessly to finish ahead of schedule. The process was interesting, even a couple of friends drove out to see as many home owners in the area are checking out recommended foundation repair companies. The Texas drought has not been kind to foundations.
The four strong young men that worked so hard came from the Dallas area. Three of them went to work skillfully digging by hand perfect square holes outside the house next to the foundation. In about four hours, to our amazement, they had completed 21 holes around the house. The holes were about 4-6 feet deep and extended under the edge of the concrete foundation beams. Round concrete pylons were placed under the foundation edge and forced deep into the earth until they could not be forced any more. At the end of the project it was decided one more pylon needed to be placed under the largest cracked area next to the garage. That spot was extremely problematic, but we knew it would be. A mason will be needed to redo the brick there.
Once the pylons sat on a hard layer invisible to me, a square cap was placed so a hydraulic lift could sit next to the last pylon and slowly lift the foundation. They lifted the foundation in three holes at a time sliding in steel shims. A fourth man was inside the house with levels placed around the walls. He watched the bubbles in the levels until the floors were perfect. When they had done this around the house they spent time checking every door and all the places that were cracked and had shown the evidence of a foundation issue. One of the men went into the narrow crawl space of our pier and beam house lifting with a jack and placing shims where needed as the foreman guided him from above to areas the level indicated he needed to be. When they were done all the doors once again close as they should and the gaps where cracks had formed closed up.
While the two men completed the work inside the other two men went about placing the dirt back into the holes and tamping it firmly. I forgot to mention they had placed a wide sidewalk of plywood sheets around the entire house to hold the dirt from the holes so that when they finished the grass was just as it was. Well, except for the border where the actual holes were. It looks so great that I think we will keep the area clear of grass and put a layer of gravel there. In two days they were done.
The only surprise that left a pit in my stomach was the shed snake skins the worker brought out from the crawl space. Creepy! He said there was a low space where several of those skins lay. Probably an old den. He could not find an entry spot under there and we could not locate an entry spot outside either. Hopefully those skins were decades old and are the reason the previous owners had sealed the foundation all the way around. I do not like the idea they ever lived under there so even though the men assured me they no longer are there, we’ll be putting Snake Away under there! All the more reason to keep that bare area around the house with gravel. It will make it easy to ensure no critters are making our home theirs too.
We are extremely pleased with the service performed and would recommend this company happily. By the way, this is not a paid ad, rather a sharing of a good experience with an obviously experienced crew. I will answer any questions as best I can.