Why Choose a Pier and Beam Foundation?

Building a home is an exciting venture. Homeowners get to choose wall coverings, flooring materials, up-to-date appliances, room size variances, and windows and doors. But, what most homeowners do not realize is that building a home starts from the ground up, from the foundation.The most important step to building a new home is choosing the most efficient and safe foundation for your property location. Researching foundation bases is essential in securing the structure of your new home. Some contractors are knowledgeable about foundations and will help you choose which is best for your home. But, there are many who will pour a foundation of their choosing without discussing the choice with you, the homeowner.Two foundation choices that a new homeowner should be aware of are slab-on-grade foundations and pier and beam foundations. The two are quite different when it comes to construction, cost, and longevity.Slab-on-grade foundations are constructed with reinforced concrete and are usually shallow, quickly built, and inexpensive. For a builder that doesn’t have to live in the homes that he builds, slab foundations are a dream. Slab foundations are used with homes that do not have basements. A major disadvantage to slab-on-grade foundations is that they are not resistant to seasonal movement changes and moisture disbursement due to root growth. In other words, slab foundations are not a long-term option for homes in North Texas. Another disadvantage is that generally all piping is placed under the slab foundation causing a very costly procedure should a water pipe burst.Pier and beam foundations, on the other hand, rate a few steps above a slab-on-grade foundation. Pier and beam foundations incorporate a crawl space (usually at least 18 inches) beneath the home and footings filled with concrete to support the slab. This type of foundation is not considered a time saver, but it is safer and more convenient. The crawl space allows access to heating and plumbing utilities without having to break through the concrete slab. The piers mean foundations are less susceptible to damage due to ground shifting, a problem many North Texas homes with slab foundations experience. If extreme ground shifting does occur, the foundation is easily adjusted, a process that is much less expensive than slab foundation repairs, a process most homes in North Texas will have to undergo.Since pier and beam foundations leave homeowners walking on a suspended wood platform, they are much easier on the body’s joints. Pier and beam foundations are preferred by back pain suffers over slab foundations.Pier and beam foundations are generally used for homes built in the Northern part of the country because the climate consists of the freeze and thaw conditions. This condition requires that the foundation be built deeply in to the ground. The safety feature here is that deep foundations are very rarely affected by climate changes. But, the shifting grounds of North Texas make pier and beam foundations the best, longest-lasting choice for foundations in the area.Monster Constructors is professionally known for laying pier and beam foundations in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. They will test the ground on which the home is to be built to decipher the best foundation for that particular area.

How to Determine Cost Estimates for a Foundation Repair

The way a cost of Foundation Repair is determined depends on the amount of damage, underpinning method, material, and number of piers required for proper support and leveling. To get an accurate estimate usually requires a thorough foundation inspection that can last from 30 minutes to several hours depending on the structure.Certain types of soils move foundations. Foundations under homes stress and fatigue over time when the soil composition changes beneath the foundation and causes the home to become out of level. there are several signs a homeowner can see when a structure is out of level and needs to be repaired. The three levels of foundation damage are cosmetic, functional and structural.Cosmetic damage usually shows up first with cracks in the exterior brick and the interior sheet rock walls and ceilings. This is quite disturbing to a homeowner whose home is their largest investment. These cosmetic cracks will usually prompt a homeowner to take action and call a foundation repair company to inspect the foundation and determine what if any repairs need to be done and, most importantly; how much the repairs will cost.Functional damages are classified as parts of the structure that no longer function properly. Functional damage signs are doors that will not completely close or latch, Windows that won’t open or close properly, Huge gaps in the brick and mortar causing cold or hot air to enter the home. When the foundation gets distorted the framework and brickwork get distorted and out of level. Functional damages usually require piers or underpinning to level the foundation and correct the distorted areas.Structural damages are the worst of the three levels. signs of structural damage are huge breaks in the foundation, sheet rock, walls and ceilings to a point where foundation repair may cause it to damage more. If your foundation has these signs you should hire a structural engineer to design a scope of repair along with piering method. You should also inquire from the engineer what best foundation repair companies he has had experience with to repair the foundation. One of the best referrals for a foundation repair company is from an engineer.To determine the cost of foundation repair depends on the amount of underpinning or piers required to level the foundation. The estimator will determine the number of piers. A repair estimate is not broke down by labor and materials. An estimator or an engineer will figure how many piers it will take to properly repair the foundation and multiply the number of piers times the cost per pier. A decent size job of ten piers or more will usually be a lower pier price than a smaller job. The fewer the number of piers the more money the foundation company will charge per pier to repair the foundation.Additional charges for engineer reports, plumbing tests, permits and concrete breakouts will add to the cost of foundation repair besides the foundation repair itself. Foundation repair in Texas is very competitive and a lot of people have foundation issues. Competition is good for the consumer but some contractors that give very inexpensive prices give you just what you paid for.To help assure your foundation is getting supported correctly with the correct amount of underpinning It’s wise to have an engineer determine the number of piers and let foundation companies give you an estimate for foundation repair from the engineers scope of repair as outlined in your engineers report. It helps to protect you and the foundation repair company from having an under or over engineered plan of repair. Sometimes underpinning areas of a home that have raised because of a plumbing leak or poor drainage can lead to other damage and more repairs down the road. Repairing a leak or poor drainage that has caused an over saturation of moisture under a foundation will allow the area to get back to the proper moisture content after it has had time to dry out properly.Estimates can vary in price depending on the foundation companies charge per pier. There are several different companies who use different piering methods, materials and machinery. A pier can range in price from as little as $100.00 to well over $1,000.00 per pier. The most expensive pier is not always the best and the least expensive is not always the worst. Pier prices are influenced by location and availability of materials and competition in the particular market area. In the Dallas/Fort Worth area a repair with concrete pressed pilings averages around $300.00/pier but in other areas of the United States, where competition is low and materials are not as accessible and need to be delivered; pier prices can jump several hundred dollars more per pier.