Foundation/Crawl Space Issues!


Old 02-25-14, 08:55 AM
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Foundation/Crawl Space Issues!

Hi, all.

My house is brick w/ a crawl space - no slab foundation. My husband and found out we have foundation issues. Our floors have never been even, but we began noticing more sloping than usual, a door that won't latch etc.

We have had 2 foundation companies come out to take a look. One briefly looked under the house <and I mean briefly> and took some pictures of a floating main beam that is well above the pier, some jacks that are sideways/not doing their job etc. This company did not run a level through the house. Estimate, IF it is worse-case scenario (meaning new supplemental beam under house, 20 new heavy-duty adjustable jacks set in concrete under house, 3 push piers under one corner of house where there is a crack in brick), is to the tune of $16,000+! Hopefully it wouldn't be quite that bad, but yikes!

Second company came out, did not look under house, ran a level through the interior of the house and said we are well within the 2 inches allowed (most is within an inch) and the house is in great condition, even after seeing the actual hump in the kitchen floor/broken flooring from it etc. Said to get under the house and put some support in that area. I showed him the cracks in brick, and He said yes, that corner of the house (that has cracks) will "drop" at some point, but you can never tell when - could be next summer, could be 15 years from now. As far as under the house, he said to get under there and shim it up/get some jacks etc. Said it wasn't worth it for him to come out, as they only will come for jobs more than $1600. I told him what other company said and the estimate amount and he basically said he doesn't know why people have to do that to homeowners and said he didn't need to try to rip people off to get business.

First company said the house should be LEVEL, no sloping at all, no cracks in brick. Second company said that with this type of foundation, you never will have perfect floors and that the cracking in the brick is typical settling and is not an issue at this point.

FYI - House is from 1950, but was moved to current location in the 70's.
This is two extremes! Help! We are in a small town without foundation repair companies - most companies are 2 hours + away, so hard to get people to come out.

What do you think? Two extremes! Can we "legitimately" have just a handyman do under the house work, or do we really need a foundation company to do it? Want to do what is reasonable financially but also do a good job, obviously!

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Old 02-25-14, 10:48 AM
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Where at a disadvantage, without even some pictures it's anyone's guess.
Floors are suppose to be level, no idea where he came up with the 2" allowance.
It's very common to see tipping or failing piers under older houses.
Most often it's because there not deep or wide enough. Just a matter of jacking the floor joist back into place and poring a new footing and building a new pier out of concrete blocks.
Depending on how bad the cracking is it could range from normal settling and just tuck pointing the mortar, to having to have to get it mud jacked back into place.
Old 03-02-14, 04:21 PM
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Thanks for the reply, Joecaption1. Sorry for the late response - have had a crazy past few days. We ended up finding another out-of-town company that was going to be in the area for another job stop out. The guy drew the entire house to scale, checked to see how level it was -- -a much more thorough job than the other person who brought a level through (this level was put in all corners of all rooms, in door ways etc. and the reading recorded. This person said somewhat of the same thing as the the person who said our house was fine. He said that there were a couple areas that were of some concern, but in general our house was within range.... yes, there is that range again. It seems that it is the norm and is "ok" for it not to be exactly level, as long as it doesn't change more than "X" amount within so many feet. We will get the full report/estimate from the 3rd company the middle of next week.... Thank you again for the reply!
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