Good, fast and cheap. I tell my customers they can have two out of three, but never all three.Â More than one contractor has offered this wisdom when describing how to do business successfully.
The longer version goes something like this: It takes skill, experience and specialized tools to do a good job quickly, and all of these ingredients cost extra, so cheap can'Ât be combined with good and fast. On the other hand, fast and cheap is usually an attainable goal because you can use unskilled labor and tools that aren't as expensive. If you want good and cheap, expect the job to take longer because cheaper labor won'Ât have the tools or skill to work quickly.
Foundation repair might be an exception to the out-of-threeÂ rule, providing that your foundation specialist has the right tools and materials to handle a wide range of foundation problems. Many foundation repairs can be done quickly, effectively and affordably, especially when compared to total foundation replacement, which is often considered the Âonly option.
Let'Âs look at a couple of foundation repair examples to see if this good, fast & cheap goal can really be achieved. For starters, we'Âve got a house with a basement wall that is being pushed inward by expansive soil. A poured-concrete foundation wall has cracked in a couple of places and is visibly buckling inward.
Contractor Number 1
The first contractor called in to assess the damage shakes his head and gives homeowners the bad news: ÂI'Âve seen this kind of damage before, he relates. ÂUnfortunately, the cracking and bowing are pretty severe. The only way to permanently repair this damage is to demolish the bowed wall and rebuild a new wall in its place. We'Âll have to put this half of the house up on temporary supports for about 2 weeks. In addition to paying for the new wall, it'Âs going to cost extra to bring the demolished concrete to the landfill.
Evaluation and Solution
This repair strategy may be good, but it'Âs definitely not fast or affordable. But an experienced, full-service foundation repair contractor might be able to make this elusive triple play. He could propose installing wall anchors to stabilize the bowing wall and possibly pull it back close to its original position. Instead of taking two weeks and costing $30,000, a typical wall anchor repair can be completed in just a day or two for a fraction of the cost.
Foundation Example Number 2
What about a basement slab where one section has cracked and sunken several inches, making that part of the basement unusable? An experienced mason might easily recommend removing some or the entire sunken slab, then pouring fresh concrete to restore the slab to its original condition.
Once again, the contractor will have to deal with expensive and disruptive demolition issues. And because the easily compressed soil would remain in place beneath the new concrete, there'Âs a strong likelihood that cracking and sinking will recur.
The Best Repair
A faster, better, and less-costly way to address a settled slab problem is to drive steel piers beneath the settled slab section until the piers reach stable load-bearing soil. Then the settled slab can be raised to its original level position and be anchored in place with brackets secured to the piers.
To finish the job, use mortar to fill the voids beneath the slab and holes for the piers.
This is another example of work that'Âs done well, in a timely manner, and is affordable. But to achieve this trifecta, you need to find an experienced foundation repair specialist.
Contact the experts at Frank'Âs Basement Systems to evaluate your foundation and offer the timeliest, affordable, and quality foundation repair in Rochester, NY
and all surrounding areas.