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How to find a good contractor?

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  • #31
    Re: How to find a good contractor?

    Originally posted by ellie View Post
    Hello everyone!
    The report from the structural engineer is in!

    He said that I need 4 piers. He said it's not very bad but it would need to be fixed eventually. He said the house settled unevenly because of the soil here. My poor beautiful oak tree had nothing to do with it He also confirmed that the foundation is, at most, 20 years old - but likely younger than that. The rest of it looks good and things that I thought were serious cracks are actually from things like incorrectly hung sheet rock and poor window installation.

    Do any of you have experience with Ram Jack or other piering systems that you could recommend? I'm guessing I'll be looking at spending around $8,000. Is this something that homeowners would cover or is this an out of pocket thing usually?
    I would look into "heli-coil" (not sure thats how you spell it but its close)piers, and you should ask your engineer if they would work in your part of the country/area.

    Just curious, but does the rest of your foundation have piers? If not, whats the foundation sitting on? Why does the engineer recomend "4" piers and where does he want to place them?


    • #32
      Re: How to find a good contractor?

      I asked the guy if he could recommend a company to do the work and he said that he doesn't usually do that because it would be unethical. Although, he did say that if I got stuck, to give him a call and he'd see what he could do.
      The soil here is mostly clay. I'm very close to the bank of the Delaware river. This is going to be a big job! I have just over $5000 saved up for this, but I need to get the rest before moving forward. After that's done, I'll have to get a concrete patio redone and the facade of the house redone. They're both cracked as well (plus they're very old and dated looking).

      Thanks again Garager! If it wasn't for you guys, I probably would've gone with the first guy, spent $1700, and still had the same problem with my house! So you saved me $1200 already (1700-500 for the engineer).

      Thanks Mr. Concrete! I'll look into that. No other piers, the rest of the house is in good shape. My house is shaped like an "L". The front part that sticks out away from the rest of the house is the part that's sinking. I don't know the placement of the piers yet, except that they're going on the front part of the house. The engineer's working on a schematic for me that will show the exact places he wants the piers to go. The rest of the foundation is on footings in the soil (clay). The engineer checked out the entire house - even the attic! and said that the problem's only in the front of the house.

      I'd give you guys a big kiss if I could!


      • #33
        Re: How to find a good contractor?

        I'm glad so far we have been able to help you. But now you know where your at, and you must find the right contractor. Its is some what true about referring is unethical. But if the guy isn't receiving kickbacks and he doesn't just refer to one contractor, I'd say its fine for him to help you out. But of course its his decision and we must respect that.

        So now you can explain to any contractor, about what is going on and you know for a fact about this. So either then can help you or not, but don't get just one bid. Any money we saved you, buy your husband a nice welcome home gift from all of us, for his service duty. We appreciate what he's doing for us, deployed for 2 yrs, that is a very long time....

        Good luck, and keep us informed, now I gotta get my but out of here and get working...
        Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

        A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!


        • #34
          Re: How to find a good contractor?

          You can check out sites sites like and others like it where they prescreen contractors for insurance, good BBB record, good list of satisfied customers, etc. Referrals from friends and family are usually the best. Still check references of others they did work for though.