Of those who have experience in correcting foundation problems or who have gotten estimates… What is a general cost of repairs to a pier and beam house.
I ask because I once got an estimate on a slab and they essentially charged by the number of mud jacks/piers/whatever that they were going to place along the perimeter of the house. I believe it was $800 per gizmo.
Is it similarly priced when dealing with pier and beam or a whole other ballgame? I have no concept of the costs in volved with straightening out the interior flooring. I am exagerating, but the floor on the inside areas of the house are like a ocean, WAVY! No cracks in the walls, interior or exterior, all doors close correctly, etc. The house is 1,600 sqft.
A true pier and beam foundataion is a breeze to repair unless th beam is completely broken. It is not necessary to have the foundation repaired. The floor is merely leveled. If a house in the Dallas area was built before about 1940, it probably is not a pier and beam, but if probably setting on blocks of some sort. My residence was built in 1896 and was setting on bois d’arc posts until we added more creosote posts. You will need to crawl underneath the house and look at it. If you have concrete piers and a concrete beam, look for big cracks in the beam with areas that you can see daylight through. If you don’t have concrete piers and a beam, then in this black soil, the foundation is going to move. Just have it leveled and it will be ok until the next rain ;).
Wilson is right but I called the old wooden piers just cedar stumps in the ground. As they finally rot they start to look like toothpicks and are pointed on the end and the weight pushing down drives them into the ground like tent stakes.
When the outside piers settle the floor joists will tend to bow in the middle no matter what kind of piers you have under the house. Once the house is raised around the edges the joists will still be bowed in the middle. These may or may not settle back over time depending on the severity. Often times the entire floor system needs to be replaced especially if there is ground contact and the wooden beams and or joists have rotted.
Best way to figure all this out is to get bids on repairs or hire an engineer to help solve the problem or both.
Thanks guys for the good info. I was asking so as to guesstimate what is involved by inspecting houses on my own initially before plaing an offer subject to a thorough inspection and foundation estimate.
I hate to call foundation guys out to look at a house I don’t even have under contract and just looking at. Once I get a few offers out and ask from some estimates then I will be better able to tell on my own what is needed.
Grrr… I don’t look forward crawling under one of these babies! :-\
For ballpark purposes, I just bought an 1100 sq.ft. house that is on “cedar stumps” as Ted described. The beams are in pretty good shape, with the exception of 32 ft. that needs to be replaced. For 36 new concrete piers, 32 feet of new beam, new concrete skirting with vents installed, and everything leveled, I’m paying $8,200. The guy gives me a break on price since I’m an investor and a repeat customer. I know the foreman of a foundation crew that works for another company and I could get it done cheaper by having him moonlight the job, but this way I get a warranty from a foundation company with 30+ years of experience. It makes it easier to sell with a warranty.
BTW, I still crawl under the houses before I buy them. You learn a lot about plumbing, termite/ woodrot, and wiring issues. As a bonus, pictures of the rotted bathroom sub-floors look really bad and help justify my offer price.
$8,200 for that job really makes me feel better, that is a decent amount when buying a property already discounted to account for such repairs.
Oh yeah and I was about to say how I would still not want to go down there just cause I already know what all is down there, but then your last sentence just gave me prolly another 10 to 20 thousand reasons why I should…and take my digital camera with me. ;D