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Steel Push Pier Installation

clock March 2, 2009 11:55 by author blogadmin
Settled foundations composed of stone, concrete block or poured concrete can easily be restored by using steel push piers. The piers are 100% load tested.

 

   
 

Maybe the most popular form of foundation repair is steel push or

resistance piers. Understanding them is the first step to solving your 

foundation repair needs. 

 

Quiet vibration free hydraulic equipment is used to install the steel resistance piers. All of the installation equipment is highly portable and can be easily transported on the jobsite. After all of the piers are installed and load tested, the structure can be immediately restored or lifted by transferring the load of the home to the piers. There's no time wasted, waiting for concrete to cure, and no soil to remove from the site. A measured factor of safety is verified, as the piers are 100% load tested to a force greater than the actual working load.

Whether your foundation is composed of stone, concrete block or poured concrete, steel push piers should be your first choice as an underpinning solution. Foundation repair or underpinning projects are usually completed in just days, not weeks. Should conditions change, the piers can be easily inspected, tested and/or adjusted. The following steps provide an example of the typical installation procedure. Figure 1 shows a structure with a spread footing.  

   

 1.  Site survey: Pier placements are located around the structure and the location of underground utilities verified.

2.  Excavation: Small excavations or the entire perimeter is dug for access at each placement location. The space required at the foundation is usually about 3 feet square. (fig 1)

3.  Prep of the foundation: This includes notching the footing  to place the pier bracket under the stem wall, preparing the bearing area under the footing to a smooth and level condition, and adjusting the face of the stem wall to vertical at the point of bracket attachment. (fig 1)

 
   

 

4.  Bracket Attachment: The steel bracket is secured to the footing using anchor bolts. Attachment of the drive stand and the hydraulic cylinder that is used to force the pier pipe into the soil is mounted on the drive stand. (fig 2)

5.  Pier Pipe Installation: The pier pipe is advanced into the soil using the structure as the reaction force with a 10,000 psi hydraulic pump and cylinder combination. The piers may be installed from outside or inside the structure. Pier installation continues until rock or suitable bearing-strata is encountered below the unstable soil near the surface. (fig 2)

 

6.  Load Test: Every pier is load tested by increasing the force on the pier to insure the rock or bearing-strata will support a load greater than needed to guarantee a factor of safety. Typically an engineer will determine the load of the structure and the desired factor of safety before the load tests are performed. (fig 3)

7.  Preps for Restoration: Once all piers have been installed, load tested, and the installation data at each placement recorded; lifting head assemblies and hydraulic lifting rams are placed on the piers. The lifting cylinders are connected with one or more manifolds and operated using a hydraulic pump. (fig 3)

   
   

 

8.  Restoration: Under careful supervision, the load is transferred from the existing failing strata under the foundation, to the load tested piers. The structure can be transferred gently and evenly lifted to as close to the original elevation or to the recommendation of the engineer. The nuts at the pier caps are secured at each placement and the lifting equipment is removed. . (fig 4)

9.  Clean Up: The soil that was excavated at each pier placement is now replaced and compacted. The site is left clean and neat.

 



Home Sweet Home Foundation Repairs

clock March 2, 2009 08:26 by author blogadmin
We will help you find a competent and reliable foundation repair contractor to repair your settling and sinking foundation.

Whether you’re having your foundation repaired or simply having some cracks fixed, finding a competent and reliable foundation repair contractor is the first step to a successful and satisfying home improvement project.Your home may be your most valuable financial asset. That’s why it’s important to be cautious when you hire someone to work on it. Home improvement and repair and maintenance contractors often advertise in newspapers, the Yellow Pages, and on the radio and TV. However, don’t consider an ad an indication of the quality of a contractor’s work. Your best bet is a reality check from those in the know: friends, neighbors, or co-workers who have had improvement work done. Another valuable source is from foundation engineers. An engineer will come to your home and analyze your situation and give you a written plan to solve your foundation problems. With his recommendation get a written estimate from the foundation repair contractor. Have your question ready and make sure that he answers them to your satisfaction.To learn more of what you need to know before meeting with your contractor visit www.MyFoundationRepairs.com 

Home Improvement Professionals

Depending on the size and complexity of your project, you may choose to work with a number of different professionals:

  • Specialty Contractors use particular products, such as tuck pointing and landscaping.
  • Foundation Engineers oversee major renovations and make sure repair are done correctly. If your project includes structural changes, you may want to hire an engineer who specializes in foundation repairs.
  • Sheetrock Contractors have expertise in drywall repair and make sure that your home looks like new after the repairs are done.
  • Many Foundation Repair Contractors provide one-stop service. They see your project through from start to finish.

 Don’t Get Nailed

Not all contractors operate within the law. Here are some tip-offs to potential rip-offs. A less than reputable contractor:

  • solicits door-to-door;
  • just happens to have materials left over from a previous job;
  • only accepts cash payments;
  • tells you your job will be a "demonstration;"
  • pressures you for an immediate decision;
  • offers exceptionally long guarantees;
  • asks you to pay for the entire job up-front;

 Hiring a Home Repair Contractor

Interview each contractor you’re considering. Here are some questions to ask.

  • How long have you been in business? Look for a well-established company and check it out with consumer protection officials. They can tell you if there are unresolved consumer complaints on file. One caveat: No record of complaints against a particular contractor doesn’t necessarily mean no previous consumer problems. The may be a contractor is doing business under several different names.
  • Are you licensed and registered with the state? While most states license electrical and plumbing contractors, only 36 states have some type of licensing and registration statutes affecting contractors, remodelers, and/or specialty contractors. The licensing can range from simple registration to a detailed qualification process. Also, the licensing requirements in one locality may be different from the requirements in the rest of the state. Check with your local building department or consumer protection agency to find out about licensing requirements in your area. If your state has licensing laws, ask to see the contractor’s license. Make sure it’s current.
  • Are you certified by a manufacturer or other organization? Many reputable manufacturers have extensive training programs that provide certification for the contractor. Many national associations also have training and continuing education programs offered to their members.
  • How many projects like mine have you completed in the last year? Ask for a list. This will help you determine how familiar the contractor is with your type of project.
  • May I have a list of references? The contractor should be able to give you the names, addresses, and phone numbers of at least three clients who have projects similar to yours. Ask each how long ago the project was completed and if you can see it. Also, tell the contractor that you’d like to visit jobs in progress.
  • Will you be using subcontractors on this project? If yes, ask to meet them, and make sure they have current insurance coverage and licenses, if required. Also ask them if they were paid on time by this contractor. A "mechanic’s lien" could be placed on your home if your contractor fails to pay the subcontractors and suppliers on your project. That means the subcontractors and suppliers could go to court to force you to sell your home to satisfy their unpaid bills from your project. Protect yourself by asking the contractor, and every subcontractor and supplier, for a lien release or lien waiver.
  • What types of insurance do you carry? Contractors should have personal liability, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage. Ask for copies of insurance certificates, and make sure they’re current. Avoid doing business with contractors who don’t carry the appropriate insurance. Otherwise, you’ll be held liable for any injuries and damages that occur during the project.

 Checking References

Talk with some of the remodeler’s former customers. They can help you decide if a particular contractor is right for you. You may want to ask:

  • Can I visit your home to see the completed job?
  • Were you satisfied with the project? Was it completed on time?
  • Did the contractor keep you informed about the status of the project, and any problems along the way?
  • Were there unexpected costs? If so, what were they?
  • Did workers show up on time? Did they clean up after finishing the job?
  • Would you recommend the contractor?
  • Would you use the contractor again?

 Understanding Your Payment Options

You have several payment options for most home improvement and maintenance and repair projects. For example, you can get your own loan or ask the contractor to arrange financing for larger projects. For smaller projects, you may want to pay by check or credit card. Avoid paying cash. Whatever option you choose, be sure you have a reasonable payment schedule and a fair interest rate. Here are some additional tips:

  • Try to limit your down payment. Some state laws limit the amount of money a contractor can request as a down payment. Contact your state or local consumer agency to find out what the law is in your area.
  • Try to make payments during the project contingent upon completion of a defined amount of work. This way, if the work is not proceeding according to schedule, the payments also are delayed.
  • Don’t make the final payment or sign an affidavit of final release until you are satisfied with the work and know that the subcontractors and suppliers have been paid. Lien laws in your state may allow subcontractors and/or suppliers to file a mechanic’s lien against your home to satisfy their unpaid bills. Contact your local consumer agency for an explanation of lien laws where you live.
  • Some state or local laws limit the amount by which the final bill can exceed the estimate, unless you have approved the increase. Check with your local consumer agency.
  • If you have a problem with merchandise or services that you charged to a credit card and you have made a good faith effort to work out the problem with the seller, you have the right to withhold from the card issuer payment for the merchandise or services. You can withhold payment up to the amount of credit outstanding for the purchase, plus any finance or related charges.

 The "Home Improvement" Loan Scam

A contractor calls or knocks on your door and offers to install a new roof or remodel your kitchen at a price that sounds reasonable. You tell him you’re interested, but can’t afford it. He tells you it’s no problem — he can arrange financing through a lender he knows. You agree to the project, and the contractor begins work. At some point after the contractor begins, you are asked to sign a lot of papers. The papers may be blank or the lender may rush you to sign before you have time to read what you’ve been given to sign. You sign the papers. Later, you realize that the papers you signed are a home equity loan. The interest rate, points and fees seem very high. To make matters worse, the work on your home isn’t done right or hasn’t been completed, and the contractor, who may have been paid by the lender, has little interest in completing the work to your satisfaction.You can protect yourself from inappropriate lending practices. Here’s how.

Don’t:

  • Sign any document you haven’t read or any document that has blank spaces to be filled in after you sign.
  • Let anyone pressure you into signing any document.
  • Deed your property to anyone. First consult an attorney, a knowledgeable family member, or someone else you trust.

 Getting a Written Contract

Contract requirements vary by state. Even if your state does not require a written agreement, ask for one. A contract spells out the who, what, where, when and cost of your project. The agreement should be clear, concise and complete. Before you sign a contract, make sure it contains:

  • The contractor’s name, address, phone, and license number, if required.
  • The payment schedule for the contractor, subcontractors and suppliers.
  • An estimated start and completion date.
  • The contractor’s obligation to obtain all necessary permits.
  • How change orders will be handled. A change order — common on most remodeling jobs — is a written authorization to the contractor to make a change or addition to the work described in the original contract. It could affect the project’s cost and schedule. Remodelers often require payment for change orders before work begins.
  • A detailed list of all materials including color, model, size, brand name, and product.
  • Warranties covering materials and workmanship. The names and addresses of the parties honoring the warranties — contractor, distributor or manufacturer — must be identified. The length of the warranty period and any limitations also should be spelled out.
  • What the contractor will and will not do. For example, is site clean-up and trash hauling included in the price? Ask for a "broom clause." It makes the contractor responsible for all clean-up work, including spills and stains.
  • Oral promises also should be added to the written contract.

 Keeping Records

Keep all paperwork related to your project in one place. This includes copies of the contract, change orders and correspondence with your home improvement professionals. Keep a log or journal of all phone calls, conversations and activities. These records are especially important if you have problems with your project — during or after construction. 

Completing the Job: A Checklist

Before you sign off and make the final payment, use this checklist to make sure the job is complete. Check that:

  • All work meets the standards spelled out in the contract.
  • You have written warranties for materials and workmanship.
  • You have proof that all subcontractors and suppliers have been paid.
  • The job site has been cleaned up and cleared of excess materials, tools and equipment.
  • You have inspected and approved the completed work.

 Where to Complain

If you have a problem with your home improvement project, first try to resolve it with the contractor. Many disputes can be resolved at this level. Follow any phone conversations with a letter you send by certified mail. Request a return receipt. That’s your proof that the company received your letter. Keep a copy for your files.If you can’t get satisfaction, consider contacting the following organizations for further information and help:

  • The manufacturer of installed products
  • State and local consumer protection offices.
  • Your state or local Builders Association and/or Remodelers Council.
  • Your local Better Business Bureau.
  • Local dispute resolution programs.

 For More Information Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.govTo order a free copy of How to Find a Professional Remodeler, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

NAHB Remodelers Council
Dept. FT
1201 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators: www.nacaanet.org

1010 Vermont Avenue, NW
Suite 514
Washington, DC 20005
E-mail: nacaa@erols.com
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement



My Foundation Repair - The Foundation Solutions Site

clock February 26, 2009 20:14 by author blogadmin
My Foundation Repairs is the largest independent network site of trained experts that specialize in foundation repair solutions using the latest technology.

MyFoundationRepairs.com and our installing contractors, is synonymous with superior training, quality products and superior customer service. With the largest independent network of trained foundation experts we service 46 states and over 160 cities. Our roots are based in superior engineering and technology in the foundation repair industry.

While many organizations are based on large television budgets and fancy marketing, our network is founded on supplying homeowners with the best solution for their foundation problems at a reasonable cost. Don't fall for the hype and slick advertising, inform yourself through our resources and make an educated decision for your home.

Remember, cracks in your foundation or around doors and windows mean you could have a serious problem. These cracks do not get better by themselves they need to help of foundation repair contractors that have been trained to solve these issues.

As always, My Foundation Repairs recommends that you hire a trained foundation engineer when a concrete foundation problem is suspected. Feed



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