What Happens With A Full Foundation Replacement?
Generally speaking, a foundation replacement is something you’ll want to avoid. It’s a very complicated and expensive process which can take a lot of time and effort and may deal cosmetic or structural damage to the rest of your home even if the contractor handles things perfectly. But in case your situation does come to that, it may help to know what’s involved in the process.
- Lift The House
Although it may sound crazy, there are home movers out there who are able to lift even massive three-story houses off of their foundations and onto special cribs that will keep them suspended off the ground until the job is finished. The lifting job will cost extra for homes that have an odd shape or unusual features, but with competent movers and a good structural engineer handy, your house may be able to get through the experience unscathed.
In certain circumstances, you may even be able to live in your suspended home while the foundation replacement is underway, but between all the construction noise and the extra time and money it takes to keep the home livable in this situation, it’s usually better to find somewhere else to live for the weeks or months the job will demand.
- Destroy The Old Foundation
Before you add something new, you generally have to destroy the thing that’s already there. This excavation can actually give you the opportunity to make some adjustments, such as adding a modern drainage system, a crawlspace, or a whole basement, or else you can lift the house up to sit permanently above the local flood level in order to reduce your homeowner’s insurance.
- Build The New Foundation
The foundation is usually poured as a single massive slab, but it’s sometimes rebuilt in up to four segments, particularly when the house above it is actively lived in. That said, the piecemeal approach is not recommended since the foundation is meant to be all one piece so that it’s less likely to buckle or crack. Also, if the acreage is available, you may want to consider creating a new foundation elsewhere on the property, moving the house over to it, and then demolishing what’ s left.
Of course, it’s always cheaper to repair the foundation when possible and to shore up the supports rather than replace them, which is why it helps to have an experienced eye give his or her best guess as to what exactly is needed. If you live in or near the state of Maryland, you can contact AA Action Waterproofing for a free estimate of your foundation repair needs. We’ve been in business for over 27 years now, so we know a thing or two about what a given foundation may need.