DIY Foundation Repair Pros and Cons

Is Home Foundation Repair For You?

A foundation is a basic unit in any home. It should be maintained at the optimum working condition at all times. Depending on the region, size of the house and personal preferences, the type of foundation used in a home would tend to vary i.e. concrete or wood. However, concrete foundations are the most common since some are built to sustain crawl spaces or basements. Regardless of the type of foundation however, all will tend to require repair at some point. In this regard, the homeowner may either decide to opt for a DIY project or look for a professional contractor.

foundation repair dyi

DIY foundation repair is a common project, especially for small repairs that may not require much expertise. However, it is important to note that DIY foundation repair has its pros and cons. The decision on whether to have a DIY foundation repair would depend on the type of repair needed.

Some of the signs of a foundation in need of repair include cracks on the bricks, wall, tile and even the foundation itself. In other cases, this can be seen from the sticky windows and doorjambs, leaning chimneys and sloping floors. The following therefore are some of the DIY foundation repair – Pros and Cons.

Pros of DIY foundation repair

DIY foundations repair can be a good option especially if you have the basic idea on how to do it. As much as you may not be a professional, having an idea on how to fix the foundation can be very rewarding. However, it would also be important to understand your limits when it comes to such repairs. Only do what you are sure you can comfortably handle in order to reduce unnecessary damage.

The other advantage is that you will cut down on costs. Sometimes the repair needed is not very significant but the professional will quote exorbitant rates that may be out of your reach as a homeowner. DIY foundations repair therefore reduces the extra costs apart from saving on time taken to finalize the project. DIY repair ensures that you have immediate alternative with you. This is most appropriate especially for issues that get worse by the minute.

The Cons of DIY foundation repair

dyi foundation repairOne of the cons of DIY projects is that there are bound to be mistakes along the way. Some repairs may be extensive and complicated. The homeowner may end up causing more harm than good due to the lack of experience in the repair process. On the other hand, the repair may become worse with time, thus increasing costs and effort of repair later on.

DIY foundations repair is not advisable if the house is old or has not been repaired for a long period of time. This is because there is a likelihood of more problems coming up in the process if your installation. These problems may become complex thus calling for the services of a professional foundation repair contractor. For example, Foundation Repair Pros in the DFW Plano Tx area.

Before you decide on a DIY foundation repair therefore, it is important to determine the extent of the damage. This will ensure that you make a wise judgment in regard to whether you will do it yourself or will hire the services of a professional.

Understanding Pier and Beam Foundations

 Problems With Pier and Beam

Love’em or hate’em homes with a crawl space and pier and beam foundation can be frustrating at times. Creaking, sagging, wooden floors along with cracked walls are not uncommon with these foundations. The primary cause is unstable soil, caused by too much or too little moisture. Swelling and or shrinking soil is the result, causing extreme movement of supporting piers. This moisture can also lead to extensive mold and fungus growth which eventually destroys wooden support beams.

The issue of foundation repair often becomes the major consideration for homeowners planning to remodel their basements. With aging, the structural stability of every foundation becomes slightly prone to stress induced by environmental and designing reasons. Repair of pier and beam foundations is regarded much easier than that of concrete foundations. The entire repair process is more affordable and less labor-intensive.

crawl space

Understanding Pier and Beam Foundations

Pier and beam foundation may be a traditional foundation system for residential dwellings but it as efficient and durable as most modern, concrete-heavy foundations. Pier and beam foundations provide homeowners the advantage of maintaining a larger, integrated crawlspace. This space can be used for incorporating the plumbing connections of the home, making it easier to tend periodic plumbing repairs. Similarly, the crawlspace is often used for installing central heating systems. Pier and beam foundations that have been used for decades may develop some maintenance-based problems. These can be easily resolved if you are familiar with foundation-repair basics and the common methods of tending to such repairs.

Understanding Reasons of Pier and Beam Foundation Problems

You should have a basic understanding about how foundation problems are caused. This helps to precisely identify the problem and undertake the appropriate repair procedure. Common factors that can affect pier and beam foundations include:

1 – Underlying Soil

pier and beamSeasonal moisture is a major reason that induces cracking within the foundations. Soil beds that have high clay content create more problems since they support greater moisture retention. The soil expands every time moisture seepage is heavy and this induces stress upon the foundation. This causes undulating, uneven flooring sections in the basements along with sustained seepage along the basement doors. The basement’s sheet rock may also crack.

2 – Inappropriate Construction

Many homes having pier and beam foundation were built with cedar piers. These piers are durable but they restrict the footing area for the foundation. The surface area offered by the footing area dictates the support that is extended to the foundation. Thus, with cedar piers, the foundation is unable to “pass on” the stress to the sub-flooring. This causes constant compression and eventual rotting of the soil layer under the foundation. This causes the basement to start sinking into the underlying soil. This is a common reason for the typical “sunk” appearance of aged pier and beam foundations.

3 – Improper Drainage

The foundation becomes more prone to cracking and mold growth if the drainage isn’t directed away from the home’s basement. Such wrongly directed, drainage system causes constant presence of moisture around the basement area. The moisture is gradually passed on to the lower foundation layers. Presence of water also compromises proper ventilation of the foundation. This hinders quick drying of the basement. Other foundation problems include ignorant gardening practices wherein the garden’s soil bed drains towards the basement.

Understanding Pier and Beam Repair Methods

Most pier and beam foundations can be easily repaired by choosing both or one of the following methods, according to the extent of the problem.

1 – Shoring the Foundation

The process of site shoring is recommended when it becomes apparent that the pier and beam foundation is unable to bear the stress. This can be detected through observing the cracking pattern that becomes concentrated along the base of vertical walls of the basement. Thus, shoring or inducing more support for the foundation is recommended. Here, retailed timber piers are inserted to increase the load-bearing capacity of the foundation. Commonly, temporary shoring is recommended for residential foundation repairs. The timber is inserted under the existing beams of the foundation. This adds more surface area to the footing of the foundation, making it easier to transfer the stress onto the new piers.

2 – Strengthening the Foundation

If shoring doesn’t solve the issue then sonotube application is recommended. However, if the basement shows considerable cracking and the floor has developed a visible slope, you can proceed with sonotube strengthening without shoring the foundation.

Sonotubes are concrete forms, usually hollow, retailed as concrete columns. They are inserted in aging foundations to even their slope and increase their overall durability. Sonotubes can be ordered according to different size requirements. They are supplied in a precut/pre-shaped configuration. Sonotubes are usually placed around the rebar of the footing area. This is followed by pouring some concrete to ensure that the sonotube is secured in its position. Sonotube repairing is seriously recommended if there are visible gaps between the ceiling’s sheetrock panels or between the base of vertical walls and the foundation floor.


Now that you understand the basics, the question is whether or not to attempt to do the repairs yourself. The answer lies in a clear understand of your own strengths and weakness. Simple shimming is easy enough but that just addresses the symptom, not the cause.

A homeowner who is serious about fixing the problem permanently should bring in a professional foundation contractor who has the equipment and expertise.

Related:  Foundation Repair Services

Foundation Repair Service

foundation repair

Your foundation is not something you normally think of. It is how you don’t think about your pipes until you get a leak. When it comes to foundation and foundation repair most people do not start to think about it until they notice something wrong like their home slopping in one direction. It is then that they call a company like ours out to do an inspection and it is then that they learn more than they ever did about their foundation. This article is about finding a great foundation repair company to do your repairs and to tell you what is wrong. This will not be a long article and it will be straight to the point and full of information that you can immediately use. If this sounds good to you, then please continue reading this article.

How To Find A Good Service

It is true in just about any business, probably all industries that not all companies are create equally. It would be nice to live in a world where all businesses did great work but we do not live in such a world. Because of this, articles like this one must exist to inform people how to find a good business to work with. In this case, we are talking about finding a good foundation repair services but this information is true for any type of business.

Reputation Is Everything

When looking for a good foundation repair company, reputation is everything. Reputation is everything because it tells you what a business is about and what their past customers have to say about them. Most good businesses have a ton of good reviews and they have people constantly saying great things about them and these are the type of businesses that you should do businesses with.

You should look for a San Antonio foundation repair company who is well reviewed and highly rated on Google, Kudzu, Citysearch and other such sites that allow customers to leave reviews. These sites will give you insight into how a company operates, what level of service they give and if they will be the right company for you to do business with. These are all great tools that you can sue to make an informed decision and to keep you from doing business with a bad company. This sort of research should be done whenever you need to hire a company.

As you can see, foundation repair is something be often think about and they only think about it when they are having a problem. When you are having a foundation problem, do not let your desire to quickly have things repaired get in the way of you doing research on companies to figure out who is the best and who is the rest. You do not want to quickly hire a company without knowing much about them, this is where the horror stories stem from and research is how you prevent from having your own foundation repair horror story to tell.

Related:  Foundation repair professionals