on March 4, 2014
I enjoyed your article about replacing foundations. When I faced this problem a few years ago, I found that the two bids I received from general contractors were twice what I eventually paid a house mover to do the job. What’s more, since house movers do the shoring up of houses daily, I found that their equipment and experience were far more suited for this task than that of either of the general contractors.
We applaud your creativity, but we do have a few reservations about the 50 percent savings you report. House movers have the equipment required to move a home and make way for a new foundation, but whomever you hire, it is important to make sure that he is properly licensed by the state to do the kind of work needed.
We recommend that the services of a licensed soils engineer and a licensed civil or structural engineer be enlisted to determine the proper size and strength of the replacement foundation.Since the structural integrity of a home depends primarily on a solid foundation this is one area of construction where one should not skimp. When receiving bids, make sure that each contractor uses the same specifications. List the specifications and have the bidders price the differences. The right price is usually the average of the bids.
Some contractors offer low prices by providing inferior quality materials. Some also pay their personnel “under the table”, not paying state or federal taxes or not carrying liability or worker’s compensation insurance. Doing business with this kind of contractor is very risky. If a bid sounds too good to be true, it probably is.