Home Talk: Pier and Beam Foundation Repair

By Jules Kniolek

If you are reading this article there is a good chance you live in the Cherrywood neighborhood.  There is also a good chance your house is built on a pier and beam foundation.  If so, it is more than likely your floors are not level.

Do not panic.

Pier and beam foundation repair is very common in Central Austin, and if the floor in your house is out of level enough to annoy you when you walk across it, you might consider getting it repaired.

The repair process typically consists of repairing or replacing existing damaged piers and beams.  The foundation repair company will check the floor for variations in height, assess the existing piers and beams for damage, and prepare an estimate for the work.

All this is done in under an hour.

To give you an idea of the cost of the repairs, you should expect to pay in the range of $250 to $350 per replaced pier, $15 to $20 per linear foot to replace a beam or part of a beam; also, about $1.50 to $2.00 per square foot for leveling, and somewhere in the range of $20 per linear foot for underpinning (skirting) repair or replacement.

To take it a step further, you may want to insulate between the joists of your floor to save money on your power bill and be more comfortable in the house. Today’s spray foam products work very good as a crawl space insulator.  It seals cracks and crevices very well and you don’t need a lot of it. Just 2 to 2 ½ inches of spray foam will do the job.  Expect to pay about $3.00 per square foot installed.

That said, every house is unique and should be assessed by professionals to determine if the foundation damage is due to normal settlement, water damage, or shifting of the structural load—especially if the house has been remodeled or added to—and consider taking care of the root cause before investing in foundation repairs.

I hope this helps.  Stay tuned for more Home Talk in the May 2017 issue of our newsletter.  Until then, if you have questions about your home that I might be able to answer, leave a comment below this article and I’ll reply.

Jules Kniolek

About Jules Kniolek

Currently funding life as a residential design-builder having done projects in and around Austin, Honduras and Greece. Previous method of sustainment was high tech chip design engineer and manager. I like to walk or ride my Harley to the book store to pick up a good read. Or outside of town to meditate by a creek. Or to a local club or historic dancehall to two-step or swing dance (throw in some lindy-hop and a zydeco here and there).

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