While a foundation contractor is responsible for designing and pouring a new foundation, either dug or slab, a foundation contractor may also repair damaged foundations.
When Should I Hire a Foundation Contractor?
In both homes and businesses, a foundation is the first step in starting the building construction process. If you already have a home and your foundation has become cracked or has deteriorated, you may need to hire foundation contractor to repair the damages. In this case, you would contact the foundation contractor after the home is already built – perhaps even several years later.
What Should I Look for When Hiring a Foundation Contractor?
A foundation contractor generally learns the trade in a vocational school program and through an apprenticeship. Foundation contractors must know how to read blueprints and understand where footings should be installed so that the weight of the finished product is not too much for the basement walls and supports. Therefore, licensing is required in many states. Be certain to contact your state to check on whether or not the foundation contractor is properly licensed. .
What Can I Expect from the Foundation Contractor?
A typical basement project starts with the use of heavy equipment, like backhoes or steam shovels, to dig out the basement area. The work can be tedious because measurements must be exact. Once the hole is in place, experts recommend insulation sheets be put into place before the basement floor is poured. If the basement is going to be poured, framing is installed to create a mold that the concrete walls will cure within. This framing ensures the concrete is evenly spaced all around. Holes and bubbles must be removed so that the structure of the wall is uniform and strong enough to support the house.
The other type of basement wall, a block wall, is attached after the basement floor has set. Large concrete blocks are laid out and mortar seals them to the next layer of blocks. The process is on going until you have the basement wall to the proper height, usually eight to twelve feet.
In a repair project, jacks are used to lift the house off the foundation and then weak spots are repaired or in some cases, the entire basement is repoured.