Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Foundation Repair:
Who typically needs foundation repair services?
Foundation repair requests typically come in from anybody who has had a recent home inspection, so there’s a real estate transaction that’s involved at some point where home owners had an inspection done or the real estate company had an inspection done. Suddenly the buyers find out they have foundation issues from the home inspector, and the home inspector can’t evaluate any kind of structural or foundation issues so they recommend a structural contractor or structural engineer, and that is when the call is generated to us.
What, in particular, is requested of you to inspect?
Typically a home owner will read right off of the inspection report as they’re usually not very familiar with foundations. When it comes to the report, all a home owner sees is “structural damage” and typically the inspectors will highlight it, put it in red, and make it look like it is a very serious issue. Structural is a serious problem, but if they only asked if we can come out and take a look at their home, then they really don’t know what all the report entails. It could be some piers that need to be done, it could be some framing that needs to be re-done. It could be mold damage, termite damage, or any combination because the inspector may not know how to describe what they see.
Is it best to just send you an inspector’s report?
Yes, and we will request it. Once we get the inspection report we can take a look at the pictures, and then somewhat evaluate what needs to happen, but we have to go out to the property and inspect it ourselves. Then our qualified team goes out with their safety gear, crawls around and takes a look, takes notes of everything, and make a drawing of their findings. We put together a scope of work and then go from there.
Are there any legal issues with someone sending you the inspector’s report?
No, there are not. We request it because it also gives us the whole entire report instead of one little area of the house. So if there’s other work that needs to happen, or maybe something that ties in with the structural repair, we can get it taken care of.
What are the most common foundation repairs that need to be done?
The most typical is going to be pier repairs because over the past 7-10 years, during the mortgage crisis and due to everything else that went on in the economy, the current mortgage companies and lenders are a lot pickier now than ever before. So, not only do they tend to take a look at this inspection report, but the appraisers will look for issues on the house as well. That’s created a lot of business for us. The most frequent jobs are going to be pier repairs because they start to deteriorate or start to sink down and fall over.
What are these piers made out of, and how old typically are they?
The older piers are made from brick or concrete, and even go as far as patio blocks. Some of them are 100 years old. We have torn out piers dating back to 1918.
Are there any specific areas in the Tampa Bay area that are more prone to needing these repairs?
Absolutely there is. North St Petersburg and Old North East St Pete are very popular areas because of the historical area there. And South Tampa has a historical area there as well, and we also get quite a few calls from Seminole Heights off of the Hillsborough River. Other communities include: Kenwood area and Hyde Park in Old North East South Tampa,
Do you work on beach homes or homes on stilts?
Yes any of those homes that are built up or built on any kind of pier foundation, or they’re built on any kind of column foundation are definitely houses we work on.
Are their any architectural styles or ages of homes prone to foundation pier issues?
They’re all primarily historical and if they’re not in the historical society they’re still going to be 80- 90+ years old.
How did Heavenly Foundations get started? What is your history?
I (Justin Jones) started out building portables in Pinellas County which are built up on pier foundations, so that got me into the business, and then from there we build up. We build the floor systems, build the walls, build the roof, which gave me an overall scope and an overall experience of building from the foundation up so we started specializing in that. Then from there we got into the remodeling and rebuilding, because whenever you’re re-doing foundation work, typically you’re going to have stuff above it that needs to be redone too. So that got us in to remodeling and a couple of other things. It’s been a great little niche to be in and it’s very rewarding to be able to keep these older homes up and in good shape.