Perhaps you have already read our article called “What 7 Steps to Expect When You’re Expecting Anchor Foundation Repair,” where *spoiler alert* we amusingly compare foundation repair to expecting a child. It is a life event that many homeowners have never lived through so we laid it out for you.
If you haven’t read that one yet, it’s a fun one so maybe check it out later, okay? But that article only talks about a repair situation where perimeter piers are needed i.e. support around the outside edges of your house.
So what if you need interior support piers too? About 10% of the homes we repair need interior pier work. Congratulations, you’re in the top 10% of people who need to read this article!
We suggested that having foundation repair is like expecting a child in the other article, so to keep that comparison going, having interior pier work is kinda like having triplets. So, a bundle of foundation repair joy times three! Your family is so blessed . . . *wipes away tears*
Ok seriously though, having interior pier work is kind of a thing. We want you to be as prepared for it as possible and give you the best advice we can on how to handle this type of repair without losing sleep. So hopefully, you won’t lose as much sleep as you would if you had triplets . . .
The main things you should expect from interior pier work are as follows:
- It’s going to take longer.
- You have to pack up/move a lot of your stuff.
- It’s going to be messy inside.
- You should move out.
- It’s going to cost more.
Rest assured though that your home will be repaired with expertise. Your belongings will be safe and protected during the process, and we will provide you with the longest-lasting, most thorough foundation repair method available.
All the while, we will treat your home with the care and respect it deserves. After completing 4000+ foundation repair projects in the Brazos Valley area, Anchor Foundation Repair handles each home as if it were our own. We know that you are stressed about this, and are here to help you prepare by knowing the differences with interior pier work.
1. Yes, it’s going to take longer.
We will be working both inside and outside of your home, so there’s more work to do with a greater number of piers to install. Naturally, more piers mean longer work timeframes.
Also, because we are inside and treating your home with the utmost care, the work just takes longer. I mean, we are always careful, but it’s a different kind of *careful* when we are inside someone’s home.
In a non-scientific estimation, interior pier work takes about 20 to 25% longer to complete than jobs that only need exterior work. We are working in tighter spaces, hauling dirt farther out, bringing concrete in a greater distance. The more extensive prep work and clean up add to the time as well.
Taking care of three babies takes longer than taking care of one.
For a foundation repair job that includes interior pier work, we estimate 2 to 3 months for the entire project. This includes time where the foundation repair is taking place and allows time for a flooring contractor to come in after us for floor repair/replacement if needed.
2. Yes, you have to pack up/move a lot of your stuff.
Foundation repair that only involves perimeter piers will be kept mostly outside. But for interior pier work, there is a lot of activity inside the home. You do have to move things out of the way so that we can work inside without your stuff in the way.
Identifying Pier Locations and Rooms Affected
Generally, pier locations will be near a wall of a room because that is where the internal structural support beams were built in normal home construction. We try to avoid installing piers in tight spaces like bathrooms or closets so we will find the best access points with plenty of workspace around whenever possible.
During the In-Home Assessment, prospective pier locations will be pointed out so that you know about where the floors will be opened up for pier placement. You will know after the assessment what rooms will be worked in – if you need a refresh on that info, let us know.
Removing Items from Walls
You should take all pictures and art off the walls in the areas where work is being done. We don’t want to accidentally brush past your fine art, family heirlooms, or that portrait of your triplets while moving around your home.
Moving Furniture Out of the Way
You will likely need to move some furniture around or out of the way. Sometimes, items can be moved to a room where we won’t need to work or pushed to the edge of a room. Our team will identify “safe zones” in your home where things can be shifted to and stored during the project.
If you need help moving furniture in the BCS area, we recommend G&M Haulers as an excellent locally owned moving company started by two Aggies (we are not compensated for this referral, just telling you who we would use if we had our own furniture moving needs).
Storing Your Items During the Project
Depending on the number of piers and rooms that will be impacted, you might decide to have furniture completely removed from the home and store it off-site or in one of those storage pods.
Mobile storage units, like PODS or another company like 1-800-Pack-Rat, may be an option for you as they can be taken off-site during the project and returned when the work is done. Very convenient!
You could keep the unit onsite depending on the size of your driveway. We use your driveway for dirt piles and workspace during the project. So there has to be enough room for both the storage unit and our work area if you were to keep it in the driveway.
3. Yes, it’s going to be messy inside.
Instead of holes being dug in the dirt outside your home, interior piers require holes to be made inside your home. Hopefully, this isn’t the first time you are hearing this . . .
The team will need to break out squares of flooring and foundation to access the proper support pier locations. After the holes are made, there will be digging, drilling, and pouring concrete just as described with the perimeter piers. Only this is all done inside the house.
It’s all done by hand just like outside with shovels and wheelbarrows, and with minimal equipment but still . . . it’s going to be a bit messy and smelly. You know, messy and smelly like when you have triplets.
The mess is from jackhammering floors, dust, and debris. The smell comes from exhaust fumes during the drilling process. The A/C won’t be on either and people get sweaty doing hard work so . . .
The good news is that all your stuff is put away, moved, and protected. The Anchor Team will spend a half to a full day doing prep work at the beginning of your project to keep your spaces sealed up from the work dust and debris.
Here are some of the things the team will do to prepare and protect the interior of your home before beginning any messy work:
- Sealing A/C air returns and vents to prevent dust from getting into the system
- Wrapping plastic covering around fans to minimize dust collection
- Taping and sealing up bathrooms, closets, cabinets, and drawers to keep dust out
- Taping and sealing off the upstairs from the ground level
- Rolling up carpets towards exterior walls as needed, then covered and taped too
Our goal in taping and sealing off areas of the home is to keep all the work areas separated from the non-work areas. If any closets, bathrooms, or upstairs areas might need to be accessed by the homeowner during the repair process, we can install zippered plastic “doors” so that spaces can be unzipped for easy entry and exit.
Please know that we will clean up everything and remove all the plastic protective coverings and put anything back that we took up so that things are back in order as much as possible before we leave. Again, taking care of your home as if it were our own. Furniture that we moved, we will put back. We clean up all of our messes.
4. Yes, you should move out.
Not only do you need to pack up and move items out of your home, but you also need to move yourself out of the home too. There’s going to be a lot going on and you probably don’t want to be there anyway. It’s the safest, sanest option for you throughout the process.
Ideas on Where to Stay
Some people decide to temporarily move in with relatives or friends that live nearby. Just make sure they are okay with you staying with them for 2 to 3 months. *You might also want to make sure YOU are okay with staying with THEM for that amount of time.*
This amount of time will allow for the foundation repair to be done but also for any flooring replacement that needs to take place after the repairs are complete.
Some people have access to RV’s that they can use. These days, we are lucky to also have easy access to short-term furnished rentals through national internet sources, like Airbnb, Vrbo, or even locally with Aggieland Vacation Rentals.
Occasionally, a homeowner in a two-story house might be able to get away with “living upstairs” for the duration of the repair. *Expert tip* This might work for a single person or a couple with no children in the home better than a family with say . . . triplets . . .
What if you need to get back into the property after you move out?
Try to pack up whatever clothes, toiletries, and things you might need. But it’s not a problem if you forget something and need to go back to the house occasionally for an item.
We recommend that you keep reentry minimal because we do have to re-secure any areas that were accessed by resealing, retaping, or recovering your things. The tape doesn’t stick as well the second time around because of the dust that has settled on surfaces during the repair.
Don’t forget about your pets!
While you are contemplating where you are going to stay, don’t forget about your pet(s). Hopefully, they can just go with you wherever you go, but other accommodations might be in order if you’re staying somewhere that does not allow pets, or your pets would not be happy there.
5. Yes, it’s going to cost more.
Just as interior piers take more time, they also come with a higher cost. It’s about the same percentage as the time increase, the cost is 20 to 25% higher to install interior piers.
A foundation repair project on an average-sized home including interior piers can cost between $45 to $60K (not including collateral repairs with other contractors explained below). This higher price tag is mainly because of the increase in work time. Here are a few of the other possible ways the cost for the homeowner increases.
Collateral Repair Costs i.e. need for other contractors
Collateral repair costs are also going to be a big factor for interior pier work. Flooring is getting broken up if you have wood, vinyl, or tile floors. Often, all that flooring will need to be replaced unless you have extra material for patching.
A flooring contractor will need to be brought in to repair or replace the wood, vinyl, or tile flooring of your choice. Patching and replacing these flooring materials is not within our scope of work. If we rolled up a carpet, we can put that back but if extensive re-stretching is needed you might still need to call in a flooring expert.
When our job is done, there might be other contractors you bring in to help you move back in, do further remodeling work, or complete cosmetic repairs to walls.
More Piers = More Mud-Pumping
There is also more mud-pumping material required which will add to the cost as well.
If you don’t remember mud-pumping from the other article about what to expect from foundation repair, it’s where we fill in any spaces and voids left under your home after the raising process with a flowing mix of cement, topsoil, and water. Mud-pumping is done to fully support your newly lifted home for the most longevity of the repair.
Always a Chance for Plumbing Damage
If you need piers near any bathroom or kitchen fixtures, there is a greater chance of drain line separations during the raising process. This is true in all foundation repairs, but it’s worth pointing out that the more piers you need closer to running water fixtures, the greater the chance.
The need for tunneling to access plumbing repairs as well as the actual plumbing repairs will add to costs. The good news here is that we might end up closer to under-slab repair points because we are already making holes in the interior of your foundation. So tunnel lengths have the potential to be shorter.
Do I need to say that taking care of three babies is more expensive than taking care of one?
How is this helping me feel better again?
We are trying to help prepare you for interior pier work so that you know what to expect and can be mentally ready. To sum it up, there’s packing and moving, plus more mess, time, and cost. You might be thinking, “Is there any uplifting news here because you’re kinda bringing me down, man.”
You’re right to feel like this is a lot to take in, this is exactly why we are comparing this process to having triplets . . . it’s a bit overwhelming, we know.
Like any massive project you are looking at tackling, our advice is that it’s best to take things in small steps. Focus on the next right thing in front of you rather than letting the largeness of the project overtake your thoughts. Breathe through each small phase of the process. Lamaze breathing maybe, but breathing.
Now, this has nothing to do with babies but perhaps some inspirational words from a wise philosopher might help here to encourage you to focus on one step at a time.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”– Lao Tzu
Deep thoughts, deep breaths…
You can do this foundation repair. It will be worth it in the end.
Like any parent who has lived through raising triplets, they look back and know that even during the times of stress, lost sleep, chaos, and never-ending laundry that it was worth it. The hard work and at times personal discomfort for the sake of taking care of their babies was time and money well spent.
When you think about it, your home is like a baby (or babies!). You love it. You want the best for it. You will do anything to make sure it gets what it needs to survive and looks nice and presentable too.
For over 35 years, Anchor Foundation Repair has worked with thousands of homeowners who clearly love their homes and want them to be at their best. We know you are willing to take the time, effort, and funds necessary to provide a great future for your home. We see every day how important your home is to you and we treat every home as if it were our own.
Like trusting a doctor to take care of your babies when they are sick, we know you are trusting us to take care of your foundation problems with attentiveness and consideration. We will communicate with you every step of the way to make sure you feel informed about the process while we are working on your home.
Please contact us if you have any questions that we haven’t covered about having interior pier work done on your home. Otherwise, you will be hearing from us soon as your project gets underway.