You have just been informed that your home has interior foundation settlement signs and that the foundation repair process will be different with interior work on a home. You’re like, “What do you mean by different? What exactly should I prepare for here?”
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been repairing foundations for Bryan, College Station, and the surrounding Brazos Valley communities like Caldwell and Madisonville for 35+ years. We know that things are more complicated for homeowners who need interior pier work compared to your typical foundation repair project.
About 10% of the homes we repair need interior work, so this article isn’t for everyone.
But for those that need it, we want you to be as prepared as possible for interior foundation repairs. This article will identify and explain the top issues from a homeowner’s perspective on an interior foundation repair project for your home.
How Is Interior Foundation Work Different?
Since only about 10% of homes need foundation repairs under the interior of the home, the best way to point out what it’s going to be like is to contrast it to a more typical job. So how is interior foundation work different from the usual?
It can best be summed up as a lot of *extras* with interior foundation work: extra work, extra costs, extra time, extra dirt, and extra homeowner challenges. The main extras you should expect from interior pier work are that the project:
- Includes perimeter and interior work,
- Timelines are longer,
- Costs are higher,
- Requires you to pack and move belongings,
- Involves dirt and mess inside your home, and
- Likely requires homeowners to move out during foundation repairs.
I am willing to bet some serious cash that this is likely not the best top 6 list you’ve ever read. My blood pressure may have increased by writing it out for you. We know that these are challenging prospects. We are here to help you get ready to overcome these extra hurdles with preparedness and positivity. You can do it!
1. Interior Foundation Projects Include Perimeter and Interior Work
A typical foundation repair project involves adding support to the perimeter of your home. Most of the work is done outside of your living space because a repair team can easily access the perimeter area without entering your house (for most of the repair process).
When you have interior foundation settlement, that means you have problem signs in the middle of your home too. Repairs need to be made underneath the center areas of your home and the only way to do them is by coming inside to do the needed work.
So interior work involves both the perimeter and underneath the interior of the home. This could be isolated to a few rooms or might involve the whole ground floor of the house. A foundation repair company has to go inside your home to do a lot of the work and more areas of your home need work.
2. Timelines Are Longer For Interior Foundation Repairs
A repair team will work both inside and outside of your home to complete the foundation repairs, so there’s more work to do with a greater number of supports to install. Naturally, more supports mean longer work timeframes.
When working inside someone’s home, things take longer because more care is taken to protect the home finishes and prevent damage. A team works in tighter spaces, hauls dirt farther out, and brings concrete in a greater distance. More extensive prep work and clean-up add to the time as well.
For a foundation repair job that includes interior pier work, we estimate about 2 months for the entire project with drilled piers (like we do here at Anchor). This includes the time when the foundation repair is taking place and allows time for a flooring contractor to come in after us for floor repair/replacement if needed.
3. Interior Foundation Project Costs Are Higher
Just as interior work takes more time, it also comes with a higher cost. Much of the higher cost is accounted for in simply the added work time and materials for the project. But there are other collateral costs that contribute to higher homeowner costs.
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:
We aren’t going into detail on these collateral costs, but feel free to click the links for more info on those potential extra costs.
4. Interior Foundation Repair Requires Packing/Moving Belongings
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 have to move things so that a repair team can work inside without your stuff in the way. It’s the best way to keep all your household items and furniture clean and safe during the repair process.
When having interior foundation repair work, be prepared to:
- Move furniture away from walls needing support or to another part of the house
- Pack up smaller items that could get dirty/dusty
- Remove and put away items from walls
- Storing items in another part of the home or an alternative storage unit
5. Interior Projects Involve Dirt and Mess Inside Your Home
Instead of holes being dug in the dirt outside your home, interior piers require holes to be made inside your home. This might be the first time you are hearing this so try not to panic, it’s done all the time.
The team will need to break out squares of flooring and foundation to access the proper support locations. It’s going to be a bit messy and perhaps smelly.
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 to keep dust from circulating in the rest of the home.
The good news is that a lot of your stuff is put away, moved, and protected. A foundation repair team should do 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 a team can 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 covering and taping too
Ask your contractor for details on how they plan to protect your home and belongings during the repair process.
6. Interior Foundation Repair Requires Homeowner 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.
Here are some ideas on alternative housing options during interior foundation repair work:
- Move in with nearby relatives or friends
- Live in your RV or RV rental
- Vacation rental property
- Hotel with Kitchenette
If you’re really up for a challenge you could camp in a tent the whole time but that’s kind of a joke so I’m not even putting it on the official list of ideas.
The main thing here is that for drilled pier foundation repair, you might be out of the home for 2 to 3 months so be sure you plan something mentally, physically, and financially doable for that period of time. The 2 to 3-month timeframe also includes the packing and moving time, flooring repair or replacement, and time to move back in and get settled.
Plan for Pets During Interior Foundation Repair Projects
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. Still, other accommodations might be in order if you’re staying somewhere that does not allow pets, or your pets would not be happy at your planned alternative location.
Interior Foundation Repair Work Comes With a Lot of Extras
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, “This is a whole lot of extra.”
You’re right to feel like this is a lot to take in . . . 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.
For over 35+ years, Anchor Foundation Repair has worked with thousands of homeowners who love their homes and want them to be at their best. Provide the best possible future for your home by taking the time, effort, and funds necessary to repair it thoroughly with interior support.
You might want to understand more about the drilled pier foundation repair process in general since we’ve mentioned it a few times and you might not have all the details yet. Check out this article about typical drilled pier work and keep in mind that it’s more involved when it includes support for the interior too.