Q: Can I live in my house during repairs?
A: In almost all cases, yes. It may get a little noisy at times, but all the work is done from the exterior. Even the work under the house is accessed from outside. If we dig any holes, we cover them, and we put any fences back up at the end of the day. The house remains attached to the foundation and is always stable during construction, and the re-leveling process usually only takes half a day. During re-leveling, we use hydraulic or gear jacks to move the house, but it’s only about an eighth of an inch at a time.
Q: How soon can you start work?
A: Since we usually run eight or ten crews, our backlogs aren’t large. We can usually get to a job within two weeks of signing a contract. This is in contrast to small firms that run only one or two crews. There, the backlog can be several months.
Q: Is a permit required for foundation work?
A: Yes, but we can take care of that for you. We do all the engineering, plans, permits, and coordinate all the inspections and testing. The homeowner doesn’t have to be involved.
Q: Are you licensed?
A: Yes, we have general contractor’s “A” and “B” licenses, an engineering “A” license and a HAZMAT license in both California and Nevada.
Q: What insurance do you carry?
A: We have $2 million in general liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance and $2 million in errors and omissions insurance that covers the registered engineers who do our design work. Liability insurance doesn’t cover design work, so that last one is very important.
Q: Do you do seismic retrofitting?
A: Yes, and you can even get an assessment from a registered engineer. Most retrofitting firms are only contractors.
Q: Do you do landslide repairs?
A: Yes. We have at least three grading crews working in the summer. We own all our own equipment, so it’s always available. Sometimes landslides are complicated and require a specialist civil engineer to do borings and determine the makeup of the soil and depth of the slide plane. Once we complete that soil investigation, we can prepare our plans and cost estimates.
Q: Do you correct drainage problems?
A: Yes. It’s not a simple question of getting water out of a crawl space. We’ll send an engineer to do an assessment of the site—not just an exterior inspection but a complete assessment of the crawl space to determine the source of the problem and the extent of any damage—so we can apply the correct, cost-effective fix.
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