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Should you buy a home that needs foundation repairYou finally found your dream home. But do you know whether it has foundation problems? Surprisingly, many new homes have foundation issues. Some common signs of problems are cracking in the drywall, doors that jam when you try to open them, and cracks in basement walls or to a slab foundation. Should you throw in the towel and find another home? Well, perhaps not. Foundation issues do not automatically mean that you shouldn’t buy a particular home. Some problems can actually be fixed affordably through simple methods like pressure grouting. Others, however, will require major repairs, which can get costly. In the end, only you can decide whether or not the time, money and effort you’ll have to put into repairing the problems is worth it. Fortunately, though, there are a few tips that can help you make your decision.

Hire an Expert

To find out exactly what’s wrong with the home and what type of repairs are required, the best bet is to hire a structural engineer. A structural engineer can perform an inspection and let you know what’s wrong with the home foundation—and may even be willing to give you a professional opinion on whether or not the investment is worth it.

It’s not a good idea, however, to rely solely on the expert opinion of a home inspector, as they generally do not have an extensive understanding of structural engineering. While most home inspectors mean well, it’s best to consult a structural engineer for foundation questions or issues.

Check for Disclosures

Has the prior homeowner had structural repairs made to the foundation already? If so, make sure you get the details of what work was done and any warranty on it. Has the house been redecorated by the current homeowner? If so, ensure that the seller has disclosed any structural repair work that might have been done during the renovations.

Know What the Structural Issues Mean in Terms of Your Financing

If you happen to find out about the home’s structural issues after you’ve already secured financing for your home purchase, you might have to make some changes. Most lenders require the home for which they are providing the loan to be “structurally sound.” Or a lender may offer financing even if structural issues are evident, but might make you pay for the increased risk through higher interest costs or a sizeable increase to your down payment. And don’t even think about being dishonest with your lender. If you’re caught, you could end up in some serious trouble—and with a lot of money to pay back all at once.

Don’t Leave Repairs to the Current Owner

While it might be tempting to continue with the purchase of a home after the current owner agrees to make repairs, this could be a costly mistake. It is not in the seller’s interests to make sure the right repairs are done by experts. The better option is for you to decide who to hire for your foundation repair.

And before you give up on buying a home that you truly love, make sure you know whether the issues are actually going to cause you problems or not. Many foundation problems can be remedied by methods that are not exorbitant in cost. Getting an expert opinion from a structural engineer can help you make an informed decision.

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foundation crack

Tiny cracks lead to bigger ones. If you notice wall cracks or windows that are difficult to close or have fissures in the casing, your foundation may be the cause of the problem.

Other symptoms of a cracked foundation include:

  • Doors out of alignment
  • Cracks in garage columns
  • Leaning chimneys
  • Sloping floors
  • Basement leaks or dampness in crawlspaces

These conditions are often found in older homes and buildings. Various older homes may have been constructed with wood piers supporting the foundation. These  underpinnings may have wood rot and need replacement. Modern stainless steel push piers resist corrosion and are easy to install without begin invasive. This is a cost-effective way to repair a foundation, especially in older homes with sloping floors.

So What’s The Cost?

Quantifying the average cost of a home foundation repair can be difficult because of all the variables that can affect each home or structure.

  • A typical foundation repair using hydraulic piering runs from $10,000 to $14,000 for an average home.
  • A repair of a simple crack in a poured concrete wall is usually in the range of $800 to $1,500 per crack.
  • For slabjacking work, the typical cost of concrete removal and replacement on a porch or sidewalk is $150 per hole.

In addition to the complexity and scope of the problem, other variables that can add to the cost of repairs include:

  • Hiring a structural engineer to assess the damage
  • Getting a soils report prepared by a geotechnical engineer
  • Obtaining a local building permit, if required
  • Dealing with hidden obstacles in the ground

Although the total cost of foundation repair can be substantial, your home is often your biggest investment and well worth the cost.

To Repair or Replace

Repairing is far less expensive than replacing a foundation. A small crack may be easily repaired with an injection of polyurethane. A larger problem may require pressure grouting to restore the balance to the foundation if some of the soil beneath the structure has been washed away. Empty space beneath the foundation creates air pockets that can cause the foundation to crack at it settles.

Other means of restoring the foundation include leveling the area beneath the foundation, floor framing and replacing underpinnings when applicable. Restoring a foundation makes the best use of available resources while keeping costs down.

It’s Critical To Hire a Licensed Contractor

All repairs should be made by an experienced, licensed contractor who is familiar with Georgia area geology. ESOG professionals will work with you to find the most cost-effective solution to repair your foundation using the best materials. ESOG has an engineering license in addition to being a licensed building contractor. As a result, we can offer you a triple protection warranty that covers design, materials and all workmanship.

Our staff includes engineers and construction personnel with a combined 150 years of experience. This includes certifications from OSHA and MSHA and degrees in structural engineering.

Don’t wait for major foundation problems to affect the value of your home or commercial property. Contact ESOG today for a foundation inspection and consultation.

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There is one problem with zoning laws that restricts a home owner’s ability to enlarge their house outside the original building envelope; it confines that house to a certain size family and price range. Whether it is historical preservation or set back requirements or height requirements, if you can not get a permit to go up or back, you are stuck with the size of your house right? Wrong.

Engineered Solutions of Georgia has taken that problem and thought outside the box to solve it. We can increase your home’s square footage without increasing its envelope. Instead of going up or out, we go down. If you have a crawlspace, you could have a basement.

basement after crawlspace conversionMany experts, such as Advanced Energy, Habitat For Humanity, Duke Power and the EPA agree that dirt crawlspaces are not a good for you or your house. There are many new products to seal crawlspaces with plastic or concrete–but why not seal them with finished living space, a basement. This procedure is not easy and it is not inexpensive. If not done properly, it can be an absolute disaster. But done correctly, it is the answer to a prayer.

The concept is simple, but the execution is difficult and requires a great deal of skill and experience. The first step is to have a comprehensive engineering evaluation preformed on the home to determine how to eliminate some interior supports to maximize the usable square footage.

Once a plan is in place, the excavation can begin. Typically an access ramp needs to be dug and a section of the house shored and removed to allow a machine to begin the digging process. This stage is not unlike digging a mine shaft: supports are moved around as soil is removed until the old crawlspace becomes a hole the size of your new basement. The typical perimeter of the new basement is a minimum of two feet inside the original footprint of the house.

Once the space is excavated, the sheer dirt walls which now parallel the original foot print must be retained. The construction of a footing and retaining wall on all sides to the height of the excavation will act as a retaining wall as well as provide a place to begin the framing.

After the wall is completed, an interior drain system is installed to insure a lifelong dry basement. Each drain system is unique but typically consists of a collection system around the perimeter and an exit line to a sump system with both batteries and 110 volt power.

The walls of the newly created space are backfilled with drainage stone covered with a vapor barrier and a conventional concrete floor is poured. After the floor is poured, the space is ready to be transformed into any type of room you need: office, bedrooms, media room, bar, exercise room, mother-in-law suite, etc.

This is type of addition is a process that must be executed carefully and should not be undertaken by inexperienced contractors. You can expect to pay somewhere between $50.00 and $100.00 per square foot, depending on the size and depth of your crawl space and the way it is situated on your lot. For more detailed information about converting your crawlspace, contact us. Our foundation experts are happy to answer your questions, because we know educated consumers receive maximum value.

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Water damage from weather-related or other problems is extremely destructive because homes today are not being made like they used to. It doesn’t take much for drywall to fail. Therefore, you need to stay prepared for an emergency and have a plan in place so that you can act quickly when water damage occurs.

What Are the Five Leading Cases of Water Damage?

water damage in homeLeaks from various sources are primary causes of non-weather related water damage. If there is a leak, water collects in a growing pool. Timeliness is important to protect your property from worse damage.

The leading causes of water damage include:

1. Weather-related problems

2. Plumbing system problems

3. Water buildup in spaces prone to water collection, such as basements, attics and crawlspaces

4. Leaky household appliances

5. Leaking HVAC system problems

Use Helpful Preventive Devices

Consider installing mechanisms that reduce the likelihood of harm from an influx of water. There are many devices that help reduce chances of water damage. Some devices reduce the likelihood of any water problem occurring while others functionally serve as alerts to lessen the severity of an emerging problem.

Helpful devices available include:

  • Reinforced hoses for dishwashers, washing machine and refrigerators
  • Water pressure-testing gauges
  • Water detection devices
  • Water sensor/shut-off devices
  • Sewer backflow valves
  • Sump pumps to remove groundwater from the basement

At ESOG, we offer waterproofing services to help you prevent and detect any water problems.

Take Precautionary Measures 

There are several precautionary actions you can take to head off water damage from leaks:

  • Inspect and repair the roof
  • Trim trees and branches near your home
  • Clean gutters and downspouts
  • Make sure gutters and downspouts are in good working condition
  • Protect the foundation and basement

Splash blocks or downspout extension pipes direct the water away from the foundation. Check to see if you need to install these useful devices. To keep your basement dry and prevent flooding, the ground should adequately slope away from the foundation. As a precautionary measure, leave an adequate gap between the bottom of the drywall and the basement floor. This gap keeps moisture off from wetting the wallboard. Hide the gap with a rubberized floor trim or wood molding.

Show others in the household where the main switches for water and power are located. Teach children to inform adults when they see water collecting in unusual places inside the home. It is vital to spot a problem as soon as becomes visible so that you can prevent it from worsening. Prevention is the best remedy.

In Atlanta, natural and man-made causes commonly trigger water problems that often afflict basements and foundation. The structural engineering specialists at ESOG have the expertise you can rely on. Drywall is prone to structural damage from water, so to be safe, ask the experts for help. If you see a problem, ESOG foundation experts are waiting to help you. Do what you can to protect your property from water damage, starting today.

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Trust Dale TV just released its next Trusted Renovations project, and Engineered Solutions of Georgia was honored to correct a few foundation issues for the 1970s brick ranch home of Atlanta homeowners Jennifer and John.

Turning this house into a 21st Century home included 25 projects completed by 25 top contractors from the greater Atlanta area. From shingles to foundation to plumbing to pool, it’s a classic and stylish house-to-home renovation. Watch the complete transformation and see the actual costs by viewing episodes on Saturdays at 11 a.m. on PeachtreeTV.

For Engineered Solution of Georgia’s first project, the team installed a couple helical piers under the garage columns to offset decades of soil settlement. Watch company owner Jay Eastland as he explains the project:

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foundation issueAn uneven foundation can result in some unusual symptoms inside your house, such as cracks on walls or ceilings, plumbing problems that create slow drainage or backups, and door jams. In such cases, the problem can be solved or repaired by propping up the home and leveling the structurally-weak foundation underneath it.

Common Causes of Foundation Issues

All house foundations settle over time. Some of the most common reasons why homes develop foundation problems include:

Improperly backfilled soil: If the soil beneath the foundation of your house wasn’t backfilled properly, chances are the house will start experiencing cracks when the soil shifts.

Expansive soils: Certain soil types are known to expand and shrink depending on the water content in the soil. For instance, Georgia’s clay soil tends to expand when wet and shrink when dry. This seasonal shrinking and heaving will eventually cause shifting and unwanted movement to the house’s foundation.

Tree roots: Tree roots that are too close to a house can drink up the water in the soil beneath the house foundation. Eventually this will make the foundation shift or sink to cover the voids left by the water.

5 Signs Your House Needs Leveling Due to Foundation Issues

When a foundation shifts and settles, it can affect the entire house. Some of the signs that a house is unleveled due to a shifting foundation include:

  1. Stuck windows
  2. Sloping floors
  3. Wall and ceiling cracks
  4. Leaning chimneys
  5. Drywall cracks

If you see any of these signs in your home, you should contact a professional foundation repair service provider to come and assess the damage as soon as possible. A professional, licensed repairer who has years of experience in the house leveling business can provide you with the following house leveling services:

Unfortunately, even if you’re a handy person who likes a DIY project, house leveling repairs are technical and should be left to the experts. Trying to level the foundation of your house on your own can actually result in further damage. A professional structural engineer is needed to determine how best to repair a home foundation.

Most foundation repair companies offer a free foundation inspection, when a professional will:

  • Look for other symptoms like sagging floors and window cracks during the interior and exterior inspection.
  • Analyze the problem and describe it to you in detail so that you can make an informed decision.
  • Come up with a practicable plan of action suitable for your specific needs.
  • Provide you with an estimate for repair.

Don’t let just any foundation repair company do this technical job without doing some background checks on the credibility of the company. And steer clear of foundation companies that don’t provide you with information about their previous clients for references.

At Engineered Solutions of Georgia, you’ll get experienced house leveling engineers with years of experience in delivering high quality services. Contact one of our foundation contractors today.

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There are two words that most homeowners don’t want to hear in one sentence: “wet” and “basement.” Basements are very susceptible to moisture, leaking and flooding. If you don’t have the right waterproofing in place, all the work you do on finishing your basement space could be for naught. So, should you try DIY basement waterproofing or have professionals do it?

basement waterproofing

Do You Already Have Water Problems?

Here are a few signs that your basement already has moisture problems:

  • Water dripping on walls or from pipes
  • Constant musty smell in the air
  • Staining or blistering on finished wall surfaces
  • Rust
  • Cracks in the wall
  • Mold growth

Even if you don’t have signs of moisture penetration right now, it is a good idea to tackle waterproofing before any problems start. It is an investment that will pay off the next time a big rain comes through.

Waterproofing

If you choose DIY basement waterproofing, you need to approach the process step by step. Failing to get each step done right can end in disaster.

Avoid waterproofing paints. These may work a couple of months. However, the water will find other places to seep through. Plus, the paint will start to peel and then you will have more water problems.

With basement waterproofing, you have three options: interior sealant, exterior waterproofing and drainage–either inside or outside.

  • Interior sealant works much like the filler you put in cracks. You inject the sealant into the cracks to block moisture. The problem with interior sealants is that it is not a permanent solution and does not protect against water pressure that can push water through the foundation wall.
  • Exterior waterproofing stops the water from entering the foundation wall. This involves digging down along the outside of the foundation, around the entire perimeter of the house. Then the walls are sealed with special waterproofing sealants and rubber barriers. Once the waterproofing is in place, the hole is backfilled.
  • Installing drainage, on either the inside or outside, involves digging down along the wall. Inside the basement, this involves breaking through the basement floor. Drainage is installed around the entire perimeter. Inside the drains go into a pit where a sump pump draws the water up and out. Outside drains are made to flow away from the house.

No two basement waterproofing jobs are the same. In some homes, a single method is used. In other homes, a combination of methods is required.

Is it DIY basement waterproofing project or are you hiring a professional?

Before you start digging out around your home’s foundation, you need to seriously consider whether you can tackle a DIY basement waterproofing project yourself or not. This kind of work is not easy. It will take strength and stamina to get the job done right. You will need to rent equipment like jack hammers and backhoes to get everything done. And if you don’t get it done properly, you will have to do it all over again.

Hiring a professional is usually the best answer. While it may cost a bit more upfront, the results are worth the investment. The job gets done correctly the first time–and it gets done quickly. Instead of working evenings and weekends until the job is done, the entire job is done in a few days.

Engineered Solutions of Georgia has been waterproofing basements for decades. We bring effective solutions to every basement we tackle. If you have any questions about our waterproofing service, give us a call.

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Basement Waterproofing Atlanta GAYour basement is an important part of the foundation that carries your home. Moisture can seriously damage that foundation. Not only can it cause cracks and weaken your foundation, but it can ruin anything you may be storing in your basement. Moisture can also cause your basement to play host to mold and mildew. If left unchecked, water damage can lead to costly repairs. But deciding on a contractor and which repairs are necessary can be tricky. Here are some common basement waterproofing myths debunked.

1. Waterproof paint is all you need to fix a leaky basement.

At best, waterproof paint will reduce the amount of vapor that gets into your house, but to properly disperse water from your home, you an appropriate basement waterproofing strategy. That is why it is important to schedule an assessment by a reputable professional.

2. Waterproofing your basement will not keep the water out.

This is a myth perpetuated by unprofessional “professionals” who don’t get the job done right the first time. If waterproofing truly did not stop water from entering a basement, then how would waterproofing companies stay in business? When a real professional guarantees work, you should be secure in the knowledge that the contractor will do what he says he will do. In fact, a reliable contractor will explain the work to be done every step of the way and show the client how it will fix the problem. Engineered Solutions of Georgia is so confident about its work that it offer multiple warranties covering everything from the materials and craftsmanship to the price.

3. If a specific solution didn’t work for one basement, it won’t work for any basement.

The truth is that while similar solutions can be applied to multiple properties, there is no “one size fits all” solution to waterproofing a basement. Every situation and property is different. For example, in many cases, the work that needs to be done is as mysterious as installing a sturdy gutter system that directs water away from the house. In another case, the fix might need to be made inside the home. Luckily, Engineered Solutions of Georgia offers a completely free in-home estimate for prospective clients.

4. Basement waterproofing is too expensive for most people’s budgets.

Yes, there are contractors out there that will give you inflated estimates and recommend work that is unnecessary. The reality is that waterproofing your basement will likely cost less than you think. At Engineered Solutions of Georgia, we work with engineers that can design a comprehensive foundation repair plan for your home whatever your needs may be. Our team will perform the work necessary for your job as quickly, efficiently and inexpensively as possible. Other waterproofing contractors offer a system or a package, we just make sure to do only the work that you need. That does not mean, however, that we will cut corners.

If you have a leaky basement, the time to deal with it is now. Do not wait until the damage is serious and the necessary repairs are more complicated. Contact Engineered Solutions of Georgia today to schedule an inspection of your foundation by one of our experienced waterproofing contractors.

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basement conversion ideas
Our lives are often fraught with the stuff we have accumulated over the years. It is not uncommon for us to lug these possessions around and stow them away in a dark, dank basement, only to be forgotten for years, sometimes decades.

However, the basement is a very spacious portion of your home, so maximize it to its fullest potential! Maybe you’ve been dreaming of a man cave, where you can engross yourself in hobbies as an escape from the stresses of the world outside; or, maybe there is a specific theme for a room you have always envisioned but could never implement due to the lack of space. Whatever your aspirations are, they can be actualized right below your feet. Check out these basement conversion ideas to see if any appeal to you:

Add another Bedroom to the House

Converting your basement into a bedroom is perhaps the most pragmatic idea. Not only does it increase the value of your property, it can accommodate a large family, which especially helpful if there’s a baby on the way. What’s more, having a sizeable guestroom that is perfect lodging for friends or relatives who might enjoy the tranquility and quiet. Similarly, if you’re looking to rent a room out, it is a perfect quarter for a tenant to have privacy in a comfortable area.

A Sanctuary for Scholastic Endeavors

Because a basement is sequestered from the house, it is most likely going to be the quietest area, so why not transform it into a study? In such a sanctuary, children can do homework and teens can study for exams, uninhibited by the mixture of multiple distractions. In terms of aesthetics, you can create a little library to give the space that studious ambience.

Transform Your Basement into a Recreation Room

Children can get riled up playing video games, so a rec room is a perfect oasis for them to enjoy themselves without you having to hear all of the ruckus. Alternatively, if you have enough space, adding a ping-pong table or pool table is a great way to encourage family activities in a fun-filled space.

Turn Your Basement into a Home Theater

Home movie theater installation is, perhaps, the epitome of a basement transformation. Because most basements are soundproof, a sound system wouldn’t bother the neighbors—or anyone else in the house for that matter.

Things to Consider Before a Basement Conversion

The first question you have to ask yourself is whether a basement conversion is feasible. That would require making sure the underfloor is apt to such a renovation and surveying the area to help you weigh your options and gauge your obstacles. It is also a good idea to research building regulations and the type of work it will take to make your ideas come true.

In some cases, you might have to raise the height of your basement to make the foundations safe for your property. In this case, you might need the aid of modern techniques, especially if your basement is beneath a concrete floor and not timber wood. Windows and staircases are another thing to consider.

Waterproofing is also of utmost importance, as moisture is a common issue in basements. A leaky basement could forebode major structural damage for your property over time, so a qualified professional from ESOG would be necessary. In spite of the large initial investment it will take for this renovation, you will end up saving a ton in the long-term, all while enjoying the new identity of a room that had previously gone unnoticed.

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waterproof your homeThere are few things more damaging to a Georgian home than the presence of unexpected moisture. Dangerous mold problems, foundation cracks and heart-breaking flood damage can all strike when you least expect it, leaving you with costly repairs, a huge mess on your hands and devastating property loss. Fortunately, the experts at Engineered Solutions of Georgia offer an alternative with both interior and exterior basement waterproofing services in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Duluth, Macon, Rome, Stone Mountain and throughout Georgia. Over the years, we’ve seen firsthand the effects of water damage as a result of Georgia’s regular rainfall, high humidity, and soft alluvial soil. We understand how quickly a basement can flood or mold can creep into the rafters. And we know that when it comes to waterproofing, time is a factor, and there is zero margin for error.

Water can enter a home in Georgia in a variety of ways, including:

  • Cracks in the floors or foundation
  • From a sweating or bleeding window
  • Through the basement walls or mortar joints
  • From over or under the basement footer
  • And more

At Engineered Solutions, we offer two kinds of basement waterproofing techniques: interior and exterior. With interior waterproofing, we build a concrete-sealed trench in your basement that collects water that would otherwise enter your basement. This water is then redirected back out of the home through a drain system, often with the assistance of a pump. Additionally, we utilize internal sealants to prevent further seepage.

Exterior waterproofing, on the other hand, prevents water from ever reaching your Georgian home in the first place. Our technicians excavate your foundation, clean the wall of the foundation, reroute the original foundation drain to ensure the water flows away from the house, and fill the area back in. While this is a more involved process than interior waterproofing, it is also more permanent and thorough waterproofing solution.

Waterproofing your basement is not to be taken lightly, so rather than risk water damage, let the experts at Engineered Solutions do the job right, the first time. We are proud to offer a free in-home estimate and quote for our services and answer any of the questions you might have. To learn more, call us today at 678-290-1325.