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How the Foundation Repair Industry (Mostly) Works in Opposition to Engineering Principles



In my last blog, I gave a great example of how foundation salesman gives incorrect advice to a homeowner. This is not untypical.

What we regularly see is foundation repair salesmen collecting data, doing analysis, and making recommendations to homeowners who have no idea if that the person they are listening to is qualified to be performing these assessments and recommendations. Additionally, this person is likely being paid a commission for his end sales because of his de facto engineering activities!

A good analogy is the doctor. Suppose you go to the doctor and despite the different problems that you report each time, he always prescribed the exact same set of pills. Finally, he turns around and on the back of his lab coat is printed in big letters “ACME DRUG COMPANY”. It turns out he is not a doctor after all but a pharmaceutical rep being paid for his drug sales! This is not unlike what is happening in the foundation repair industry.

At some point a permit will need to be obtained for any work involving underpinning. So the home owner is told that there will be engineering review to obtain those permits. In fact, this is false security. As it stands, when submitting for a permit in any municipality in Arizona, there is no requirement for any oversight of the causation of failure nor are recommendations by a licensed engineer required to insure the proper repairs being made for the associated failure. All that is required at this point is that proper spacing of piles is calculated to adequately support the structure loads. This assumes that piles are needed in the first place. Currently there is a requirement that soil information is utilized as part of the design process. More on that in a future blog.



This needs to change. Arizona Homeowners deserve transparency.

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Showing 1 Comment

Bill Mancini wrote on May 3rd, 2018 02:05:25pm
Thanks for doing this Bob!