Pier and Beam Foundation System
Pier and beam construction was extremely popular in North Texas a century ago because of our clay soils and extremes in temperature, especially during the summer. Having a pier and beam foundation allowed the building to “move” with these extremes, without compromising the overall integrity of the structure.
About Pier and Beam Foundations
Pier and beam construction utilizes a series of columns that support the weight of a beam, so the weight is distributed evenly across the entire base of the foundation. The pier may be made of wood, poured concrete, cement blocks, bricks or stone, and sits on a concrete foot either on the ground or below ground. The beam can be comprised of steel, wood or even concrete.
Over time, piers can deteriorate – especially ones made of wood — and must be repaired or replaced. Since the beam holds the structure in place, repair or replacement must be carefully planned before starting.
Provided there is adequate crawl space, the evaluator will look at the structure for:
- Wood Decay due to Water Rot or Termites
- Warped Beams
- Shifted Beams, Which are No Longer Supported by Piers
- Inadequate Prior Leveling with Soft, Wooden Shims
- Uneven or Bouncy Floors
- Presence of Water in the crawl space
Problems Unique to Pier and Beam Foundations
Much of our business consists of pier and beam foundation work. One of our specialties is repairing historical homes that were built before 1930. We are one of the few companies that still install an in-ground site-cast steel reinforced concrete footing under pier and beam structures.
Many older homes have foundation systems that are not performing as designed. Some have bod art blocks or stumps, “stiff legs” which are a 4″X6″ section of beam between the ground and the beam (very unstable as the soil sinks and swells) or have foundations that are too old and have failed.
Unlike slab repairs, each pier and beam repair is unique due to the varied ways they are constructed, so pricing is different on each job. Let us come out and give you a free inspection and give you a firm estimate of costs.