For the last five years, 69-year-old retiree Gary Lockwood did what he could to patch up the damage caused by his sinking sunroom. Inside, cracks were forming everywhere, the floor was at an angle and the windows were starting to get disfigured. “Every year I would repair it a bit and hope that the settling would stop. I was worried how much it would cost because money is always a factor. But it really started bothering me after a while because walking into the sun porch and you were going downhill, you could feel the slant,” Lockwood said.
Lockwood had no interest going into a major repair process without first knowing exactly what he was getting himself into. He researched his sinkage problem and went to home trade shows to examine different solutions. “First of all I wanted to get multiple estimates and I found Midstate Basement Authorities online. I thought they are reasonably local and very highly rated by customers on Angie’s List and all the other customer satisfaction ratings so I figured I would give them a shot,” Lockwood said.
Midstate Basement Authorites President Eric Leach was out to Lockwood’s house within a week from getting the call and had the estimate to him quickly with the promise work could start within a month. “Eric Leach was very attentive, he came across as knowledgeable. He cared about what was going to happen, and the timeframe was reasonable,” Lockwood said. Timeframe is the primary reason why Lockwood said he ended up signing with Midstate without getting another estimate from another basement company.
“I wanted this done before winter,” Lockwood said.
He added that Leach’s attention to detail, prompt response, understanding of timing and excellent references made it easy for him to sign up without getting another estimate for what turned out to be a complicated yet simple fix.
“To fix this problem we installed foundation piers and jacked the foundation back up, because the sunroom portion of the house had a separate foundation that we estimated had sunk between four and six inches, a significant amount,” Leach said.
Looking from the side it was pretty obvious the sunroom was tipping away from the house. Leach said his crew dug to the bottom of the foundation wall and then installed six 25-30 ft. strait down until the piers connected solid earth.
“The brand of foundation piers we use are the only concentric pier on the market and it is by far the best design with the best safety factor. They are designed where they can support more than 10 times the weight they will ever have to support and they are made by stabil-LOC,” Leach said. Leach added, “The sunroom foundation isn’t even on the ground anymore, it’s just on the piers, there is a gap between the foundation and the dirt.”
And just like the technique used to fix Lockwood’s house, the work itself was complicated due to the age of the house.
“The framing system was not typical in his house. In this situation the framing was kind of isolated from the wall, so we had to jack the framing and then the foundation and do them independently of each other. It was much more complicated then a typical pier job; back in the day (construction didn't use) the building methods used now. And the rain didn’t help,” Leach said.
But despite the complications created by Mother Nature and old building standards, Lockwood said he is very happy with the result.
“Eric has a great team that I have a lot of faith in. I call them the A-Team,” Lockwood said.