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How To Level A House That Has Foundation Problems

How To Level A House That Has Foundation Problems
How To Level A House That Has Foundation Problems
If you’re wondering how to level a house, this is the article for you! We take a deep dive into how professional foundation repair experts level homes using underpinning, if you can do it yourself, how hard the process is, and how much it costs. By the end of this blog, you’ll have everything you need to know before you call the experts.

How To Level A House Professionally

If you want professional house leveling solutions, you need to call a foundation repair company. These contractors are skilled in repairing basement, crawl space, and slab foundations. Once experts inspect your foundation and decide you need house leveling, they’ll most likely choose underpinning as the solution. Underpinning is the professional term for house leveling, and it involves pushing or drilling long steel piers through the soil below your foundation.
Your home is most likely unlevel because the soil below it is too weak to support the structure’s weight. In the construction world, a house weighs 200 pounds per square foot. So a 2,000-square-foot home weighs 400,000 pounds. That’s a lot of weight pushing down on the soil, and that’s why it has to be strong enough to support your home. The piers used in underpinning can reach past the weak soil and find the load-bearing strata (strong soil or bedrock).
hydraulic jack
There are two forms of underpinning: steel push piers and helical piers.
  • Steel push piers – These piers are pushed into the soil below your foundation one section at a time. Once they reach strong enough soil, hydraulic jacks lift your home back to the maximum practical level or the ultimate amount of lift required before your home experiences any unnecessary damage.
  • Helical piers – These piers are twisted into the soil below your foundation like corkscrews. Just like push piers, once they reach strong soil, hydraulic jacks lift and level your home.

Can You Level A Home Yourself?

Without access to hydraulic jacks, push piers, or helical piers, DIY house leveling will be very difficult. Not all foundations are the same, and some blog articles claim you can level your home using concrete or wooden blocks. This solution won’t work. The problem lies within the soil below your foundation.
Professional underpinning equipment can find the stronger soil hidden below your home. Sometimes that soil can be 50 feet down. There’s also a chance that you can damage your home beyond repair by trying to level it yourself. As mentioned above, when professionals level your home, they only lift it back to the maximum practical level or MPL. Overall, experts do not recommend DIY house leveling.

Is It Hard To Level A House?

For experienced and trained foundation repair experts, house leveling is not difficult. If a contractor claims that house leveling is difficult or almost impossible, chances are they’re trying to make their work seem more complicated, which can allow them to charge more. Some foundation repair experts have hidden fees and terms of conditions in their contracts.

That’s why we wrote this article. Our goal is to inform you on what to expect before foundation repair experts inspect your home. This information will also help you decide who to call if your home has foundation problems. Read more: The Most Common Signs Of Foundation Problems.

failed DIY pier
underpinning graphic

How Much Does It Cost To Level A House?

The cost of house leveling depends on how many piers your foundation needs. If only a section of your home needs lifting, you won’t need as many piers as usual. You also want to pay attention to “depth clauses.” These are hidden fees that some foundation repair contractors hide in their contracts when you sign with them.

A depth clause states their piers will only go to a certain level below your foundation until each extra foot costs you more money, doubling the price of your project. This means that if stronger soil is 50 feet below your foundation, but the company’s piers will only reach 25 at a base price, that extra 25 feet will end up on your bill. Companies like The Real Seal do not have depth clauses.

How Long Does It Take To Level A House?

The average house leveling project can be completed in under a few days. The good news is you don’t have to leave your home while the repairs are being done. It would be best if you still moved any outside furniture or pottery away from your foundation before the work starts. This allows repair experts to have a clear view of your foundation, allowing them to pinpoint any problems during their inspection.

Who Can Level My Home?

If you’re noticing foundation problems in your Chicagoland home, now’s the time to call The Real Seal. Since 2011, we’ve been lifting and leveling all types of foundations, including basements, slabs, and crawl spaces. As an award-winning company, we strive to provide the best foundation repair solutions on the market. We also provide foundation waterproofing, concrete leveling, and more. Call today for your free inspection and estimate.
helical pier


Austin Werner

Austin Werner is the Owner of The Real Seal LLC, a basement waterproofing and foundation repair company. Austin believes that having a highly trained and happy team is the key to success. This is reflected through hundreds of 5 star customer reviews his company has received online.

4 Responses

  1. Thanx for the information and advice on house leveling. It was refreshing to have a professional give clear information about his craft and skills.

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