No. of Recommendations: 9
When we inspected our home for purchase there was enough stuff along the garage wall that we did not see significant cracking in the block wall to the rear, which is half underground half above. Because we had an earthquake around here a few years ago, we had concerns about the structural viability of the wall and had an engineer service come out. They of course suggested to go all the way out and put in some sort of pistons buried in the ground at each side of the outer corner, with the possibility that a third would be needed, running about $2500 each. And the puddles we were getting would be taken care of at $100/foot of wall. They of course would do the work to go along with this "free" estimate.

I sent them on their way and got a second opinion, this time from a company that does the analysis, but not the work, which they felt was a conflict of interest. We paid them to put in a couple of crack monitors, ($150 each,) to see if the walls were still moving, and continued regrading around the garage. There was a drainage system the gutters dumped into that ran alongside the house, which we abandoned when we realized that the pipes were likely leaking. Mice had taken up residence in the buried drain pipes and they were apparently compromised. Between abandoning the drainage system, putting drainpipe extenders away from the house and regrading, we no longer got any water in the garage even in deluges or extended periods of heavy rain. The cracks have not moved in months, and we feel confident that our sweat labor of moving lots of dirt around has eliminated the need for about $10,000 of work that would not have dealt with the root cause of the problem anyway. Also got a much improved lawn in the process.

I guess the moral of the story is beware of free estimates.

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