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  1. We ended up hiring Bill Marks w/ All Texas Foundation Repair, paid $2600 and got about 20 ft of new beam, as well as new blocks & beam under the front porch which was previously unsupported. I am happy with the work. Three estimates I had gotten were $7500 (Cherry House Moving), $2600 (Golden Construction Co.), $2250 (All TX Foundation, plus the $18/ft for new beam). The new beams were not structurally necessary, but the old beams had some superficial termite damage that looked bad from the outside and we figured might scare potential buyers or become a haggling point when selling. I know it came up in the inspection when we bought the house, and we were first time home buyers so what did we know? It's an 1100ft2 bungalow so i bet the next folks may be first timers too. Seemed like a worthwhile investment of a few hundred bucks. This was a house "leveling", not "stabilization" as pointed out by others (thanks guys for the education). No telling how long ago the foundation was last leveled; we've only been in the house for 5 years.
  2. Repainting the entire exterior of this bungalow. Looking for some Sherwin Williams color names. Leaning towards a greyish mossy-green or a greyish blue-green. The samples we initially bought were way too light... should've known it would look 3 shades lighter on the house than on the tiny sample card! Want to go with the same intensity of color (ie not too dark) as the existing color.
  3. We're about to get started with our project (new garage, driveway, siding, windows, roof). Plan is to do garage & drive first, then the rest. Payment schedule proposed by our general contractor is 22% on signing, 33% when windows are ordered, 34% when siding is ordered, and 11% on completion. Does this sound reasonable? What is a typical payment schedule for this size project? Our first instinct was that we'd rather hold a little more back for the final payment.
  4. We are about to replace the patchwork of poor condition original and more recent wood exterior siding on our house with Hardie. We have an old bungalow so the entire exterior is wood siding. Several associated questions: Hardie is pretty thin. Will the structural integrity of the walls be reduced if we replace wood with Hardie? Does plywood or some other reinforcing material need to be installed beneath the siding? With siding off, we plan to install fiberglass bat insulation in the walls. Should we use a vapor diffusion retarder/air barrier directly beneath the siding? What kind? Tyvek house wrap? Don't want to end up with moist, moldy insulation in the walls.
  5. Thanks for all the replies. I looked into "grass-crete" as well, but none of the contractors I talked to were familiar with it, and I think it may end up being even more expensive than concrete. So we decided on the gravel/crushed granite option for many of the environmental reasons already stated - drainage, saving nearby trees, etc.
  6. We decided to go with crushed granite for our driveway, rather than concrete. What is a reasonable installed cost $/ft2 for crushed granite, when it's done right? One GC told us they pretty much cost the same, and I don't believe him.
  7. We're interviewing general contractors for a project to replace siding & windows on our house, and build a detached garage & driveway. The main issue of concern at the moment is the concrete driveway. Since we have a small lot (5000 ft2)and will be paving over most of it, I'm worried about drainage. Where will all that water go?? We don't want to end up with a swamp in our backyard, or under our house. What questions should we be asking our general contractor to determine if he is competent to build the concrete driveway? Is it best to put in some sort of french drain underneath or alongside the driveway? Or can we rely on grading the surface dirt so that we redirect water towards the street? So far the GCs I've interviewed have not said much about drainage until I pressed. One guy said we should grade the area under the house by adding dirt.
  8. Thanks for the comments guys. The initial company who gave us the outrageous quote is called Cherry House Moving. I heard from someone else that they are making lots of money re-doing some of the Galveston Ike houses and so maybe won't bother with a small job in the Heights unless they get $$$$ for it. As expected, just had another company out who quoted $2600. Both guys told us the house looks like it has sunk about 4 inches on the back side. It has also been raised in the past & blocks replaced, and is now about 3 ft off the ground. Otherwise I really don't think the house is too bad off. The real question is, do we really need to level it now? If we go ahead and put in siding & windows now, and then level it later, will it make the siding & windows look crooked, or will it create gaps around the windows? I intend to get at least one more quote, hopefully from Bill Marks.
  9. A foundation company just quoted us $7500 to level our 1100 sq ft pier & beam one story house. I was expecting much less. What is a fair price for house leveling for a house this size? We are not having any major issues with doors not closing or sagging floors. We have a few cracks in dry wall around windows, etc, but nothing you wouldn't expect from an 80 year old house. The house has obviously had previous foundation work and been raised onto new blocks. We wanted to get the house leveled now for 2 reasons 1) We're about to replace our windows, siding, and front door and were told we should level so that everything will go in straight. 2) we have some old termite damage on a beam that was identified during the inspection when we bought the house 5 years ago. I suspect the damage is primarily cosmetic, but you never really know till you get in there. What is a fair price? Can anyone recommend a good company for me to get some competing bids?
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