Featured Job Friday: Restoring History
This week ECP is featuring a job from Pro Foundation Technology, Inc., who serves Missouri and Northeastern Kansas with foundation repair, waterproofing, concrete leveling, and crawl space repair, among other services. Prof Foundation Technoloy, Inc. is a family-owned and operated business that has been serving the Kansas City area since 1978. All of their work comes with a “no hassle” transferable warranty and they are licensed and insured in Kansas and Missouri.
Taking Care Restoring a Historic Building’s Foundation
Pro Foundation Technology, Inc. has been hired to work on restoration projects for buildings such as the historic Memorial Union at the University of Missouri and the 200-year-old Belle Meade Mansion in Nashville, Tennessee.
Special care needs to be taken when working with any building’s foundation, but even more so when dealing with a historic structure. Because of the age of the building, it may be more fragile and have restrictions on what can be done to keep its historical value. It is important that the contractor has experience working with historical buildings.
Steps to Take When Hiring a Contractor for Historical Buildings
The first thing you should do when hiring a contractor for repairs to a historical building is to hire a structural engineer. Some contractors have an engineer on staff, but other times you may need to hire one on your own.
The next step in the process is to document how the foundation looks before any work is done. It is important that the repaired foundation looks remarkably similar to the original walls. Take a lot of photos and videos from different angles and write down any details you may see. By having these documents for the contractor, they will be better able to match the original foundation’s appearance.
You are now ready for the next step: hiring the foundation contractor. Make sure that they have experience working with historic structures. For example, Pro Foundation Technology has been restoring foundations for over thirty years. The structural engineer will also make sure that the plans of the contractor are sound, helping prevent any collapse or damage to the foundation.
Once you have your contractor hired, you will need to choose your building materials. You will want to do your best to match the new foundation to the original one. If the contractor has to remove any old materials, make sure to save them, in case you need to use them for future projects.
Other Considerations for Historical Projects
Pro Foundation Technology, Inc. has some other suggestions to keep in mind when working on historical buildings.
If you are building a new foundation, you may want to consider having the contractor dig a new basement, making it deeper. Pro Foundation Technology, Inc. would use helical piers to lift and stabilize the foundation, allowing them to dig a deeper basement. If the basement is to be used as a living space, you will have to install egress windows to follow most public codes.
If a new basement is being created, you can have the contractor waterproof it during this time. This will protect your structure and any belongings that may be in the basement. It is easier to waterproof at this time than when there is furniture or other items in the area.
Some other things that you can have done at this time include repairing an old staircase or installing a new one, replacing out of date plumbing, electrical, or gas systems. You can also make sure that the soil around the foundation is graded properly, helping with drainage.
Use the Right Tools and Experts for Historical Projects
Every foundation job is important, so make sure that your contractor uses ECP tools and equipment, like the professionals at Pro Foundation Technology do. We are proud to be a part of so many foundation repair projects around the country.