Many older homes have foundations constructed with brick, river rock or older non-reinforced concrete that has deteriorated to the point that full or partial replacement becomes necessary. McGrath Contracting Inc. will help you determine your options, arrange all necessary engineering and expedite permits on your behalf. Foundation replacement sounds expensive and disruptive but it need not be. Even complete foundation replacement can be completed for a small percentage of the value of the property and all our clients live comfortably in their home during the project.
If your home exhibits signs of differential foundation settlement such as sloping floors, wall and floor cracks or other indicators of movement you should consult with a licensed engineer familiar with these issues to determine whether foundation underpinning is the best solution. Underpinning is the construction of deeper and larger foundation footings into underlying soil or bedrock capable of supporting the house loads. This can only be determined by a geotechnical (soil) engineer.
McGrath Contracting Inc. always works with experienced geotechnical (soils) and structural engineers to diagnose the problem and design the best solution for you. We expedite all reports and engineering-plans and obtain the required building permits on your behalf. Underpinning your foundation without the proper engineering and an expert contractor like McGrath Contracting Inc. can result in wasted money and an unresolved problem.
Leveling of uneven floors
One of the most common symptoms of differential foundation settlement is an uneven or sloping interior floor.
McGrath Contracting Inc. has developed procedures to correctly measure the degree of the sloping using state-of-the-art laser and water-level technology and our expert crews have successfully re-leveled hundreds of uneven floors to the original elevations.
Basement construction and repair
Building or repairing a basement takes a combination of special skills involving engineering, shoring & excavation, concrete, waterproofing & sub drains and soil compaction, usually within confined spaces. McGrath Contracting Inc. has the know-how to complete every aspect of basement construction in an efficient, cost effective and safe manner.
Seismic retrofit is a procedure to improve an older homes’ resistance to earthquake damage. It usually involves bolting the lumber house frame to its concrete foundation, bracing the below floor framed cripple walls and connecting framing lumber with framing anchors.
In some homes upper stories are constructed over a garage causing a ‘soft story’ condition. Bracing the seismically weak wide door opening often requires installing an engineered structural steel frame.
McGrath Contracting Inc. has completed literally hundreds of seismic retrofits in the past twenty-five years. We start with a thorough investigation of the site and existing foundation from within the crawlspace. We first check the foundation condition (is the concrete strong enough to hold an anchor bolt?). We look for the presence of existing bolts and cripple walls and the condition of the framing lumber under the house.
Most homes can be seismically retrofitted for a modest cost to make your home safer and you may qualify for reduced homeowners insurance premiums – check with your insurance broker.
Concrete slab floor construction & repair
McGrath Contracting Inc. can perform every type of repair to concrete slab floors, decks, patios and walkways. As always we first determine the cause of the problem; poor grading and compaction techniques, shallow foundations, little or no steel reinforcement in footings or slabs, no vapor barrier or sand base under concrete floors, poor quality finishing, leaking plumbing lines and cold joint separations etc.
We are sensitive to the fact that repair work inside your home may be noisy, dusty and generally disruptive. We pride ourselves on respecting your property by moving all personal items and enclosing the work area and cleaning up daily.
If there is one truism living in California it is that concrete cracks! At McGrath Contracting Inc. our crews have been trained to perform epoxy injection crack repairs per the manufacturers specifications. We only use the highest quality materials approved by the local building departments.
More severe cracks require engineering details and a more extensive repair method. McGrath Contracting will follow these specifications to provide a permanent crack repair.
Sub floor framing repairs
McGrath Contracting Inc. can replace damaged or leaning girders and posts and reframe rotated cripple wall framing. We also repair termite and dry rot damaged lumber under the house. All new framing is to the highest standard and is strapped for improved seismic safety. We always use temporary hydraulic shoring to support the house whilst the repairs take place for your comfort and safety.