Five Things to Consider When Selecting a Company for Residential Foundation Construction

There are many different styles of houses: Cape Cods, colonials, craftsman, mid-century modern, bungalows and more. Though each has its unique design elements, there is one thing necessary for each one, and that is a foundation.


Even though you don’t see a foundation when looking at a house, it’s probably the most important element of it. Without a strong foundation, the house will most likely have multiple structural issues and not last very long. No one wants a house with a sinking foundation, cracked and uneven walls and floors or other costly problems.


Selecting a reliable company to construct the foundation for your home should be one of your biggest decisions, if not the most important. When there are so many businesses that perform this sort of work, though, how do you choose? In this blog, we’ll give you some guidelines on that and highlight five key things to consider before signing on the dotted line with a residential foundation construction company.


  1. Longevity

Just because a company has been around for a few years doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best. However, businesses that perform residential foundation construction don’t typically last in an area if they do shoddy work. Construction companies that have been around at least a decade have most likely been able to shift with changes in the industry while introducing new technology and techniques to the process.


For example, at PierTech Systems, we utilize helical piers, accessories and equipment to construct new foundations. Why? Because in addition to being easier and quicker to install, they have better bearing capacity and more securely stabilize all types of residential homes. We’ve been in this industry for more than years and have the experience and results to show for it.


  1. Reputation

Word of mouth is a great way to share opinions – positive and negative – on products and services. Sometimes the best recommendations are the ones you get from friends or family. If you know someone who recently used a company for residential foundation construction and was happy with the results, ask for the name. Likewise, if you have a friend dealing with issues due to faulty work when their foundation was installed, make sure to avoid that company. Even if you obtain a company referral from a contractor, do your research on the business to check it out for yourself.


Online research is an easy way to examine reviews on companies that perform residential foundation construction. Visit the websites of reliable resources such as the Better Business Bureau – they don’t have a personal stake in the vendors listed on their site. Look through customer reviews, but don’t base your decision solely on them.


  1. Documentation

Again, a reliable foundation for your home is essential. Issues that arise from a weak or unstable foundationcan be extremely costly and cause other problems within the structure. Verify that the company you select for your residential foundation construction has the appropriate documentation in place and will readily show it to you. This includes proper insurance – both for company damage and any damage that might occur during the process. It also encompasses licensing, which may vary by state.


  1. Materials

The best techniques aren’t going to do much good if cheap, insufficient materials are utilized in the process. The most reliable residential foundation construction companies use the highest-quality products and the strongest materials. Don’t be afraid to ask vendors you’re considering employing about the materials they plan to use and the benefits they provide.


PierTech products are produced from quality, high-strength steel, our manufacturing processes are controlled through a rigid quality assurance program, and our welding is performed in strict accordance to AWS D1.1. AWS D1.1 is the most widely used welding code in the United States.


  1. Cost

As with other products and services, the cheapest may not be the best. Don’t base a decision as important as the foundation of your home on the best price – that may end up costing you much more if structural issues arise from a weak foundation. Consider the money you spend on the construction of your foundation as a major investment in the house.  Don’t hesitate to ask for an estimate from multiple companies, and don’t choose one unless you feel 100 percent sure of your decision.


Why PierTech Systems

All our products are backed by the our commitment to performance and reliability, and our exceptional customer service is unparalleled in the industry. We are here to help support you in every aspect of any project. Read some of our customer testimonials to see for yourself!





PierTech Visits Atlanta to Showcase Our Patented Helical Piering System, Accessories and Equipment

It’s a busy time of the year for many people. Some are back in the swing of the school year. Others are back at work but wishing they were still on their relaxing summer vacation. It’s back to meetings, cooler weather and a packed schedule.


We’re keeping busy here at PierTech Systems, too. Just last week, we had the opportunity to attend and exhibit at the 2019 Tilt-Up Convention and Expo in Atlanta. Held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, the annual event attracts contractors, architects, engineers, developers, manufacturers, suppliers and more from the tilt-up concrete industry. In addition to an array of exhibitors, it features networking, education, demos, awards, certification and updates on new research and technologies within the field.


At this unique event, we got to highlight why the PierTech approach to tilt-up construction puts us at a level above our competitors. Unlike other companies, we utilize our patented Tilt-Up, Insta-Brace Anchor, a unique design consisting of three helix plates welded to a 1 ½” square bar shaft. This shaft is stronger than the steel often used by other manufacturers and enables stronger buildings to be constructed much more quickly and easily. When the project is complete, the Insta-Brace Anchor can be removed and even reused down the line.


Another thing separates us from other tilt-up construction companies is our use of helical pier technology. Though it’s been around for many years, utilizing it in tilt-up construction applications is unique to PierTech. Not only is helical piering cost-effective, it doesn’t require much – if any – concrete and can be performed in situations with limited access. Other benefits of using helical pier technology in tilt-up construction applications include simple and quick installation, elimination of curing times, territorial protection and on-site training from our experienced and certified staff.


If you’d like to learn more about our products and the markets we serve, shoot us an email or give us a call at  636.536.5007.


Join Us in Las Vegas!

If you are looking to become a PierTech Certified Installer, we will be hosting a Training Seminar on Tuesday, January 22nd, at the Luxor Resort and Casino. PierTech specializes in training potential installers with varying degrees of experience to properly calculate, plan, and execute the installation of helical piers, piles, and anchors. A $250-dollar deposit will be required upon registering for the event, which will then be applied to any purchase of equipment and/or material. Please call us today to reserve your spot at our Las Vegas event.

PierTech will also be hosting an evening reception at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, January 23rd, to thank our customers and friends for their business and continued support. Appetizers and drinks with be provided. The reception will begin at 6:00 pm. Please join us for a fun-filled evening, call us TODAY to RSVP.

The PierTech Team looks forward to seeing you in Las Vegas for Installer Training and our Evening Reception. Don’t forget to reserve your spot for training and RSVP to our evening reception!

Historical Figure Spotlight: Alexander Mitchell

Alexander-MitchellAlexander Mitchell (1780 – 1868)

Blind Engineer

Alexander Mitchell was born on 13th April 1780 in South William Street, Dublin. When he was young, he saw little of his father, who was an Inspector-General of British Barracks in Ireland. When he was seven, the family moved up north to Pine Hill near Belfast. Here, Mitchell went to school for the first time at the age of eight. They remained here for four years, during which time the eldest daughter Mary died, followed shortly by their father when Mitchell was 10.

Mrs. Mitchell with Alexander, his sister and two of his brothers rented a cottage a mile from Belfast. From here, Mitchell attended the best classical school in Belfast. He greatly enjoyed his school life, showing a marked taste for mathematics. But his sight, always defective, declined rapidly so that by the age of 16, he could no longer read. (Possibly his sight may have been overstrained in his childhood, by lying on the floor of the hall in William street, reading by the dim light that came from the street lamp, through the fanlight over the door). Although this was the case, he seems to have learned a lot in school, as his family constantly came to him for help in geography, history and even spelling.

In 1798, during the Irish Rebellion, Alexander (aged 18) was sent to friends in Scotland. When he was 21, he married his neighbor, Mary Banks, with whom he had five children. His mother was so displeased with this match, that she would not see him for over a year. It was around this time that he began to manufacture bricks, a prosperous business that continued for over 30 years, enabling him to buy ground and build about 20 houses in Belfast.

His appearance was that of a strong and active man. He was tall, over 6 feet in height with broad shoulders. He had many visitors to his home, including Dr. Romney Robinson, whose company he delighted in, and Dr. Boole the mathematician. Some people were not aware he was blind as he turned to those he spoke to, and seemed to look directly at them. It is amusing to find out that people often played whist and backgammon with him, and ended the game without knowing that he could not see. That a daughter or grandchild sat at his side and mentioned the throw of the dice, or whispered the names of the cards, passed unobserved.

In 1823, he wrote a paper on “Meteoric Stones” which was read at the Natural History Society, of which he was elected a member shortly thereafter. Living by the sea, he often pondered on the trials of shipwrecked men, and he set his mind to think out some means of warning ships of danger from rocky shores. In 1828 his thinking provided him with the answer. Four years later, he became known as the inventor and patentee of the “Mitchell Screw-pile and Mooring”, a simple yet effective means of constructing durable lighthouses in deep water, on mud-banks and shifting sands, of fixing beacons, and of mooring ships. It was first used for the foundation of the Maplin Sand lighthouse, at the mouth of the Thames, in 1838.

After the success of screw-piles had been established, they were applied to more extensive undertakings. The Government Breakwater at Portland, the long viaduct and bridges on the Bombay and Beroda Railway, the whole system of Indian telegraphs, and the Madras pier, were among the works accomplished with this invention. Mitchell’s improved method of mooring ships was likewise generally adopted.

On the 9th May 1837, he was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers, London. In 1839 he went to Belfast to prepare for building a lighthouse at Fleetwood. He did not spare himself any labor that he thought necessary for perfecting the work, but climbed the ladders, crawled along the planks, and examined the woodwork. When told he was risking a fall, he said he was safer than others, because by not seeing the water beneath him, he did not become giddy. On many occasions he stayed out the whole day, cheering his men at their work, and leading them in singsongs as they marched around on the raft driving in the screws.

In July 1844 the lighthouse in Belfast Lough was finished. In November 1844 he was elected Associate of the Belfast Anacreontic Society. He greatly enjoyed attending the various concerts they organized. He was very fond of music, understanding its theory and was well versed in its history. In 1847 he went to Courtown, Co.Wexford, to build a pier there. The following year he built a new kind of boat, which he called the Zangada, and spent many happy hours sailing in it around Belfast Lough.

His taste for mechanics was strong and he prepared a paper giving an account of the many mechanical projects he had carried out from early childhood. One of these contained the fundamental idea of the screw-propeller which was used on ships, whose captains reported an increased speed and a smaller consumption of coal.

On the 20th June 1848, he was made a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and the Telford medal was given to him. Later that year he built two lighthouses in Soldier’s Point, Dundalk. In May 1851, he moved to Queenstown where he and his son laid the foundation for the lighthouse in the cove of Cork. During the winter months spent there, he amused himself by writing on the flight of birds and men’ efforts to fly.

Even in his poorest and anxious days, Alexander Mitchell was full of good spirit. When friends called, there was always music, as he played the flute and accordion, and sang many Irish songs. In 1864, his wife died at the age of 86. He died four years later on 25th June 1868.

He is indeed a man to be honored and admired, a man of enormous courage, hope and human sympathy, as well as a clear and vigorous intellect. His cheerfulness and independence led most people to forget his blindness.