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How Long Does Underpinning Take (Push Piers & Helical Piers)

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Time – time is always running outof the essence, and healing all wounds, but it also provides a frame through which we experience the human condition. As the great sage of wisdom Solomon put it, there is a time for everything under the sun, especially underpinning.

Okay, while Solomon didn’t explicitly mention underpinning, it’s okay to read between the lines. We here at Dalinghaus Construction Inc. are asked many questions regarding underpinning due to our intrinsic genius (much like Solomon).  

A question we receive regularly is: how long does underpinning take?

Well, there are several types of underpinning, which we cover in our postWhat is Underpinning (Definition, History, and Types). However, for this particular post, we are going to focus on the timeframe for push pier and helical pier underpinning.

For the sake of specificity, this post is going to focus primarily on the work phase of underpinning.

For an overview of the entire, comprehensive foundation repair process, read our article: Foundation Repair Timeline.  

We understand that time is of the utmost importance to our clients and treat your time with respect.

 In this post, we will focus on:

  •   A brief recap of the underpinning prep process
  • How long exactly will the underpinning project last once shovels hit dirt
  •   The amount of time you’re expected to be on-site for the underpinning project  

The Underpinning Preparation Process

Before Space X blasts a rocket up into space, there’s a lot of math involved, and groundwork covered. Elon Musk checks the fuel thrusters, aligns the atomic radiation mechanisms, and calibrates the thingamajigs (yes, a true technical term).

Okay, while I know nothing about sending rockets into orbit, I can appreciate the immense preparation that goes into safe launches and landings although I find it an enigma.  

Here at Dalinghaus, we’re going to take the mystery out of the prep work required for an underpinning project.   

The Homeowner Notices Signs and Symptoms

 At this stage, the homeowner or resident begins to suspect something is off regarding the home due to a long possible list of signs and symptoms:

  •   Drywall and stucco cracks
  •   Bouncy, bowed, or slanted floors
  •   Doors and windows are difficult to open/close
  •   Chimneys are cracked, leaning, or pulling away from the home

Often, during this stage, the homeowner will conduct online research and or book a foundation inspection.

A Foundation Inspection is Conducted

Generally speaking, foundation inspections are booked two weeks out (kind of like a blowout appointment at your favorite salon to keep your do looking fresh).

Prior to the appointment, the client will be matched with a foundation repair specialist who will reach out directly.  

Depending on the foundation repair specialist (they all have different styles), the client can expect:

  •   A brief video bio introducing the specialist
  •   A list of several, pertinent blog posts and Youtube videos
  •   A determined timeframe for the inspection itself

After the underpinning inspection is completed, the homeowner will receive:

The foundation repair proposal is usually submitted between 12-24 hours following the inspection. 

*Note – the foundation inspection itself generally takes 1.5 hours and it is imperative the homeowner is present during this procedure.

If there is an issue with the foundation (often foundations require no underpinning at all) and the client is ready to begin the process, they sign the underpinning proposal, and the waiting begins.

Yes – waiting. It’s a hurry-up-and-wait game I’m afraid for the engineering and permitting process.

  •   Engineering can take anywhere between 4-6 weeks.
  •   Permitting can fall anywhere between 4-8 weeks and varies by statecity, and county (and what the permitting processor had for breakfast).

Foundation Repair Timeline –

Inspection scheduling                                             2 weeks

Inspection                                                                         1.5 hours (one day)

Proposal Interim                                                           1 day to 6 Months

Engineering                                                                      4-6 weeks

Permitting                                                                         4-16 weeks

Active Job Site Timeframe                                    1-2 weeks

Total                                                                                11-26 weeks

*Note – this process can take up to 6 months, so plan on timeframe flexibility. 

Once the engineering and permitting are secured, the shovels can hit the dirt.

Underpinning Production Timeframe

Most people want to know how long their yard will be out of commission. There are barbeques to throw, piñatas to bash, and pool parties to host with cool pink flamingo floaties.

The good news is the actual time production will be out on a project is 5 business days.

For a rundown on the process, check out our articles:

Here is a brief summation of the process:

  •   The excavation holes are dug
  •   The footings are manicured down to fit the remedial bracket
  •   The push piers and helical piers are installed, driven to competent, load-bearing soil
  •   The home is lifted and simultaneously void filled via polyurethane
  •   Wham bam yes ma’am, the job is done

All of this is done, on average, in only 5 days! Our crews arrive usually at 8 am and leave around 4 to 5 pm.

So, the next question we typically get is: how long do I have to be on-site?

How Long Does the Client Have to Be on Site for the Underpinning Project?

2 days – that’s the long and short of it. We request that the homeowner be onsite for the first and final day of the underpinning project.

The first day is to go over the general specs of the underpinning operation. The final day is to ensure that the foundation repair lift to maximum practical recovery goes smoothly.

The good news is that you and your household can carry on with your normal weekly activities for the remainder of the time. And, best of all, you can stay up to date with your very own Buildertrend account which covers:

  •   Daily Logs – who is on-site and what work is being done
  •   Photos – Photographic progress
  •   Weather – Is that snow?!
  •   Documents – Permits, repair plan, and contract
  •   Messages – messages from the production lead team member or your foundation repair specialist 

See our article: The Benefits of Buildertrend (From Daily Logs to Messages).

So, in closing, the actual work itself doesn’t take much time at all – a week or two at most. The waiting game comes in with the engineering, permitting, and possibly recent supply crunch from COVID-19.

We suggest if you want your home underpinned – DON’T WAIT! Book the inspection today and get on the list so we can get the ball rolling. The sooner the proposal is signed, the sooner we can begin work on your foundation.

Read more: How Long Does Foundation Repair Last?

Choose Dalinghaus for Your Underpinning Needs

Be sure to check out our Can You Get a Mortgage on a House That’s Been Underpinned?

Here at Dalinghaus Construction, Inc.: we respect your time. We tailor-fit your foundation repair plan to meet your unique needs.

Dalinghaus Construction Inc. can help you fix your sinking foundation once and for all with helical pierpush pier, and polyurethane underpinning

We do foundation underpinning and retaining wall repair the right way. With over 100 years of combined experience and 4.9 stars out of over 300 reviews – we are here to ensure that you never settle

If you live in SoCal or Arizona and would like a FREE crack inspection, click the link below –


Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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