Why Grade Beams and Caissons Don’t Work Well For Foundation Repair

Dinosaurs have been dead a long time. If Jurassic Park has taught us anything, it’s that these powerful apex predators are better off extinct. Some things need to die – like bellbottom jeanspet rocks, and grade beam/caisson foundation repair.

What is a grade beam, you might be wondering? Well, a grade beam is an addition to a building’s foundation that is a reinforced concrete beam that redirects the load from a bearing wall, dispersing the load between caissons.

This technique is primarily utilized by old-school engineers to mitigate foundation settlement caused by expansive soil.

Grade beams and caisson foundation repair is a prehistoric approach to foundation repair. The truth is grade beam and caissons are not the answer. Why?

  • Property Disturbance
  • Weight
  • Cost 

Property Disturbance

 Installing a grade beam and caissons proves an incredibly messy process as the entire foundation must be dug up. This results in a five-to-six-foot excavation around the immediate perimeter of your home.  

Heavy equipment, such as cranes, are utilized to implement the caissons. Due to the invasive nature of the procedure, homeowners often move out for a short period of time.

This is much more invasive than push pierhelical pier, or polyurethane foundation repair. Foundation repair with steel pier systems only takes a week and the owner does not have to stick it out in a dingy hotel somewhere.


Often adding a grade beam and caissons to a home’s foundation makes the problem worse, sinking the foundation further into the ground. Our Foundation Repair Specialist Mr. Brett Woodall says, “It’s like throwing an anchor over a sinking ship.”

Caissons are only effective if they hit bedrock.

Conversely, push piers and helical piers are much lighter and only need to reach competent, load-bearing soil to hold up the load of the home.


 Grade beam and caisson foundation repair is expensive. The caissons themselves are a good $10,000 each. If you have 3 caissons, put in, that’s a minimum of 30k. That’s not even factoring in:

  • Labor Costs
  • The Grade Beam itself

In contrast, the average foundation repair cost with Dalinghaus is $24,000 to $60,000.

 Choose Dalinghaus

We do foundation repair the right way. We believe in our process so much we have a lifetime warranty on all steel pier systems.

With over 100 years of combined experience and 4.9 stars out of 301 reviews – we are here to ensure that you never settle

If you live in SoCal or Arizona and would like a FREE foundation 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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2 Responses

  1. Do you do foundations for deck on hillside ? How costly it would be for 6 piers . Bedrock is 7ft foy3 and 13 feet for remaining 4 . Slope is 1:2.

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