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Heat, drought cause foundation problems

Residents seeking repairs increased 70 percent from last year

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Posted: Saturday, August 4, 2012 12:00 pm

Residents seeking repairs increased 70 percent from last year

By Mason Lerner

Killeen Daily Herald

Killeen-Fort Hood's landscape is changing rapidly, and that is not a metaphor for economic growth.

According to the Central Texas Better Business Bureau, there has been a 70 percent increase in Texas consumers seeking foundation repair services since last year.

Bell County contractors are reaping the benefits. The wait just to get an estimate is at least two weeks with many contractors.

"It's dramatic," said Richard Kitterman, regional director for the Better Business Bureau. "It is significant. There is a combination of factors contributing. In this case, it is a more than fair assumption that the factors are the heat and the drought."

Mike Brown of Belton's M. Brown Construction has a two-week waiting list for estimates. He was not surprised by the BBB report.

"For the past two years it has really picked up," Brown said. "In a 12-month period three years ago, I was doing about 100 houses a year. Last year I did about 150 houses, and it looks about the same this year.

"I can hardly keep up," he added.

Olshan Foundation Repair's Temple office is actively recruiting crew members and supervisors to keep up with customer demand. Mike DeShazer, Olshan's vice president of operations, is not taking the growth for granted.

"We are increasing crews and hiring as we speak," DeShazer said. "For the last few years, we have been very fortunate with the rest of the country going through hard economic times."

Arthur Alexander, owner of AAA Foundation Repair, said his company has 20 to 25 jobs going at a given time.

"Sometimes we can't get to a job for two or three months because we have so many calls," he said.

Kitterman stressed consumers who take preventive measures early can avoid the waiting list.

"It might cost a few hundred dollars in water during the summer, but you are talking thousands of dollars to repair your foundation," he said.

Contact Mason Lerner at mlerner@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7567.

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