One of the most daunting sentences a Florida homeowner can ever hear is “You have a sinkhole problem.” Fortunately for Ocalans, Foundation Services, one of the oldest and most trusted sinkhole repair companies in the state, is in the business of providing peace of mind through 20 years of experience and unmatched expertise.
The Reillys’ shock was to be expected. It’s not every day that you wake up to find an 18-foot-long, 14-foot-wide, 15-foot-deep hole in your yard.
“Joe and I were dumbfounded one morning when one of nature’s oddities, a sinkhole, showed up on our front lawn,” says Gail. “Almost immediately, Foundation Services was on the scene lending assistance—educating and advising us and stabilizing the void.”
The Reillys’ choice of the esteemed 20-year-old sinkhole repair company was a smart one. Foundation Services is Central Florida’s leader in sinkhole remediation/cosmetic restoration as well as foundation repair and general contracting.
Foundation Services of Central Florida, Inc. was formed in 1991 after the merger of longtime Ocala custom home building companies; Hardin Builders, owned by Bobby Hardin and Miroda Development, owned by Darryl Hampy; and local developer Keith Seyler, forming the partnership Hardin, Seyler, Hampy. The three companies together brought decades of experience to the foundation and sinkhole repair business. Today, Foundation Services’ owners, Bobby Hardin, Keith Seyler, Darryl Hampy and Robert Stephenson, have over 150 years of combined experience in the construction industry. Recently, in response to the company’s tremendous growth, the owners built an expansive 11,500-square-foot facility to accommodate its six major divisions—sinkhole remediation, cosmetic restoration, general contracting, concrete, landscaping and Stable Soils, a recently established sister Company that incorporates a lightweight, structural polyurethane foam to lift concrete and solidify weak soils.
Over its 20 years in business, the company has performed repair work at such well-known locales as Hammett Bowen Elementary, Vanguard High School and Booster Stadium in Ocala; the baseball stadium at the University of Florida; Gainesville’s Harn Museum; a NASA information building at Cape Canaveral; the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Alachua and the new Moffitt Cancer Center in The Villages.
“Unlike some other companies, we do not sub-contract out our work,” says co-owner Robert Stephenson. “We do everything, from the initial sinkhole repair to the finishing touches on the cosmetic restoration and landscaping. It is all handled by our crews.”
There are several ways in which sinkholes can be treated. The Reillys required the most common repair method—Deep Compaction Grouting, a process used to stabilize unstable subsurface soils and seal the limestone surface. The process takes, on average, two weeks to complete, and conveniently, residents do not have to vacate the home during the repairs.
“We were in awe of how smoothly the drilling and grout injection process went,” Gail says. “Even our neighbors commented on [the crew’s] courteousness, thoughtfulness and work ethic. At the conclusion of the job, the home site looked exactly as it did at the job’s inception.”
The Reillys’ sentiments are far from unique. The praise from Foundation Services’ clientele is virtually endless, and frequently centers on the company’s commitment to educating clients about the problem and available solutions, and explaining the procedure step by step.
“Robert sat down with us in the beginning,” says Ocalan Dwayne Warren, “and explained the whole process while displaying pictures so that we could understand from a person’s view that knows nothing about this process.”
The geotechnical engineer’s report—the thick stack of papers filled with scientific terminology, data and graphs that every homeowner receives after testing is performed—is enough to put anyone into a tailspin. That’s precisely what makes Foundation Services’ assistance in guiding clients through the process so exemplary. It’s a necessity and a welcomed relief for homeowners.
“Robert took the time to thoroughly explain each step,” echoes James Joiner of Gainesville. “Mr. Stephenson and the crews should serve as models to other companies wishing to achieve outstanding customer relations.”
What Foundation Services’ clients are recognizing every day and have recognized for the past 20 years is that experience matters. In the flash-in-the-pan business world that exists today, it’s comforting to know one company in town has the knowledge, reputation and dedication to see homeowners through one of the most stressful times in their lives.
“Experience is everything,” Robert stresses. “Over 20 years, we’ve completed over 2,000 jobs. There are companies that have seen less than 100 jobs. So we’ve seen a lot. It may be the homeowner’s first time experiencing these problems, but it’s not ours. We will be there to see them through and to make their home whole again.”
4265 NW 44th Avenue
Ocala, Florida 34482