Lawmaker endorses move to license foundation repair firms

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 11:37 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 30 at 12:30 AM

WHITE SETTLEMENT - Kathleen Ragan's home on Joy Drive has been nothing but grief-filled.

"Here's where it's starting to crack," she said pointing to fissures in the stucco. "This one goes all the way in the house. It's not worth putting even another dime into it, at all."

Foundation work 14 months ago left her home in even worse shape.

"I have to deal with it because I have no other place to live at this time," Ragan, 44, added.

Cosmetically, the exterior is a mess. Inside, doors don't close properly and air seeps through cracks.

Engineers told her the foundation was "over-lifted" and estimated it would cost $197,000 to repair the house she had purchased for $30,000.

"I live in it every day wondering if the roof is going to fall in on me," Ragan said, tearing up.

Right now, plumbers and electricians are licensed in Texas; so are cosmetologists and even tow truck drivers.

State Rep. Bob Orr wants to regulate foundation repair companies, too, and he introduced a bill in the legislature last Wednesday.

"Because of the drought, it's caused foundations to move more than they have in the past," Orr said. "It just seems like all of a sudden you have a crop of new people coming into this industry."

Orr's legislation, House Bill 613, requires foundation repair personnel to be licensed and to carry insurance, among other things.

But even if it becomes law, it's still too late for Ragan.

She's suing the foundation company while forced to live in a home engineers say is now worthless.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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