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image Inside the truck is Bruecher Foundation Services Inc. owner William Howie Bruecher alongside his son William H. Bruecher IV.

AUSTIN - He uses hydraulically driven piles, but William Howie Bruecher has been using his expertise in foundation repair for 29 years. Bruecher originally started in the landscape and irrigation industry in 1985 and remembers the economy going to “hell in a handbag” in the late ‘80s. “There was not a lot of work for most of the contractors around here,” said Bruecher.




    Bruecher found himself traveling to the east coast to help his friend with a job at Daytona Beach.  Bruecher grew up with that same friend in Houston. As the dots continued to connect, his friend then fell into a franchise out of Houston. Bruecher found an opportunity as well when he was approached to purchase one of these franchises.
    “I was the first one in Austin to hydraulically drive in concrete piles in the ground underneath concrete slab houses,” said Bruecher. He had a new method to expose to the Austin market and incorporated Bruecher Foundation Services Inc. in 1989.
    Bruecher Foundation Services offers foundation repair, pier and beam and concrete slab for residential and commercial clients. The business also offers drainage and small retaining wall services. Since the Austin-based company has brought forth the new method, Bruecher says hydraulically driven piles have become more the norm than other foundation repair methods. He says the company’s service area is about a 60- to 70-mile radius, explaining, “I go as far as Waco, Smithville, New Braunfels and Marble Falls.”
    The company staffs 22 employees and runs four or five crews out of the yard. Bruecher’s son, William H. Bruecher IV, has also been working with the company for six years.
    “He does inspections of homes, estimating and he levels houses. He also helps out with the crews,” said the elder Bruecher. On the commercial side of projects, Bruecher says they are working on a three-story apartment building.
    They have also had some exciting jobs. For instance, years ago there was a residential garage at the same elevation as the house’ second floor, with a room connecting the garage to the house.
    “The garage was moving towards the house and pushing this room into the house. We saved it by trying something way different,” shared Bruecher. “It was a slow process, but we were able to move the garage away from the house by 3 inches and move the room back into line where it was supposed to be. That was pretty cool.”
    In 2018, Austin experienced a large amount of torrential rain. With those on-again, off-again weather patterns, Bruecher Foundation Services received calls from homeowners asking to raise their houses up out of flood plains. As a result they did raise houses up to 3 feet off the ground.
    “Versus paying expensive flood insurance and taking the risk of their home being flooded, [homeowners] are choosing to raise their house up out of the flood plain,” explained Bruecher.
    With a look at the economy and the amount of people moving to the area, the company has seen more work than Bruecher anticipated. The company’s future is simple; Bruecher wants to keep everybody moving.
    He also keeps his trusty companion moving too. When Bruecher’s daughter left for college, she had to leave her deer Chihuahua “Destroya” with her dad. Now, Destroya likes to hang out in the office or go for rides to jobsites with Bruecher.
    “We were working on a pier and beam job the other day and [Destroya] went right through the floor. One of the guys caught him and put him back up through the hole he fell through,” shared Bruecher. Not to worry, Destroya was not harmed, but ay Chihuahua!
    Bruecher Foundation Service Inc. in Austin is a foundation contractor for residential and commercial projects. –lv

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Lexie Velasquez lexie@constructionnews.net