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A Window Into The Condition of Your Home's Foundation

It’s that time of year when you’re ready to open a few windows so that the mild spring air can freshen your home. Unless your windows refuse to budge. What happened to them over the winter?

The answer might not be obvious. Those sticky windows could be the result of your house settling. It could be an indication that your home’s foundation needs to be repaired. “When that happens, people become concerned about the structural integrity of their home and the potential for costly repairs,” says Chris Smith, owner of United Structural Systems (USS). “But there’s no reason to panic. “What we find is that customers are relieved to find out that they won’t need repairs that are as extensive as they thought they would be,” says Smith. “Our project managers are rewarded based upon customer satisfaction, not the value of the job. We might be a specialty contractor but we see ourselves as a problem-solving company. Our goal is to provide peace of mind.”

USS does this by educating customers about what their home needs. Instead of telling them what’s wrong with their house and what it will take to repair, they explain how it happened and how the issue can be solved. “We don’t ask for money until the customer is satisfied,” says Smith. “That’s how confident we are in what we’re doing and how financially stable we are. We know that we’ll get the job done and meet the expectations of that homeowner.”

As a hands-on owner, Smith leads a team that has been repairing basements, foundations and crawlspaces throughout Middle Tennessee since he and his father, Mike, co-founded USS in 1994. In fact, Smith says he was “born with a shovel in my hands.” He followed his dad to job sites in and around his hometown of New Albany, Indiana. Later, he moved to Nashville to attend Trevecca Nazarene University but his college experience did not include graduation. He started the business out of his dorm room and had 20 employees by his junior year. He counted several professors among his clients. 

Over the years, USS has emerged as an industry leader that is actively engaged in training personnel from other companies throughout the country. Along with its stellar reputation, USS has flexible financial terms and provides a transferrable warranty for many of its jobs.

“We’re living in an age when people buy, sell, remodel and flip,” says Smith. “So the warranty is with the house, not the individual.” Foundation repairs and waterproofing can be messy jobs and USS pays particular attention to landscaping that can be in harm’s way. “There’s no denying that every surgery leaves a scar so there will be some inconvenience while this work is taking place,” says Smith. “However, we take pride in how we clean the job site and communicate with the customer while we’re there. Our greatest work can’t be seen, but what is seen is how we leave a customer’s home. It’s a reflection of the work we do.”

  • Chris and Mike Smith
  • A three-year-old Chris with his Dad Mike
  • The USS team