Protecting Your Home Foundation: A Valued Investment

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 64.8 percent of Americans are homeowners. If you are among this 64.8 percent or have future plans to become a homeowner, there are three questions that you should ask yourself:

  1. Do you consider your (current or future) home one of your most valuable assets?
  2. Are you expecting the value of your home to increase over time?

If you answered “yes” to either (or both) of these questions, then ask yourself the following:

  1. Has my foundation been inspected and stabilized?

If your answer is “no” or if you are not confident in your inspection history, the following information could have a significant impact on the future value of your home.

What Are Foundation Inspections?

Foundation inspections are an element of home ownership that should be a top priority, especially if you live in an area with poor soil. The reason? Identifying foundation issues and, if necessary, having a plan to stabilize your foundation may have a significant impact on the long-term value of your home and property.

Who Do I Contact For A Foundation Inspection?

Once you have decided to have your foundation inspected and stabilized, the next critical step is identifying a trustworthy and qualified inspector or engineering firm.

Homeowners today have a plethora of choices when it comes to foundation inspections. These choices range from foundation repair companies to specialized foundation engineering firms, and the cost of service can run the gamut.

While the options for “Free Home Inspections” may be tempting, homeowners should be wary of the credibility and thoroughness of the delivered service. For example, a foundation repair company may offer a “free inspection” with a commission-paid contractor. In this scenario, you run the risk of hiring a contractor who lacks the necessary credentials, insurance, certifications and licenses to perform an adequate inspection.

To ensure that your inspection is adequately completed and that your money is well spent, it is recommended that you seek the assistance of a licensed, independent engineer who specializes in foundation inspection and repair.

While a professional engineer may cost more up front (engineer reports typically cost between $300-$500), the long-term benefit of their detailed and comprehensive report could save you more in the short and long run – especially if it’s determined that your property needs a foundation repair remediation plan. 

A Smart Investment

Once you decide to hire an independent engineer, here’s what you should expect from the process, the level of expertise, and the anticipated benefits:

  • A licensed professional engineer will evaluate your structure and will have the ability to recommend solutions beyond installing piers. In addition, independent engineers are not paid by commission and are not tied to a specific repair methodology.
  • Independent foundation engineers are licensed, insured, certified and specialize in the structural engineering dynamics of homes. Additionally, they are bound by the American Society of Civil Engineering to protect the welfare of the public.
  • If a contractor is required, an independent foundation engineer can recommend a reputable and trusted contractor for the recommended service.

Questions? Ask our expert engineers about our foundation inspection and foundation repair services.

Source: http://www.census.gov/housing/hvs/files/currenthvspress.pdf