How Long Does a Foundation Inspection Take & What Can Add Time

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On a deep biological level, we all want to plan out our days with dogeared Day-Timers, continuous app notifications, and multiple alarms set to blast The Imperial March. 

Here at Dalinghaus Construction, we understand the grind and recognize your time is invaluable.

We know it can be especially frustrating when you are having your foundation inspected and were not given a clear, definitive timeframe.    

If you’re not sure you need an inspector to come out and assess your foundation, check your home for 5 Signs of Foundation Issues

There are numerous signs and symptoms our trained specialists look for when assessing a home, and we want them to be as thorough as possible. 

Now, granted, not every house is the same (not even those cookie-cutter homes that share identical floor plans across American suburbia). 

With that caveat in mind, 90% of our home inspections are completed in under 1.5 hours – during which time our specialists go through the checklist of prevalent signs of foundation issues, complete a floor elevation survey, and write up a proposal for any work that might need to be done. 

And, fun fact, in many instances, our specialists determine that your home does not require any foundational attention, providing you peace of mind.

Now, the other 10% of the homes we inspect may take a little longer than an hour-and-a-half.  

Reasons for this bump in time might include (but are not limited to) –   

    • Your house is over 3,500 square feet
    • Your house has numerous additions
    • Your house has a hard to navigate crawlspace
    • You have a salesman performing your inspection, not an inspector
    • We really enjoy petting your dog

Your House is Over 3,500 Square Feet

Here at Dalinghaus – we believe in the American Dream.

We get the big house with the perfectly manicured lawn and four-car garage, but it will take us just a smidge longer to go through our foundation checklist.

The more rooms in a house, the more time it takes to draw them out – a key step in determining the correct personal solution for your home’s foundation.   

We have long subscribed to the measure twice, cut once principal.

If, for example, your home is not properly drawn up (whether through absent-minded negligence or complete laziness), then you will have irregularities in the lengths of walls and confused pier placement. 

Ultimately, this adds time and moolah to an already significant financial investment. 

This is especially true if incomplete plans are passed on to a structural engineer – the defective repair blueprint costing you lots of dead presidents’ faces.     

By simply taking a few extra minutes – we can ensure that the measurements are complete, accurate, and will stand the test of time. In short – it is well worth the wait.  

Your House Has Numerous Additions

There is nothing more frustrating than a set of incomplete blueprints – besides maybe sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 405 on a sweltering Friday afternoon. 

It is damned difficult to diagnose a home with multiple additions and can prove a bit confusing. It is imperative to know, exactly, where the additions were appended so that additional footings can be factored in.  

Homes with additions that are not clearly defined can result in irregularities in the floor elevation survey (masking where the actual foundation settlement is occurring). 

While we are all for childhood nostalgia, we don’t want to play Where is Waldo with your home additions.  

Once the additions have been identified (sans the candy-cane-striped outfit), the foundation inspector will be able to provide you with an accurate, comprehensive design of repair recommendations. 

It is important to note – typically, additions necessitate that the original foundation will need to be assessed and repaired.

If additions are not readily recognizable, it could add a good thirty minutes to an hour to your original inspection time.

But, again, it’s better to get the diagnoses correct the first time than to find out later down the line during the engineering/permitting process something is askew.

Your House Has A Hard To Navigate Crawlspace

Let’s face it. Crawlspaces are a claustrophobic nightmare. They might be cool in an occasional espionage thriller or horror flick, but we can all agree they suck in real life. 

The truth is: crawlspaces are hard to navigate – even without having to fight off Black Widows or wriggle through unwarranted debris. 

California Code for a crawlspace is that they are required to have a bare minimum of 18” in height. 

Unfortunately, we run into many crawlspaces that have less than 18”, and until hobbits get into the foundation repair business, this is a problem. Many of the older homes were built under different building codes. 

It’s easy to tell if your crawlspace is up to code. Grab a tape measure and head outside. Measure up to 18” and voila – there you have it.  

You’ll see it’s not very much room to begin with, but then factor in the zig-zagging maze of plumbing and ducting running all over underneath the house. 

Then you’ll have a pretty good idea of what our nightmares consist of.

Just like when you zip over speed bumps on a straightaway in that overpriced Jeep you’re leasing, these items will impede our inspector and significantly slow down their progress. 

Not to mention stem-walls and footings. Please allow for additional time. Our inspectors are in a tight, finite space, in the dark, and they might be crying. 

If your home has a crawlspace, you can bank on an additional 30 minutes to an hour for your inspection timeline.    

You Have A Salesman Performing Your Inspection and Not An Inspector

Listen. I know for a fact that I am not the only one that has to wade through endless door-to-door salesmen coming by to show me the new gadget or doodad or whizometer or whatever object you simply can’t live without. 

Somehow I got sucked into buying a Kirby vacuum that only lasted three magical hours before it bit the dust (even after I expressly stated I was not interested).

My second one just sits on a shelf much to my wife’s chagrin: lesson learned.  

Now, there are foundation repair companies that will try to perform strong-man-high-pressure sales while they sip the lemonade you gave them. 

These companies will add discounts they seem to pull from thin air and wave fees (like a breathing-fee) to sweeten the deal.

Before you know it – you’ve signed your life away and the breathing fee was somehow reinstated.  

The goal of your foundation inspection is to confirm and provide solutions and reasons for why your home is experiencing certain symptoms – like nails popping out of drywall or floors bowing into miniature skateboard ramps – questions you deserve answers to.   

The only reason to cash out your kid’s college fund and sign a $20,000 foundation repair proposal is if you have had all of your questions answered.

And, even more importantly, if that company embodies the integrity, honesty, and hard work you want to do business with. 

Signing any contract because you feel pressured is a lose-lose for everyone involved.      

Before even booking your inspection you need to research: 

  1. The Inspector   
  2. The company

We have heard numerous horror stories of inspections and sales pitches taking upwards of 4-6 hours

We Look Forward to Petting Your Dog Soon  

Here at Dalinghaus Construction: we respect your time. We tailor-fit your home’s repair plan to meet your unique needs.

Don’t just take our word for it. We encourage you to educate yourself and consider receiving competing bids from The 5 Best Foundation Repair Companies in Southern California

If you are interested in learning more about how we at Dalinghaus Construction conduct quick, easy, and FREE foundation inspections, we invite you to check out the link below. 


Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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