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09/22/2022

Should I Buy A Home With Foundation Repair?

Houses on the market come in all shapes and sizes, whether they’re two stories, one story, three bedroom, or two baths. Purchasing a home sounds like Dr. Seuss’s One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

One of the houses discloses it has foundation repair. Is this a good thing? Is it bad? 

If there were foundation issues before, will there be more?

You’re reasonably asking, “should I buy a house with foundation repair?”

Short answer, yes. Buying a house with foundation repair can benefit you, making it less likely you will have to fork over around $30k to fix a foundation problem. 

Note: Around $30k is the average foundation repair cost with Dalinghaus Construction.

Dalinghaus Construction has inspected over 10,000 homes, fixing over 2,000 in Southern California and Arizona. We’ve repaired homes that haven’t had previous foundation repair. We’ve also repaired homes that had lackluster foundation repair, having to pick up the slack of contractors who didn’t fix the issue. That said, we also can acknowledge when foundation repair companies do an incredible job in their repairs. When a company does a good job, it’s one less issue you have to deal with when you purchase your new home.

 

It depends on what you want to take on as a homebuyer

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you likely don’t want to buy a house with many issues. You want everything ready to move in as soon as possible. Who wants to buy a home you can’t immediately live in because you have repairs that need to be finished?

 

If you buy a house without foundation repair, you could have issues down the road

This is mainly speculative, but there is a chance it CAN happen. Location is key. 

If you’re on a slope or in a known area that has experienced settlement, you’ll likely experience foundation issues later.

Also, keep in mind the year your home was built. Construction standards have changed over the years, making it so homes are built better now than they were back in the day. There is also a better understanding of soil compaction.

Older homes are more prone to foundation issues since soil compaction won't always stay at 90% or 95%. There will be many years of wet and dry seasons that the soil will experience. You’ll likely have some movement. Things change over the years, just like you do.

There’s no guarantee you’ll have issues in the future, but there is always a chance.

 

Buying a home with foundation repair is something to be ecstatic about

Buying that home makes it less likely you’ll have to deal with foundation repair and issues due to settlement. Previously finished foundation repair likely means the house has been renovated with new cabinets and leveled floors. It’s rare for a home to have foundation repair to be sold as is. 

However, keep in mind…

 

Not all foundation repair is done properly

We wish we could tell you it was, but some companies don’t do the best job in repairing foundations. For instance, some companies do concrete underpinning instead of push/helical pier underpinning to the home. The concrete is placed in the active zone instead of bedrock, increasing the likelihood that your home will have foundation issues. 

Sometimes the concrete will add extra weight to your foundation, accelerating the foundation settlement.

 

Does a home with foundation repair increase the value of my home?

If it’s just the foundation repair, the unfortunate answer is no. It brings the home back to full market value. 

If the house has been renovated along with the repair, the price will go up, but the foundation repair on its own won’t increase your home’s overall value.

 

Does the type of foundation repair impact the value of my home?

As much as we would like to say yes, the answer is still no. While installing concrete piers is less effective compared to galvanized steel push and helical piers, they’re still methods signed off by engineers and cities (as much as we don’t want them to be).

To the eyes of banks and real estate, the house is up to market value.

Concrete piers could cause issues with your home in the future since the concrete is still in the active zone, meaning there is a chance your foundation will be affected by a shift in the soil. If the piers aren’t in bedrock, there is a higher likelihood your home will be affected by the soil shifting.

 

How will I know what type of foundation repair was done to my home?

When a home for sale has foundation issues, that information has to legally be disclosed. You also have to show when and how the foundation was fixed. When you buy your home with foundation repair, the engineering plans, reports, and sign-offs are disclosed. 

 

Warranty information transferred to you

You, the buyer, have to take responsibility for the warranty information transferred under your name. Depending on the foundation repair company, you have around 30-60 days from the title transfer to also transfer the warranty to your name. 

Note: Some companies don’t even warranty their work.

The warranty information should be included in the documentation paperwork with the disclosures.

Side note: Warranties only cover the area of the home that’s been repaired. So if a different location is affected by foundation issues, the warranty doesn’t cover the cost.

 

What if the company with the warranty goes out of business?

Unfortunately, the warranty for the repair is no longer valid. The materials used should have a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer, so those are still covered. If you talk to the material supplier, they can point you in the right direction of a company able to service your home. 

Manufacturers and suppliers don’t always warranty their material. If it is, you should contact the manufacturer if the foundation repair company that worked on the home has gone out of business. 

This DOES NOT mean the materials previously used on an old project would be covered with the new foundation repair company you hire. If the new project needs additional materials, those will be charged. Different companies might use different materials to finish the same job. 

The products usually don’t fail; the failure is on the part of the company in charge of the foundation repair during the installation process.

And keep in mind different foundation repair companies use different materials.

A foundation repair company might completely abandon the material in place, using all new products and equipment. That way contractors like Dalinghaus Construction knows the job is done correctly.

For instance, using concrete piers for underpinning is still considered a legitimate practice. Dalinghaus Construction does not use concrete for underpinning. We use stainless steel push/helical piers, which are set into bedrock to prevent further settlement. In instances where a company goes out of business and they used concrete piers, we would abandon the material previously used and install it with our galvanized steel supply of piers. 

 

Overall

Buying a home with foundation repair may be in your best interest. If repairs were finished correctly, foundation repair is one less issue you have to endure.

Think of it like buying a car with 200k miles. If the transmission hasn’t been replaced, there’s a higher likelihood of the vehicle breaking down. However, that used car with a new transmission will last you longer.

If anything, you can consider a house with foundation repair an upgrade. 

 

How do I know if the foundation repair was done correctly?

If you’re not sure, look for a foundation specialist with a reputable company. Dalinghaus Construction can help you by scheduling a free evaluation if you're in Southern California or Arizona. We can have someone at your doorstep to inspect your foundation. The inspection takes 60-90 minutes. Scheduling a time only takes a few minutes!

To get started, give us a call at (877) 360-9227, or click the button below to book your free evaluation today!

Free Foundation Evaluation

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