foundation inspector

Finding a Foundation Inspector to Check for Home Foundation Problems

Do you have a developing foundation problem at your home? This sounds like a job for a foundation inspector, right? Where can you find one of these foundation inspectors to look at your home foundation?

Anchor Foundation Repair Bryan College Station

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been inspecting and repairing Brazos Valley foundations for 35+ years. We understand the real and false signs of foundation settlement and can give you an honest evaluation of the condition of your foundation AND explain the facts about foundation inspectors too.

This article will discuss the term “foundation inspector”, what it really means, and where to find one. We also discuss what a foundation inspection tells you depending on who looks at your home so that you know how to move forward in handling any potential problems.

What Is a Foundation Inspector?

what's a foundation inspector?

The notion of a “foundation inspector” is tossed around a lot. People say it all the time and you might have even used it as a search term to *Google* this article. Not sure where it comes from because technically, there is no such official thing as a *foundation inspector* around these parts. 

This is not a profession that anyone goes to school for or gets a license to perform. Sure, there are people qualified to look at and inspect foundations, but there’s no certificate issued to grant someone the legal title of “Foundation Inspector” in the State of Texas. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is stretching the truth.

Who Is Qualified to Inspect a Home Foundation?

In all honestly, there are three types of people who typically have the experience and knowledge to evaluate the condition of a home foundation:

home foundation repair
  1. A Home Inspector,
  2. A Structural Engineer, and
  3. A Foundation Repair Contractor

These three types of individuals can inspect home foundations and check them for problems. However, each profession has pros, cons, and limits to what they can do for you. Let’s talk more about each one next.

Home Inspectors

Often when buying a home, home inspectors will review your prospective home and its systems and report on the condition. Home inspectors do have licenses and must meet certain education and training requirements. Their knowledge is broad in terms of building codes and best construction practices. 

can home inspectors inspect foundations?

Home inspectors are great at pointing out all kinds of home problems and documenting them for you to consider repairing during the home-buying process or later on. Home inspectors have a lot of general knowledge about how to spot possible concerns. They are trained to notice every tiny issue and will prepare a written report for you with all the findings.

If a home has any signs of foundation settlement or foundation problems, a home inspector will document it and take photos of the noted evidence. They may also offer some opinion on whether this is a major or minor issue. 

If the home inspector suggests that it might need repair, they will also suggest that you have *someone else* look at the home, like a structural engineer OR foundation repair company.

So while home inspectors are good at spotting issues, they will likely refer you to another expert with deeper knowledge of foundations for further evaluation if notable issues are identified.

Foundation Repair Solutions for the Brazos Valley

Home inspections can cost around $400 to $550 in this area for an average sized home, but that is for looking at the whole home. Not sure what they would charge or if they would be willing to *only* look at a foundation.

Structural Engineers

Structural engineers get extensive schooling and licensure to become qualified and legit in all states, including Texas. This division of civil engineers are experts in the forces that act upon a structure. Structural engineers are trained to precisely measure potential forces and document the condition of things. 

Can engineers inspect foundations?
This guy is *definitely* an engineer and not a model . . .

They used established published ranges of acceptable vs. unacceptable deviations and calculate structural situations from a mathematical perspective.

Most structural engineers deal in the theoretical with large commercial buildings, multi-story structures, and bridges. Some structural engineers deal with residential homes (particularly involved with the construction side), but it’s less common.

There are good reasons to hire a structural engineer to look at your foundation, one of them being if you want to document its condition now and again in the future. Or you might want to get the unbiased opinion of an engineer. Since structural engineers don’t do any actual repair work, they have no reason to exaggerate or minimize any identified problems.

Foundation Repair Solutions for the Brazos Valley

The main thing about hiring a structural engineer is that it’s going to cost you possibly $500 to $1,000 or a lot more. That cost isn’t going towards repairing your home, just paying to get a report on its condition from a more mathematical perspective with detailed schematic drawings.

Foundation Repair Contractors

Foundation repair contractors can check a foundation’s condition AND do the repair work. Their training and expertise are through on-the-job experience and practical knowledge with a focus on home functionality.

can foundation repair guys inspect foundations? um yes . . .
Does this guy look honest and trustworthy, OR trustworthy and honest?

When a foundation repair contractor inspects your home, they are looking for signs of foundation settlement that result in real problems for your home. Symptoms like diagonal cracks in walls, stair-step cracks in brick, and door problems are cause for concern and repair.

Foundation repair is not necessary for every little crack noted on a home inspection. A deviation in elevation shown on a structural engineering report doesn’t automatically mean you need foundation repair either. 

The foundation repair approach is typically more pragmatic. There should be some evaluation of whether it’s worth it for you to repair your home based on your future plans for the property.

An honest and trustworthy foundation repair company will certainly tell you if what you are seeing is a true cause for concern. They should also be willing to suggest that repairs are not needed for more minor issues. 

At Anchor, we often encourage homeowners to:

Foundation Repair Solutions for the Brazos Valley

Some foundation repair contractors offer free inspections. Others might charge a fee for the service of evaluating your home. If there is a fee, it’s going to be less than that of a home inspection or a structural engineering report. Read up here on the benefits of paid foundation inspections.

Who Should I Trust To Do My Foundation Inspection?

who is best to call for a foundation inspection?

Any of the three experts discussed are qualified to inspect the condition of your foundation. We encourage you to do your research when hiring any sort of home professional. Look at reviews and see what other people in your community are saying about them.

Ultimately though, which professional you choose depends on your main goal in talking to someone.

Here’s a quick reference guide:

  • If you need a general report on the condition of your foundation, contact a home inspector.
  • If you need a detailed schematic of the condition of your foundation, contact a structural engineer.
  • If you want your home evaluated and an estimate for foundation repair work, contact a foundation repair company.

The age of the home is also something to consider. Newer homes showing signs of settlement may be a warranty issue to take up with the home builder. Large custom homes with engineered slabs showing flaws and problem signs may need the services of an engineer. Something else might be going on that’s not your typical cause of foundation issues.

Do You Want a Foundation Inspection and Repair Estimate?

Now you know that *a foundation inspector* is not really a thing and that a few other professionals can inspect your home. Do you want to go the repair route? We can help you out with this if you live in Bryan, College Station, or the surrounding Brazos Valley communities like Caldwell and Brenham. 

contact us for your foundation inspection

Contact Anchor using our 24/7 online contact form or give us a call.

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we offer fair and impartial assessments, empowering education, and a fully transparent repair process. After 35+ years in business, we want you to be confident (not confused) about your foundation condition and we’ve got no secrets to hide about our inspection process.

Want to know more about what the ideal home foundation inspection should look like? Check out: What Is a Home Foundation Inspection and How Much Does It Cost?