Do I need a foundation inspection? What will an inspection cost? How does an inspection work?
These are all common questions when dealing with a foundation repair inspection. Inspections are similar in many ways, though. All are important and serve a crucial role in completing the repair on the house.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been developing our inspection process for years. We have decided that a paid inspection is best for our company. We find that a paid inspection provides more value to the customer in the long run.
A foundation inspection involves looking at the interior, exterior and providing, in most companies, the homeowner with a drawing or sketch that details plans for repair on the home.
Understanding what a foundation inspection is and the process involved is helpful to everyone involved in the repair. This step cannot be skipped, and it is essential to know what to expect during a foundation inspection.
What is a foundation inspection?
Depending on the company, an inspection, sometimes called a consultation, provides the plan of action for repairing a home’s foundation.
During the inspection, measurements in rooms of the home, common damage sites on the exterior and interior of the home are all captured to develop the best way to repair the damage found.
Many aspects of a foundation inspection vary from company to company. Some companies include a drawing of the home to look at and plan out the next steps. Others will provide a report based on calculations.
A foundation inspection is the most important part of the pre-repair process and is critical in identifying and addressing the concerns of the homeowner and ensuring that any problems found have a clear and detailed plan to fix them.
3 Common Steps in a Paid Foundation Inspection
After reaching out and contacting the foundation repair team and having a phone conversation, an inspection is typically scheduled.
These are some of the most common steps taken during the consultation process. No particular order of inspecting a home is correct. All repair companies have different preferences when inspecting a home and often add and remove some steps listed here.
1. Exterior of the Home
It is common for most foundation inspections to begin on the exterior of the home. Getting familiar with the outside of the home allows the inspector to breakdown any potential problems that may be on the exterior of the home.
Some of the most common areas that are looked at during an inspection are along with windows and any trim on the outside of the home. Potential diagonal cracking or a gap in the brick frieze are just two ways an inspector can determine where the damage is to the foundation.
Inspecting the soil gap, gutter runoff, brick cracking and the foundation itself are all included in the exterior inspection of the home. After tackling the challenges and potential red flags on the exterior, the inspection moves inside the home.
2. Interior of the Home
Going through the house is important, and having access to the whole house is needed. Sometimes this is not possible and is fine, but make sure not too many rooms are unavailable for the contractor. If so, the inspection may not be able to be completed.
Most inspections start where the homeowner has seen the damage. These problem spots are either communicated to the inspector in person or through pictures. After taking a look at the areas where homeowners noticed the damage, the inspection continues to more uncommon signs.
Inspecting the interior of the home is the most important part of finding where the damage is occurring to the foundation. Measurements of the rooms in the home are taken to provide the inspector with clear dimensions for the scale drawing of the home and any problem found.
3. Drawing of the Home and Potential Issues Included
After completing the exterior and interior of the home, the next step is providing a drawing that includes the damages, potential repair methods, possible future problems with your home and a detailed plan to fix the problems with your home.
Measurements are taken to ensure accurate dimensions on the drawing. The main goal is to provide an on-paper plan to overcome and address issues of the home. Some companies deliver drawings in different ways.
It is common to expect a tradition on a paper drawing, but finding inspections that are done through software and delivered digitally are common as well. In this final delivery, a proposal is offered, and later, if the homeowner decides, repair begins in just a few short weeks.
Cost of Foundation Repair Inspection
The cost of an inspection varies from company to company. Some companies offer a free estimate while other companies charge a small fee. The difference between the two is often the details provided.
Generally, free inspections are much less detailed and provide homeowners with just enough information to fix the problem. In comparison, a paid inspection can provide the homeowner with detailed plans for the future as well as other details about the home.
Paid Foundation Inspection
In a paid consultation, a greater detailed plan for repair can be developed. Visual references are often given to homeowners if any home areas need to be watched for future damage. Information is plentiful in paid inspections and personalized to the home.
Paid consultations inspections can also include verbal discussions for problem areas and improving drainage, guttering, irrigation, etc. This information is invaluable to the homeowner in the future to gain an understanding of how they can care for their home.
The cost of paid consultations inspections varies but typically ranges from $200-350. This cost is often seen as expensive at first, but the detail provided from a paid inspection is unmatched and applied to the cost, in most companies, of the repair when work is scheduled.
Free Foundation Inspection
Free inspections are often not as detailed. Free foundation inspections often include a sketch just as a paid inspection does. However, the free sketch provided is less detailed and does not provide the homeowner with the same amount of information that comes with a paid inspection.
The reason free inspection is often less detailed is simply because of time. If a free foundation inspection were as detailed as a paid inspection, then each one would take 2-3 hours.
This amount of time spent on free labor is hard for contractors to justify, so the process is expedited to focus on the main concerns of the house and does not focus on any potential future problems.
However, free inspections are common in the foundation repair industry, so it is recommended to reach out to a local contractor to see whether a free or paid inspection is offered and what you can expect to receive from that company after the inspection.
How long does the inspection take?
Depending on whether the inspection is free or paid for can affect the speed of the inspection. Paid inspections take longer because of the detail typically.
Most paid inspections can take anywhere from 2-3 hours to complete. In more complex homes, inspections will take longer because more detail will be required in the planning.
For free inspections, the time will be shorter, around an hour, for most inspections. Not as much detail will be explained in planning and will be more of an estimate.
Determine if You Need A Foundation Inspection
The foundation inspection is a crucial step in foundation repair. Whether you decide to go for a paid or receive a free inspection, the goal is the same. Inspections allow for planning how the repair will go and the steps taken to achieve the repair.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we provide our customers with digital drawings of their homes upon completion of the consultation for the inspection. This provides a clearly defined plan for repair and eliminates uncertainty. Our consultations inspections are paid for but have found that the information we provide is worth it in the end.
If you are unsure whether you need a foundation inspection, it is important to know the signs of foundation damage. Common signs such as sticking doors, cracked tile, shifting trim, and more can help determine if you need an inspection.
Do you need a repair in the College Station area? Don’t hesitate to fill out our contact form to get in touch with our foundation repair team. In just a few short steps, you will be on your way to help fix your home.