You’re reading about foundation repair. No, not because you have insomnia and are trying to find something to put you to sleep, but because you have foundation problems and want to know a bit more about the foundation repair plan thing. You’re thinking:
- Don’t I just need to know the price?
- What does the repair plan actually tell me?
- How do I make sense of the symbols?
- Why should I even care what this thing says?
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been developing repair plans and repairing foundations based on those plans for 35+ years. Let’s just say, we know our way around a repair plan and can tell you what’s important about them.
This article will review some basics about repair plans in general and what they should contain. We will also discuss the most important things to pay attention to about the plan information. We will explain diagrams and symbols you might see on our plans or from other foundation repair companies.
Main Components of Any Foundation Repair Plan
There are some definite “must-haves” that any foundation repair plan from any company should likely have. If a contractor is missing one of these elements it might be a good reason to ask more questions and/or get a second opinion before moving forward. Here’s the list of key items that should be included in a foundation repair plan:
- Scaled diagram of your home showing where supports are to be added
- Price for the repairs
- Terms and conditions
Enhancements of these items are much nicer and more thorough for a homeowner if you have them in the plan:
- Symbols on the scaled diagram indicating support types
- Itemized and transparent pricing, as well as clear payment requirements
- Warranty and service agreement info included in terms and conditions
Important Parts of a Foundation Repair Plan for a Homeowner
Let’s take a closer look at a few of the items listed above and talk about how they are important to a homeowner.
1. The Scaled Diagram Showing Support Points
First is the scaled diagram. The diagram is important to the homeowner because it should show you exactly where each underpinning support will be added.
These are called pilings or piers depending on the method of foundation repair you are using, but that’s a whole other article about those two methods. You would definitely want to know more about the chosen method of any foundation repair company you choose, but I digress . . .
Anyway, you might want to know the exact location of each pile/pier because whatever is around that location will be impacted by the repair process. Is there a tree on that corner of the house that is special to you? Is there fancy landscaping in the area?
Not that any of these things around the outside of your home are going to be destroyed, but they might need to be temporarily relocated during the repair process. Anything that is near the support installation points that you are concerned about, you should ask what the company plans to do to handle that item.
Also, if you see any support markings that are under the middle of your home as opposed to along the perimeter, you should ask about how the foundation repair contractor accesses locations under the slab. Foundation repair needed under the interior of the home can cost more and add more time to the repair process.
Interior work might even require the homeowner to move out during the foundation repairs. You want to find out how the contractor will handle getting to those repair points and if you need to do anything or know anything about that situation before committing to that company.
2. The Total Price for Foundation Repairs
Of course, this is probably the biggest thing any homeowner wants to know: how much is foundation repair going to cost? It’s nicer for you if the cost is itemized to show how much money is for this and that, as opposed to just one lump sum. But you will find many foundation repair companies that will only offer the grand total.
I don’t know about you, but I always feel better when I can clearly see what costs how much so that I can ask about any pricing that piques my interest. It feels good to see where the costs are coming from and how they add up so it doesn’t just look like a made-up number, doesn’t it?
Maybe you are wondering what to expect for pricing or how a plan you have might compare to others? Want some ideas on the average cost of foundation repair in our area? Check this out: “Average Cost of Foundation Repair: Pressed Pilings vs. Drilled Piers.”
3. Terms and Conditions
There should be some text and wording about what the company will and won’t do and who’s responsible for what. Even though this is super boring legalese-type stuff, it’s really in your best interest to read and understand any terms and conditions proposed by the foundation repair contractor.
When you are spending a larger amount of money on something as precious as your home, it’s a good idea to really know what responsibilities and liabilities are out there.
Here are a couple of things you might care about and check for in the terms and conditions. Ask questions if it’s not clear or these things are not included in the documents.
- What does the company do about testing plumbing under your home?
- What does the company do about landscaping?
- Are there things the company won’t do or will cost you extra?
- Is there a warranty of any kind? How long is it?
Diagrams and Symbols in a Foundation Repair Plan
If your repair plan has any specialized diagrams or symbols on it, there should be a key or explanation of what they mean. For example, some foundation repair plans might show an elevation mapping diagram or other symbols you need to know about.
Lines on an elevation map connect points that are at the same elevation and indicate the direction and degree of slope present to the surface of your foundation. In other words, it will tell you which direction your foundation is sinking towards and how much. Lines closer together mean the slope is steeper, and lines further apart mean the slope is more gradual.
Elevation diagramming is helpful for the foundation repair contractor to identify where supports are needed in the home. Some homeowners like to see these details too, but it doesn’t offer “repair plan” information, it only identifies part (but not all) of the foundation problem.
Elevation maps point out the slope of the home, but they do not identify functionality issues that you might be experiencing, like doors that don’t work right or large cracks that concern you.
We’ve got an article that talks more about the role of foundation repair in solving the foundation problems in your home that cause functionality issues: “What Does Foundation Repair Mean and How Does It Work?”
Symbols for Each Support Location Type
Some foundation repair plans will have symbols that indicate different pricing points for the supports depending on where they are and what is around them.
On the plans we do at Anchor Foundation Repair, we have a circle symbol for perimeter piers, a square symbol for piers that require additional “break out” work (like if there is a sidewalk in the way of the support location, and a triangle symbol for piers that need to be added under the interior of the home.
The perimeter piers cost the least, then the breakouts cost a bit more, and the interior supports have the highest price. Each pier has a different per pier price depending on the symbol type. On our plans, you can clearly see the number of each pier type, and the cost per pier of each type as well.
Not every foundation repair company does things this way, but some could do something similar or maybe just have symbols for interior vs. exterior supports because the pricing and method for accessing the inside and outside locations are different.
For more information about how the support locations (and other things) contribute to foundation repair costs, check out this article: “Determining Foundation Repair Costs: Top 5 Factors That Impact Pricing.”
The Terms & Conditions of a Repair Plan
Now that you know a little about the key components of foundation repair plans, there’s more to learn about terms and conditions. Perhaps the way to start is to see an easy-to-understand example and discussion.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we aim to make foundation repairs as painless as possible for our homeowners. That means, transparent and easy-to-read educational info found in our Learning Center. It also means proposals with clear pricing and a lifetime warranty and service agreement you don’t have to jump through hoops to use.
We have broken down our terms of service into simple language in this next article called, “The Terms and Conditions of an Anchor Foundation Repair Proposal.” It might help for you to see it so that you can begin to understand all there is to consider with foundation repairs for your home.