Let’s see here, you just Googled the question “Can I wait to start foundation repair?” Then, every article that came up listed 5 or 7 or 10 reasons you CAN’T WAIT and ringing all the emergency alarm bells. Even Google tried to ask you if you really meant “can’t” instead of “can.”
Talk about fear-mongering. Let me guess who’s telling you that you absolutely. positively. can’t wait. one. more. second. for your foundation repair . . . is it a bunch of foundation repair companies?
Do you feel like this internet advice that Google is handing you is completely without bias or self-interest? Me neither.
Lucky that you have at least stumbled upon one Lone (Star) article that can talk straight, without all the panic-inducing, urgency-signaling, give-us-your-money-now drama.
Anchor Foundation Repair has been serving Bryan, College Station, and Brazos Valley communities for over 35 years. Ken Tripp handed down his temperate and no-nonsense nature (and eventually his business) to his son Craig. Between the two of them, they have happily fixed thousands of foundations in this Central Texas area for a long time.
Lucky also for you (and me) that I work for Craig Tripp at Anchor Foundation Repair and he has a completely different take on foundation repair issues and when to tackle them. To put it succinctly, it’s something like, “Don’t freak out.”
In the real world, Craig knows that homeowners have to weigh their decisions and finances and make the best decisions they can for their homes and their situations. So, yes, there are a few reasons you might wait on foundation repair and here they are:
- Wise Decisions – You don’t want to rush into anything.
- Financial Readiness – You don’t want to be in debt.
- Lack of History – You just moved in.
- No Updates Needed – You have no remodeling plans anytime soon.
- It’s Just the Garage – You’re not seeing damage anywhere else.
Craig gets it, he’s a homeowner too and strives to answer your foundation repair questions as if he were “in your shoes.” He thinks about what he would do if he were in your situation. Let’s hear what he has to say on the topic of reasons to wait on starting your foundation repair.
1. Wise Decisions – You don’t want to rush into foundation repair.
One reason you might wait on foundation repair is that you want to make sure this is a wise decision. No one wants to rush out and spend their hard-earned money on a big expense if you are thinking the problem is minor or not necessary right now.
A large part in determining if your home needs repair comes from how you *feel* about the problem. If it’s not really bothering you at the moment and you still feel safe, secure, warm, dry, etc. in your home then your home is still performing well for you.
Craig will tell you that there is rarely such a thing as a totally broken catastrophic loss of your foundation. “Most homes in our area that are properly built according to code will not suffer a total failure and be ready for tear down any time soon,” says Tripp.
If the problem seems minor to you, then it probably is minor. Most homeowners will experience a tipping point where they know for sure that the problem needs to be addressed now and the waiting is over. It’s okay to hold off in these circumstances until you feel the need to act.
2. Financial Readiness – You don’t want foundation repair debt.
Who wants to willingly take on debt when you don’t have to? Anyone . . . anyone . . . Beuller? Foundation repair is admittedly a big-ticket item. Sure you could pay for it with credit cards or a loan, of course, there are many ways to pay for foundation repair.
But if knowing how much your foundation repair is going to cost and saving for it makes more financial sense to you, then that’s probably what you should do. As mentioned above, the likelihood of your house falling over while you save up some money over a couple of years is probably doable.
Just keep in mind though that prices of *all things* tend to go up the longer you wait. So Craig suggests planning to save a bit more than any quote you get from a foundation repair contractor now. This will help you account for any increases in costs due to economic inflation.
3. Lack of History – You just moved in.
Let’s say you just bought a house 4 months ago and you randomly notice a crack in the wall. Maybe it was there before and you just never noticed it or maybe it wasn’t and it just appeared. You have no way of know which is true since you haven’t been there long enough.
You also don’t really know if it’s a true or false sign of a foundation issue at this point either. It could just be a bad paint job or a subpar drywall repair from the last owner, who was using the house as a rental property.
In a case like this, it’s probably better to wait and watch how your home behaves throughout a full calendar year and changing seasons. If it’s an actual foundation problem, the home could show you that with the way it acts through the complete range of dry and rainy seasons.
The causes of foundation problems in this area of Central Texas are due to the *delightful relationship* between our expansive clay soils and our inconsistent climate conditions. For example, cracks in walls can get bigger during dry times and doors tend to stick more during rainy times.
But you don’t know if any of this is happening because you haven’t been in the home long enough to find out! Craig thinks this is when it’s a good idea to watch, wait, and observe, making note of any patterns or seasonal changes through a year.
4. No Updates Needed – You have no remodeling plans anytime soon.
Your house is awesome. It’s still fashionably *on-trend* and not outdated. So you’re not thinking about remodeling any time soon.
If you do not have immediate plans for renovations, but you think you might have a foundation issue, it’s not a bad option to wait a little while on the repairs. Save up money, monitor for seasonal changes, and see how you’re feeling about the performance of your home’s foundation first.
However, if your house has goldenrod-colored appliances, olive green countertops, wallpaper that coordinates with both and you’re ready to remodel, make sure you repair your foundation problem first.
It’s always a recommended practice to handle foundation problems before extensive cosmetic remodeling. Otherwise, you can’t raise the foundation, you can only stabilize it, which doesn’t fix everything all the way. You run the risk of *ruining your reno* should you have to fix foundation issues after the fact.
A little P.S. from Craig: Painting a room or two and new carpet doesn’t count as major. When you’re talking about moving walls, tearing out kitchens and bathrooms, all new engineered wood flooring throughout the home – that’s major.
5. It’s Just the Garage – You’re not seeing other foundation issues.
You don’t live in the garage . . . well, unless you’re my friend Doug who lives in his mom’s garage. Just kidding! I don’t have a friend named Doug who lives in his mom’s garage, but you get the idea.
You don’t eat, sleep, or do all your “normal living stuff” in the garage. Your car, or perhaps a bunch of stuff your spouse refuses to get rid of lives in your garage.
You are seeing some true signs of foundation-related problems in your garage though, so you are wondering if you need to get your foundation fixed right now. There are no signs of foundation issues anywhere else in your home.
Foundation Repair Guru Craig Tripp says, “It’s just the garage.”
Garages have two doors usually, one that is for the car(s) and one for the humans. If both of those doors are working right and performing well for you, then don’t sweat it right now. Garages don’t typically have extensive underground plumbing running underneath them, so there’s not much risk of plumbing issues due to foundation problems either.
Consider the Future Home Use to Decide on Foundation Repair
When trying to decide when to act on foundation repair, Craig says there are a couple of other thoughts important to consider. While the above 5 scenarios are giving you reasons to wait, considering the future use of your home might give you reasons to wait or not wait depending on your plans for the future of the home.
Are you going to live in this home for the rest of your life? Do you plan to live in this house for just a few years and might sell after that because of your job or need for more space? Maybe you’re thinking about renting this home out in the future after purchasing another home in the area.
We’re going to live here forever.
If it’s your forever home . . . you’re going to be there for a long while and there’s not nearly the sense of urgency to act. You can take some time to decide what is right for you, your home, and your budget.
Unless you want to remodel soon, then you might need to decide and move sooner on fixing your foundation problem. Fix the foundation first, then remodel.
We plan to sell soon.
If you plan on selling the home in less than 5 years . . . you should take into consideration what a potential buyer (or that potential buyer’s lender) might want to be done. Buyers *tend to be picky* about things. I have this on good authority, my husband is a Realtor®.
Lenders also sometimes influence whether foundation repairs need to be done or not to complete the sale of a home.
We might turn this into a rental income property and move out.
If you plan on turning this home into a rental property in the future, renters are not as concerned about foundation problems. Let’s face it . . . it’s your problem, not theirs.
As long as the foundation issue isn’t affecting the performance of the rental, a tenant is less likely to be concerned. As long as the doors open, shut, and lock and no plumbing problems are impacting the renters’ lives, it can buy you some time to make your decision about when to move forward with the repair.
Bonus consideration: a foundation repair bill on a rental property would probably have some tax benefit for you. Income properties are like a “mini-business” and allow for gross income and expenses to net out. If you’re not sure what this means, it is better left to an accountant to explain . . . we are just foundation repair people, not tax and accountant people.
Actions You Can Take Now That Don’t Cost a Dime
Now that you know some reasons you could wait to get started on your foundation repair project, you might also want to know if there are reasons to get started now. Lucky for you again, we have an article for your consideration that covers reasons you shouldn’t wait to fix your foundation too!
Reading is free . . . at least the last time we checked . . .
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we take a non-alarmist approach to your foundation problems. About ⅓ of the thousands of inspections that we do result in a decision to wait and see how your home behaves. If there is an opportunity or feeling from a homeowner that holding off is an option, we will be the first to tell you to “wait and see.” If it’s time to “get after it,” we will tell you that too.
Are you absolutely confident at this point that what you are seeing around your home is a true foundation problem or could you be seeing some false signs? Check out this article as well: “Is Foundation Repair Needed: Real and False Problem Signs (Picture Guide).” It’s also free, but the knowledge is priceless. *winkie face*