move out during foundation repairs

Do I Have to Move Out of My House During Foundation Repairs?

With foundation repairs potentially in your future, you’re wondering if moving out of your house will be required. Moving out is a huge factor to consider. Where will you stay? How long will you have to be out of your home? Is this in ALL cases??? Oy! 

You’ve got to know before you commit to repairs this major so that you can prepare.

Anchor Foundation Repair Bryan College Station

Homeowners worry when they have foundation problems. Not only are you concerned about your home’s safety and stability, but you’re also worried about what happens during the process and how to plan for it. At Anchor Foundation Repair, we’ve been repairing Brazos Valley foundations for 35+ years. We can answer this question generally whether you’re using us for your repairs or another company elsewhere.

This article answers the question of whether you have to move out during foundation repairs. *Spoiler Alert* – the answer is a yes, no, maybe kind of thing. We also explain the situations when you can stay and when you’ve got to go and why.

Please note: this article is geared towards slab-on-grade foundation homes. If you have a pier and beam or crawl space foundation, some of this info will be different or not apply.

Will Foundation Repairs Require Moving Out?

packing up to move out for foundation repair
Sorry, I can’t guarantee you will look this good while you’re packing.

Answering the question, “Will I have to move out during foundation repairs?” is different for every home and homeowner situation, so there are no absolute answers here. We can tell you that in about 85 to 90% of the homes we repair, moving out is not needed. So the majority of homeowners actually don’t have to move out. Good news, right?

In the other 10 to 15% of the homes we repair, moving out is either absolutely necessary or probably better for you. We feel like these percentages are universally true, no matter what company or foundation repair method you’re using.

When You DON’T Have to Move Out for Foundation Repairs

You can generally remain in your house during foundation repairs when the work only involves supporting the home’s perimeter. While there may be some noise and outdoor disarray during the process, it’s typically not disruptive enough to necessitate moving out. 

For the 85 to 90% of homes where you can stay put during foundation repairs, the work involves installing piers or pilings around the outside edges of the home. A foundation repair crew mostly remains outside the house to install perimeter support. In other words, there is no major work continuously happening inside your living space, it’s done on the outside and it’s safe for you to remain onsite.

can I stay home during foundation repairs?
Alright! Time to stay in and relax!

The only time you need to accommodate a repair team inside your home is during the lifting phase. They’ll monitor the raising process to ensure everything goes smoothly and that any interior foundation problem symptoms get corrected. 

This is daytime work that does not result in your home turning into a construction zone, it’s just a guy or two coming in and out of your home checking on things. This article reviews our typical foundation repair process for perimeter work.

When You DO Have to Move Out During Foundation Repairs

In 10 to 15% of cases, homes need support under the interior of the home as well as along the perimeter. For these interior repairs, a foundation repair crew must spend a great deal of time inside your house. You have to pack up and move your furniture and belongings out of the way to keep them clean, free from damage, and out of the major work zone.

do I have to move out during foundation repair?
Surely it will be this neat and orderly . . . you’ll even have time to space out your plants. . .

When interior foundation repairs are needed, it’s advisable to move out due to the messy, loud, and disruptive nature of the process. The repair often involves cutting holes in floors, frequent movement of the repair team in and out, and hauling of materials. It’s best to stay with friends or family, get a hotel, or use an RV during this time. 

You really wouldn’t want to be there with that much activity and dirt, so moving out is safer and in your best interest.

Here’s a detailed article with more info on our process for interior pier work and one comparing interior and exterior foundation repair as well.

Where Interior Support Is Needed But Move Out May Not Be Required

A few less common instances might allow you to stay in the home during interior work, including:

  1. If your contractor tunnels under your home to install interior supports,
  2. If you are using polyfoam injection under the interior instead of traditional supports, or
  3. If the interior repair area is isolated, easy for you to avoid, and non-essential to your daily routine i.e. like a wing or guest room that you don’t often use.

Depending on the foundation repair method and the company you choose, *some* pressed piling contractors may opt to tunnel under your foundation to install supports under the interior.  This alternative allows homeowners to remain in the home during interior support installation. The tunneling option comes with pros, cons, and extra considerations.

concrete pressed piling foundation repairs
Pressed piling materials

Polyfoam injection or polyjacking is a less invasive but more short-term option that might work for some homeowners needing interior support. Here’s an article that discusses this and other interior work alternatives.

You will have to ask your chosen contractor how they handle installing interior support.

In case you’re wondering, Anchor cannot tunnel under a home to add interior support due to the nature of our installation process. So if we determine that you need interior support, then moving out will be necessary.

When You MIGHT WANT TO Move Out For Foundation Repairs

Some homeowners simply prefer to move out during the repair process. This should not be a shocker but let’s face it, foundation repair can be a bit noisy, messy, and chaotic. There will be people out in your yard and sometimes in and out of your house. Trucks, machinery, equipment, and dirt don’t appeal to everyone for some reason . . . go figure!

you might want to move out during foundation repairs
*Realistic* photo of *actual* family trip

Maybe you work from home, maybe you have small children who need to nap, or maybe YOU need a daily nap. If you simply aren’t keen on the idea of living within the repair zone, you might want to temporarily live elsewhere for your own comfort and serenity. Some people just have a lower tolerance for such things.

Now, I’m not saying it’s going to be an out-of-control mess at your house during the repair process. Most people are totally fine with foundation repairs going on around them and are happier remaining at home. The repair environment really depends a lot on the care and conscientiousness of the company you choose. 

But hey, if you have an easy alternative living option that costs you nothing extra, then you could move out just because you want to . . . do you hear your lake house calling you?

How To Know If You Have to Move or Can Stay During Repairs

If you already have a foundation inspection or quote in hand, you likely know where supports are needed on the repair plan. Your chosen foundation repair professional should let you know if all the work is on the perimeter or if they need to come inside for interior work.

repair plan for foundation work

If you have a copy of your foundation repair estimate already, the diagram will show where supports are to be installed. If they are only along outside edges of your home, then no interior work is needed. If the diagram shows that supports are needed under the middle of your house, then interior work is required.

If you have not yet had an inspection and don’t know where work needs to be done, here are a few signs that indicate interior settlement:

  1. Centrally located doors that don’t close, latch, or lock properly.
  2. Gaps between centrally located walls and ceilings/floors.
  3. Diagonal cracks that point toward the inside of the home rather than toward the outside.

Check out this picture guide for more info on all the true and some confusing signs of foundation issues to see what you’ve got going on at your house.

If you have not yet gotten a foundation inspection or bid for foundation repair, you’ll need to get one at some point for confirmation on whether interior work is needed or not.

Make Plans If You Have to Move Out With Foundation Repair

Now that you know the chances and situations where moving out may or may not be needed, it’s important to plan if moving out is required. Finding a place to stay, getting packed up and furniture moved is not something to try and arrange at the last minute.

moving out for foundation repair
That couch ain’t gonna move itself! Also, be sure to only hire a moving contractor that wears blue overalls . . .

We understand the stress and anxiety that comes with overwhelming repair projects. 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 know as much about foundation repair as we do and we’ve got no secrets to hide from the Brazos Valley community. 

When it comes to the possibility of moving out of your home during foundation repairs, you might check out The Top 6 Issues with Foundation Work Under the Interior of Your Home to make sure we’ve told you everything.