You suddenly find yourself needing to know everything about home foundation inspections, like yesterday. You don’t have a ton of time but need to know the basics of the basics. Looking for the “Home Foundation Inspections 101: The Cliff Notes Version” – well you found it!
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been inspecting and repairing home foundations in the Brazos Valley for 35+ years. We know sometimes homeowners need info fast and can surely fill you in on the *just the essentials* of home foundation inspections.
This article will quickly highlight the basics of home foundation inspections including their purpose and general process, as well as briefly discuss the cost question. Let’s get to it!
What Is the Definition of a Home Foundation Inspection?
First, let’s just make sure we are all on the same page with what the term “home foundation inspection” means. A home foundation inspection is done by a foundation repair professional who comes to your house, looks at the foundation for issues, and tells you how much it will cost to fix those issues.
This act of inspecting your foundation goes by a lot of different names that all mean the same thing. Besides “home foundation inspection”, you might also see or hear things like this:
- Get a Quote for Foundation Repair
- Foundation Repair Bid
- Foundation Inspection
- Home Foundation Assessment
- Repair Quote for Foundations
- Foundation Consultation
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we officially call it an In-Home Assessment but also use all these other terms just to keep things *fun and interesting* for everyone.
What Is the Purpose of a Home Foundation Inspection?
The purpose of something and the definition of something is actually a tiny bit different. So just to make sure we cover everything, there are two main purposes of a home foundation inspection for the homeowner:
- To Identify, Assess, and Confirm (or Deny) Any Foundation Settlement Issues
- To Give You the Price to Fix the Foundation Problems
What Happens at a Home Foundation Inspection? aka Process
To get the process of a home foundation inspection started, first, you need an appointment with a foundation repair company. You might have to wait a day or two or even a week before someone can come out. These guys are busy (especially in areas where expansive clay soil is prevalent, like Central Texas) and lots of people already have appointments before you.
Think of it like getting an appointment at the dentist’s office for a check-up. You don’t normally get in to see the dentist the same day, you usually have to wait a bit.
Side Note: Your house won’t fall over on you while you are waiting for your appointment. In the vast majority of cases, it’s safe to live in a home with foundation settlement or issues while you are waiting for your visit. So don’t freak out about the wait. It will be ok . . .
3-Part Process for Home Foundation Inspections
After you’ve got your appointment set up, a foundation repair professional shows up on-site at your house. These are the basic things that will happen.
BTW we’re keeping this *really basic* to apply to any foundation repair company out there, although each place will have its own style and customer enhancements for their home foundation inspection process. A visit should at least include these essential parts:
- Reviewing the Inside and Outside of the Home to Identify Issues
- Questions and Discussion
- Getting a Plan and a Price
Let’s get a little more info on each part of the visit. We don’t want to gloss over the process too much so you probably need a bit more detail.
1. Reviewing the Inside and Outside of the Home to Identify Issues
The foundation repair contractor is going to look around. They should be looking inside and outside. They are looking for signs of foundation settlement and problems around your home.
The contractor’s expertise might also find foundation problem signs you don’t even know are there. They need to confirm that you have a foundation issue, but should also be able to tell you if you really don’t.
Finding a contractor who is honest and trustworthy is important. You want them to tell you if they see a true problem that needs fixing vs. telling you there is a problem whether you have one or not because they want to “make a sale.”
2. Questions and Discussion
You should follow the foundation inspector as much as possible during their visit and feel free to point out things that you see and concern you. This is your time to ask questions that are important to you about the foundation repair process. You might want to know things like:
- Do I really need to do foundation repair now or can I do it later?
- When can the project get started?
- How long will the foundation repairs take?
- Do you have to move out during foundation repairs?
- Do you need to do anything to prepare for the repair process?
- How exactly will they be doing the foundation repairs?
You could have a billion questions here. These are just some of the common ones. Or you might be overwhelmed and not know what discussions need to take place at all. The main point here is that there should be an open line of communication between you and the contractor during this visit to handle all of your questions and concerns.
We actually have a couple of helpful articles you might want to check out about the Best Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Foundation Repair Contractor and Questions a Foundation Repair Contractor Should Be Asking You.
3. Getting a Plan and a Price
The number one biggest question that should be answered with a home foundation inspection is, “How much will these foundation repairs cost if I get them done with your company?”
Usually, along with a quoted price comes some kind of foundation repair plan. These plans can be simple (a rough pen and paper drawing), or more technical (a to-scale software-generated diagram, with symbols and measurements), or somewhere in between.
Some foundation repair contractors will give you both the price and the plan right then and there before leaving your house. Other contractors might give you a general pricing estimate for foundation repairs and then send you a formal proposal and plan by email after they take it back to their office to calculate and prepare.
How Much Do Home Foundation Inspections Cost?
So there’s the cost for the actual repair project to contend with, but the foundation inspection could have a cost too. Some companies offer *free* foundation inspections. The cost might be built into the repair costs and they are counting on you to accept their bid by being competitive.
Other foundation repair companies might choose to charge a fee for the home foundation inspection process. These visits can take several hours of time. That time and expertise has value, especially if you are counting on a contractor for their professional opinion on your foundation situation.
Free inspections have no upfront cost to the homeowner, and the cost of paid foundation inspections varies but typically ranges from $200 to $350.
Opinion Alert: Frankly, sometimes paying for the unbiased opinion of a foundation repair contractor for a home foundation inspection could give you more peace of mind. You are paying them for their time so that you can get a more honest assessment. Instead of dangling the *free* carrot in front of you hoping that you will *bite* with their company.
Ready to Get a Home Foundation Inspection Right Now?
Hey, we know you’re in a hurry here. So if you live in Bryan, College Station, or any surrounding Brazos Valley area communities like Navasota or Caldwell, we can help you out with an In-Home Foundation Repair Assessment.
We do charge for our inspections and the rate is $225 to $275 based on what type of foundation you have and where you live. If you end up using our services for the repair project, the cost of the inspection is applied to your final invoice (so you don’t really pay extra if you choose to stick with Anchor).
At Anchor Foundation Repair, our goal is to be the source of trust for Brazos Valley foundations and offer 100% transparent and honest inspections to homeowners. We will be the first to tell you if we think you have a problem that does (or doesn’t) need fixing.
If you *can’t hardly wait* to get started, take a few pictures of the foundation issues you are seeing around your home real quick with your phone. Then reach out to us via our easy Online Contact Form to get the foundation inspection process going now.