You heard from your co-worker’s friend’s daughter that you have to move out of your house when you have foundation repair work. This is not *the most reliable* source of information so you are not really sure if it’s true or not.
Do you always have to move out during foundation repair? Is it possible to stay in the home when foundation repairs are being done? You really need to know because you are thinking that you might have to get foundation repair soon or you are already booked for a job and are trying to get prepared.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have inspected and repaired thousands of homes in the Bryan, College Station, and Brazos Valley areas since 1985. We know when the time is right to move out during repairs due to where support is needed in your home. This is common question homeowners ask when they are getting ready for repairs and we can definitely help you out on this.
The short answer to the question of, “Do I need to move out or can I stay during foundation repair,” is that in 90% of foundation repair projects, you can live in your home during the process. The other 10% of foundation repairs require interior support work that would require a homeowner to move out.
This article will detail the times when you can stay and when you must go during foundation repair and why. We will also cover how you might know which will be the case for you if you have not yet had a foundation repair inspection and been given that info directly.
When Can I Stay In My Home During Foundation Repairs?
About 90% of foundation repair jobs need foundation support only on the perimeter of the home. If only perimeter work is being done, you can live in your home with no problem. The repair team will not need to access the interior of your home for the vast majority of the project time.
There will be some noise during the repair process, but it should not be so disruptive that you would feel the need to move out. There will also be some *disarray* outside during the process, but nothing so unsafe or drastically messy that you can’t work around it during the foundation repair.
The only time that a foundation repair team member would need to enter your home is during the actual “home-raising” step of the process. When the home is being lifted back to its original elevation, someone will come into the home to monitor while the raising takes place.
They are checking for doors to become functional again and cracks to close and are making sure that nothing gets “over-lifted.” This step takes 1 to 2 days in most cases. But even during this raising step of the process, you still don’t need to leave or move out, just know that someone will be entering the house for a bit.
For more information about the step-by-step process for a perimeter project (i.e. only outside supports needed) with Anchor Foundation Repair, check out this article about what to expect in a typical foundation repair with us.
When Do I Have to Move Out During Foundation Repairs?
We know that 90% of homes won’t require a homeowner to move out. It doesn’t take a *math genius* to see that leaves 10% that do need to move out. What is different about this 10%, you ask? Good question.
Typically, any homeowner needing interior support installed in their home should move out during the repair process. Interior foundation repair involves cutting 2 x 2-foot holes in your floors in key positions. This process is messy, loud, and usually too disruptive for someone to remain in the home during the repairs. Plus, you even have to pack up your stuff and move furniture out of the way.
The repair team goes in and out a lot and is also taking out wheelbarrows of dirt and then later bringing in wheelbarrows of concrete. Large drills are used inside the home too.
Trust us when we say, you wouldn’t want to be there anyway. If interior supports are needed, moving out makes the most sense. Some people have a friend or family member they can stay with during the repair time, or some people choose to get a hotel or vacation rental type-property. You might even have an RV that you can stay in during the process.
We have an article that goes over in detail how the interior work process goes for Anchor Foundation Repair customers or anyone using the drilled-pier method of foundation repair if you’re interested.
How Will I Know if I Need Interior Foundation Work or Not?
If you have already had an in-home foundation inspection, you will know where supports need to be added to your foundation. The foundation repair professional will let you know if all the work is on the perimeter or if they need to come inside and do interior 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 some 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 specifically indicate that interior settlement has occurred.
- Doors that don’t close, latch, or lock properly that are centrally located in the home.
- Gaps between centrally located walls and ceilings/floors.
- Diagonal cracks that point toward the inside of the home rather than towards the outside.
In case you want to know more about ALL the signs of foundation damage that might need fixing, check out this article on the top 5 signs that foundation repair is needed.
Can I Avoid Having to Move Out During Foundation Repair?
You might be wondering if there is *any possible way* you can stay during an interior project because you have pets, just don’t have a good lodging alternative, or some other reason.
A lot of this depends on where the work needs to be done inside the house. If it’s in a key area like your kitchen or bedrooms, it’s just not going to work. But if the interior work is needed in areas that are easy to avoid like a spare bedroom or a room that can be accessed through a different entrance then maybe . . . like, that’s a big MAYBE.
We have had some cases where a couple without children stayed primarily in the upstairs of their two-story house. But frankly, we don’t have a lot of two-story homes in the Brazos Valley so chances are rather slim that this would work for you (around here anyway).
Stabilization Is a Way to Avoid Interior Foundation Repair Work
Stabilization of a home’s foundation can best be described as supporting your foundation around the perimeter, but not raising your foundation back to its original elevation. If the home is not being raised, supports can just be added to the outside only and no interior work is done. Your home will not be lifted back into place, it will just be stabilized where it is.
Only stabilizing a home will minimize or delay the need for interior work. This may or may not be a good option for you, depending on the ultimate goals you have for your home. We have an article about the pros and cons of stabilization vs. leveling when it comes to foundation repair that you can check out for an in-depth explanation.
Using a Different Foundation Repair Method on the Interior
One other way to avoid moving out, even when you need interior foundation work, is to use polyjacking for the interior. Polyjacking is a method that can *sometimes* be combined with more traditional perimeter foundation methods, like pressed piles or drilled piers.
Polyjacking offers some advantages for interior support work, like the fact that it is a quicker and less obtrusive process. Keep in mind that not every home is a good candidate for this method to be used in combination with another foundation method for the exterior.
You would also have to either find a contractor that does both polyjacking and traditional methods OR use two separate contractors since foundation repair companies often only have one service specialty. So while it’s not outside of the realm of possibilities, it could take some work on a homeowner’s part to locate just the right contractor(s) for the job.
Anything Else I Should Prepare For With Foundation Repair?
There are a few small things to consider with any type of foundation repair whether you have to move out or not. If you are not moving out, there still will be the time that the repair team would enter your home during raising, which we already mentioned. But there might be a short time where you won’t be able to use part of your plumbing, only if an actual plumbing issue arises.
You can still live in the home, but just know that there could be a day that some parts of the house will not have working plumbing fixtures temporarily. Around 35% of the foundation repair jobs we do at Anchor Foundation Repair also have or end up having an under-slab plumbing issue that needs attention.
When interior work is done you not only have to move out, you also have to store your belongings and move large furniture. Just keep in mind with interior work, that the repair team is doing some significant work around your home but you will be doing work too with packing and moving.
How Long Do Foundation Repairs Take Anyway?
You might be wondering how long any of these foundation repairs will take i.e. how long will I have to deal with this or move out? That’s a complicated question because there are a lot of factors involved. Things like the method, or combination of methods used will factor into the time it takes. Also, whether you need that interior work or not.
No matter what method you are using, the need for interior work will add significantly to the work time for both. Interior work is more time-consuming all around because the repair crew has to be more careful and there is much more in and out that just adds time.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have used the drilled bell-bottom pier method for 35+ years. We feel this method is a good fit for homeowners that have the goal for the highest quality and longest-lasting repair. Our top priorities are for homeowners to have a great experience, a smooth process, and that our job is done with cleanliness and efficiency . . . and sometimes that means homeowners need to move out to get that job done.
Check out this article for details on how long foundation repair takes with Anchor doing the work using the bell-bottom pier method of repair.