You know you have some interior foundation settlement in addition to more typical signs of foundation problems on your slab foundation home. You’ve been offered a choice: to do just the perimeter foundation repairs or include the interior work in the repairs as well.
Maybe you’re wondering: What’s the difference for me here? Why would or should I choose one way over the other? What are the major things to consider in a choice like this (because I have no idea)??
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been inspecting and repairing Brazos Valley foundations for 35+ years and know this is a tough decision to make because there is no perfect answer. But we can lay out the pros and cons for you to decide if doing only the perimeter vs. the whole home including the interior is the right foundation repair choice for you.
This article will explain the main difference between choosing perimeter and whole home (including interior and perimeter) foundation repairs via pros and cons. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what you need to consider to make the best repair choice for your home.
Choosing Between Perimeter and Whole Home Foundation Repair
Sometimes you have these choices and sometimes you don’t, but let’s see if we can make sense of what exactly the choice is in the first place. There’s having foundation repairs done by:
- Only adding supports under the perimeter of the home, OR
- Adding the needed supports under the perimeter AND under the interior of the home.
You might also think of interior foundation work as support being added under the middle of the home as opposed to just around the edges.
You may have been given this choice during your in-home foundation inspection. This option is likely not available for every single home that has signs of interior foundation settlement. But it could be an option for some homes where the settlement is more minimal on the interior.
I feel like this is kind of a confusing concept to talk about without a visual aid. So here’s what we are talking about (pictured below). The foundation repair diagram on the left shows support being added only to the perimeter of the home. The repair plan diagram on the right shows the same home where supports would be added to both the perimeter AND under the middle areas of the home.
If you have been given two proposal options, you can a.) just do the perimeter repairs shown on the left, or b.) do everything shown on the right which includes perimeter and interior work. There are heavy considerations to take into account with these options. Both options have their upsides and downsides so it’s not an easy *no-brainer* choice for everyone.
The Pros and Cons of Perimeter Foundation Repair
The best way to *weigh* out these options is with a trusty ol’ pros and cons list. Here are the pros and cons you need to consider if you choose to only have the perimeter supports added to your home.
This type of repair is a more typical foundation repair project and about 90% of homes will only need this kind of support. When you have interior foundation settlement, we would only offer this option IF the interior settlement is minor AND we see that it may be helpful to you based on our experience and your input. In other words, it’s not a common scenario and many factors contribute to how we decide on this option for your home.
Let’s qualify the upcoming lists slightly by saying that these are the pros and cons of choosing perimeter only, even when more is needed/recommended under the interior.
Pros of Choosing Foundation Repairs for the Perimeter Only
- Lower cost for foundation repairs if this is all you end up doing ever
- Faster repair time
- Less mess
- Less extra costs
- Less inconvenience
- Increased stability (and MAY prevent additional interior settlement)
- Minimizes additional settlement more than doing nothing
- Buys time with this partial solution
- Just enough to make you feel a little better
Cons of Choosing Foundation Repairs for the Perimeter Only
- Not a complete repair
- May still have symptoms of foundation problems
- Could continue settling under the interior
- More work is likely required later
- Might have to do cosmetic repairs again
- If selling, you would need to disclose the need for interior foundation work
Yes, there are a lot of “lesses” on the pros list that sound good: less mess, less cost, less inconvenience, less extra hassle. However, the bottom line is that it’s not everything that your house really needs. You might just be delaying the inevitable, and will still have to get the interior foundation repair work done later on.
Choosing the perimeter-only option could be beneficial for you in the short term. If you need more time to gather funds to be able to handle the additional costs and considerations that come with interior foundation work, then this could be a good choice for your home.
The Pros and Cons of Perimeter + Interior Foundation Repairs
The list of pros and cons for going ahead and doing both the perimeter and the needed interior foundation repairs at the same time is kind of the reverse of the pros and cons above. But we will spell it out for you so that you don’t have to think about it too hard.
About 10% of the homes we repair end up needing interior work.
Pros of Choosing Foundation Repairs for the Perimeter + Interior
- Get all the repairs over with at one time
- Complete repair that addresses all settlement issues
- Most stable option for longevity
- Confidence in moving forward with remodeling plans and repairs post-foundation work
- Less overall cost if you do it all at once vs. a two-part incremental repair
- If selling, the disclosure would be that the foundation issues are fully handled
Cons of Choosing Foundation Repairs for the Perimeter + Interior
- Higher one-time foundation repair costs vs. perimeter only
- Longer duration for the repair process
- Requires extended homeowner move-out and hassle
- Requires packing up/storing furniture and belongings
- Requires extra collateral costs for flooring repair/replacement
While doing the *whole enchilada* of what is needed can be daunting and cost more, you get it all out of the way and don’t have to deal with foundation repair going on at your home again. If you have the funds and the fortitude to work through the collateral issues like packing, moving, and flooring decisions, then getting it all done at once is a great option for you.
Interior foundation repair work with drilled piers (like we do here at Anchor) is a major undertaking similar to home renovation – we can’t sugar-coat this reality. There are lots of decisions, arrangements, and planning for homeowners to deal with foundation repairs under the interior of a home.
We want you to know though, that many people every year have chosen to have the interior work done, paid for it, survived the inconveniences, and been very happy with the end results. After all, your home is your largest personal investment and you want to take care of it in the best way possible. Getting it all done together is your best chance for minimizing future settlement risk.
Any Other Options for Handling Interior Foundation Work?
Now you are thoroughly versed in the pros and cons of two options: perimeter only OR perimeter + interior at the same time. But really there are a couple of other options for you too. We won’t go into a ton of detail on them here but here’s a quick list.
You have two other viable options for handling interior foundation settlement in your home:
- An incremental approach of doing perimeter now, and interior later, or
- A hybrid approach by using perimeter piers and polyurethane foam under the interior
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we want you armed with every possible bit of 100% honest and transparent information available. After 35+ years in business in the Brazos Valley, we find that’s the best way to operate. So, there are even more things to consider when interior foundation work is needed for your home. Each of the options above has more pros, cons, and considerations to uncover.
Let’s get started by checking out this polyurethane foam foundation repair method aka polyjacking and understanding how that works. We’re still working on writing more articles about all the other stuff so that’s what we’ve got for now!