Good News: Your home has recently been remodeled. Yay!
Bad News: Now you have foundation problems. Boo!
Badder News: It would have been better if the foundation had been repaired first. (insert sad trumpet sound here: *wah wah wah*).
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have seen our fair share of remodeled homes that end up needing foundation repairs over the past 35+ years in business. We have advised many a homeowner on their options on how to handle the situation of foundation issues showing up on a recently renovated residence. Don’t worry, you have choices!
This article will explain the relationship between remodeling and foundation repairs and review your options on how to handle this *less than perfect* situation.
When Is the Best Time for Foundation Repairs on a Remodel?
Welllllll, the *best* time to do foundation repairs on a remodeled home would have been BEFORE it got remodeled. This is not the best news, I know.
Sometimes this situation happens when you have purchased a *new to you* home that was cosmetically improved right before you bought it. In other words, the home was flipped or refreshed quite a bit before it was put on the market to help get a quick sale. In the process, any visual signs of foundation problems and other flaws may have been glossed over during the renovation.
Sometimes a home gets remodeled first before foundation repairs simply because you didn’t know that it could be problematic to do things in this order. Don’t beat yourself up, we have seen it happen to other homeowners before too.
It could also just be pure coincidence that now the home is experiencing foundation settlement when it wasn’t before. We did just have an extended period of drought in Summer 2022 that can impact home foundations in expansive clay soil.
What happens is that new finishes placed on an unlevel home will be affected if the home has foundation repair after the remodel. So the foundation repair might end up causing cracks (when it ordinarily wouldn’t) in walls, door issues, or misalignment problems with built-ins and trim.
All the new stuff was put on when the home was out-of-whack. So when foundation repair attempts to raise and level the home, it can mess up the things that were placed on the home in an unlevel state. What now?
Can You Do Foundation Repairs on a Remodeled Home?
Your first question after, “What now?” might be another question like: Is it even a possibility now to get foundation repairs? Can it be done now?
The answer is yes, foundation repairs can certainly be done. But for a homeowner, it’s more of a question of do you WANT to do it knowing that some damage might occur that you will have to get fixed afterward.
The foundation repair company only repairs the foundation, not other things around the home that are impacted by the repair. This is part of any typical contract for foundation repairs, not a unique situation that only applies to our company.
So as a homeowner, you have to decide if you want the foundation repairs, even if it means some collateral damage. Think about what is the most important thing to you as you dive into the next section.
4 Options for a Remodeled Home that Needs Foundation Repair
The bottom line with deciding on foundation repairs is that no one can predict your *foundation future* with a crystal ball, not even foundation experts. ANY home (remodeled or not) and its foundation condition can:
- Get better,
- Get worse, or
- Stay the same.
We can’t predict or guarantee that you will or won’t continue to have problems with your foundation down the line – we can only observe a home’s current condition when a foundation inspection is done.
Your current foundation problem signs could be seasonal settlement or an issue that rebounds and resolves itself when it rains again after a drought, never to be seen again. Now let’s get to those options we’ve been promising . . .
1. Don’t Do Any Foundation Repairs
You might be really, really happy right now with the appearance of your newly remodeled home, except for a crack or two in places that most people don’t go. No one says you HAVE to do foundation repairs, especially if you plan to live in the home for a long time and want to enjoy your remodel.
A typical Texas home with signs of foundation settlement is safe to live in and you are not in imminent danger. Anyone who tries to scare you with safety threats is likely selling something, probably foundation repair . . .
One of the deciding factors that we use in determining whether a home needs foundation repair is how the homeowner feels about the foundation issues. Is it upsetting and bothering you quite a bit? Do you feel embarrassed, angry, or afraid about the foundation problem signs you see in your home?
If the answer is no, then you and your home are not ready to do foundation repairs and don’t have to. Knowing when the time is right for foundation repairs is sometimes a matter of feelings. You need to be on board with the repairs and feel confident that it’s the right thing to do for your home.
You should not feel outside pressure to do something if you’re not that concerned about it yourself. You never know, the situation may bother you later, or it might go away on its own. Or you might decide you would rather invest in a new pool and landscaping now instead to complement your home remodel. Choosing not to do foundation repairs is a legitimate option.
2. Wait and Do Foundation Repairs Later
There’s nothing wrong with the *wait and see* approach when it comes to foundation repair. As we already mentioned, it’s safe to wait until you feel like you want to fix it or it becomes a more urgent problem. It’s okay to delay if you just moved into your new home and you’re not ready. It’s perfectly fine to hold off until you have money saved up to pay for the cost of foundation repairs too.
If what you are seeing is truly a foundation problem that needs fixing, it will still be a problem 2 years from now. You might feel more inclined to get started on repairs after you have had some time to get used to the idea. Or again, the issue you see right now could resolve itself or not bother you after you take some time in your new home and decide what’s most important to you.
Sometimes waiting gives you the space to see how or if the foundation problem changes over time and allows you the opportunity to decide what you really want to do about it instead of acting on your first fear-induced impulse. You can get great insight and historical perspective by observing how the home behaves while you wait a year or so.
We’ve got an article that outlines some legit reasons to wait to get started on foundation repairs. Check it out if you are leaning towards this option to solidify your thoughts.
3. Do Foundation Repairs Now
Maybe you’ve already gone through all the feelings and thoughts and are super confident in moving forward with repairs now. There are some really good reasons to do foundation repairs right away rather than waiting.
One big reason that comes to mind at the moment is inflation and gas prices. At some point, the cost of everything goes up, and the longer you wait the more your original pricing quote for foundation repairs could change. Unfortunately, prices are not likely to go down if history gives us any indication.
We’ve also got an article that outlines several more practical reasons you might want to get your foundation repairs done now in case you need a few more affirmations.
Just remember, with the option of doing foundation repair on a fresh remodel, there’s the very real possibility of some finishes getting damaged during the raising process of foundation repair. You might have to go back and get some drywall repaired and repainted. You might have to handle some collateral plumbing issues under your home.
If you are prepared for the cost of foundation repairs now, don’t forget to also prepare for some extra costs that come after the foundation repairs are complete.
4. Stabilization Without Raising
This option is a “meet in the middle” solution to the problem of a recently remodeled home needing foundation repairs. A foundation repair company can do something called “stabilization” and it’s where we do part of a normal foundation repair but skip the part where we raise the home.
- Return the home to its original elevation by raising settled portions, and
- Stabilize and secure the home so that it does not sink further.
So if a foundation repair company only stabilizes the home, they are essentially holding it securely in place so that it stays right where it is. Stabilization prevents a home from settling more and causing damage to your new remodel.
Stabilization allows you to keep your home where it is and prevent further settlement issues AND preserve your remodeled finishes because the home is not being raised. It’s like one good part about foundation repair, minus the bad part about foundation repair on a remodeled home.
Of course, the downside here is that your home is not raised back up to its original elevation. If you have severely sloping floors or some other noticeable foundation problem sign, it won’t compensate for that.
If your home *feels* mostly level and you’re more concerned about further settlement than about raising the home back up, then stabilization could be an excellent option for you.
BONUS: if you use the drilled bell-bottom pier method of foundation repair as we do here at Anchor, stabilization with drilled piers can set the stage for a complete foundation repair that includes raising later on. You’ll be halfway to a raised home with piers in place that are already prepped for the next step of the drilled pier foundation repair process.
Want More Information About Stabilization in Foundation Repair?
Now that you have read about the four options available to you in a remodeled home, let me present to you option 4.1 that I have already hinted at and that’s Stabilization Now, Raise Later.
You can choose stabilization for your home now to prevent further settlement and still enjoy your pristine remodel. Then, later on, when you’re ready for another update to your home, complete the foundation repair process including raising BEFORE the next home refresh.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we want you to enjoy your beautiful remodeled home AND have a sturdy and stable foundation. After 35+ years of service to Bryan, College Station, and other Brazos Valley communities like Brenham and Madisonville, we know that the best option for you is also the best option for us.
Check out this next article if you want more detailed information about the pros and cons of stabilization vs. leveling.