You’ve bought or are buying a home with foundation issues or you suspect it has some foundation problems. Maybe something was mentioned in the home inspection report. You are wondering if it’s smart to fix the foundation right away or wait for some reason.
Everyone wants to make the best decisions with their time and money when it comes to home repairs and this is no different except that the home is new to you.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have assessed and repaired thousands of homes in the Brazos Valley area since 1985. We know when the time is right or not to think about working on a foundation repair project and have some knowledge to share with you on this topic.
It’s important to have a history in a home and that homeowners should have a good understanding of where foundation settlement is taking place. This historical and ongoing knowledge is key to making a well-informed decision about foundation repair.
There are a few instances when it makes sense to get foundation repair done right away.
Most of the time though, we recommend waiting for a year and watching how your home behaves through all seasons. Since you have no historical reference in a new (to you) home, you really don’t have all the information you need to make an informed decision yet. Let’s check it out.
Reasons to Fix Your Foundation Right Away in a New Home
There are a couple of specific reasons you might want to fix your foundation sooner rather than later. These reasons focus on the future of your home instead of on anything historical or what happened in the past. The need for interior foundation work or the desire for remodeling are both good reasons to do your foundation repairs right away.
If Your Foundation Problem Needs Interior Work
When foundation settlement has been confirmed underneath the inside of the home, as in not around the edges but under the middle, then it will be better for you to get the work done before moving in.
Interior foundation work is extensive, messy, and you have to move out when this kind of work is being done. SO, don’t move in until an interior foundation repair project is completed. Otherwise, you would have to pack a lot of your belongings and move out sometime later.
Do you really want to move in and then move back out and then move in again? It’s best to go ahead and get interior foundation work done right away, while it’s easier for you to avoid more moving and packing. Get it handled first so you can move in for good.
If You Want to Do Major Remodeling Anyway
If you are planning extensive remodeling, new tile or wood flooring throughout your home, or planning an addition, you should always do the foundation repairs first. Foundation work lifts your home back into its original position and parts of your home move when this happens. You run the risk of damaging brand-new finishes if you try to do foundation repair after a remodel.
Placing new fixtures, cabinets, and flooring onto an unlevel or settled home will result in things being skewed and then held in the wrong position with the new layer of fresh finishes. If you try to then do foundation repair, all those new finishes can pop, crack, or become damaged as the home is being raised.
If you are planning a home addition, you first have to level the settled section before adding the new part. Otherwise, you will never be able to raise the sunken area later on and may have difficulty with the add-on.
The best way to avoid messing up your renovation is to do the foundation repairs right away and the remodeling afterward.
If the Foundation Problem is Pronounced
If you get seasick walking across your floors or there is a major elevation issue in one section of your home. Go ahead and get it done now if it’s so pronounced that anyone would notice it. You should be enjoying your new home, not hating it every time you go from one side of it to the other.
Reasons to Wait On Fixing Your Foundation in a New Home
If you have no need for interior foundation repair and don’t want to remodel, then it’s really best to wait on foundation repairs in a new (to you) home. Observe your home for a one-year cycle and see how it moves and behaves through wet and dry seasons.
Also be assured that in the vast majority of homes, it’s safe to live in them while you decide what you want to do about foundation repair. Foundation problems happen slowly over many years of reacting to the expansive clay soils of our region. In a single-family home in Central Texas, your home is not going to suddenly fall over.
Make Sure You Have a Foundation Issue and It’s Not Something Else
Sometimes new homeowners see signs around their home and think they are foundation-related, but they may have another cause, especially in an older home. Homes that are 20, 30, 50 years old, or more will not be perfect and flawless *hopefully, this is not a shocker* when you move in.
Make sure that the signs you see are really being caused by foundation problems or they could be a home age or workmanship problem instead.
Check out this article that talks about common false signs of foundation problems that homeowners tend to ask about.
See If The Foundation Issues Really Bother You or Not
Many homes in this region experience foundation settlement, so if you have a few signs of foundation movement in your home it’s not unusual and nothing to be embarrassed about. Pay attention to how much the signs of foundation issues bother you, or maybe they don’t bother you at all.
After living in the home for a year, you may not even have the desire to repair it. Minimal settlement signs that don’t really bother you are not a good reason to spend considerable funds on foundation repairs.
It’s okay to wait until you determine what you really want to fix around your home. Do you know how they say to “live in a home for a while” before deciding what to change about it? Well, it’s no different for foundation problems.
See If Foundation Settlement Is Cosmetic or Functional
Watch for functionality issues like doors not closing or latching properly. Are you experiencing under-slab plumbing issues due to foundation movement, like toilets not flushing well or slow drains? These functional problems tend to cause homeowners to want to get foundation repair done sooner.
Maybe you just have a cosmetic crack in the wall of your garage or closet and that’s all that’s going on. You might not want to do foundation work for a few small appearance issues that nobody sees. But foundation issues that cause you functional problems like a front door that won’t lock are another story.
You can only see how things are working or not working or looking or not looking over time, so give yourself a year to observe before deciding to do foundation work.
Which Foundation Problem Signs Should You Watch Closely
The list of true signs of foundation problems is short. There are really just 5 major ones that you should be concerned about and check for during your year of waiting and watching.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we want all homeowners, new and old, to be confident in the investments they make in their home and foundation for long-term enjoyment. We don’t want you to worry and want you to feel like you are informed and in charge of your home situation.
Check out this article next about the top 5 signs repairs are needed. And in the meantime, congratulations on your new home! We’ll be here to help you in a year if you need us.