How to Identify Foundation Problems and What To Do When You Find One
Foundation damage can be a very serious problem if it's not addressed by a qualified contractor. As a home buyer considering the purchase of a property, knowing the signs of foundation damage and what to do about it can be important. If you are thinking about purchasing a home with foundation trouble, this information can help you make a decision.
What Causes Foundation Damage?
Foundation damage is typically caused by shifting soil around the house. When soil moves, it can push in on the exterior of the home, causing walls to bulge, crack and shift. Foundation damage can affect all rooms of the house, causing floors to become warped or slanted and doorways to become angled. Foundation damage can occur because of the natural shifting of soil, or may occur because of floods or freezing temperatures.
What Are The Signs of Foundation Damage?
There are many warning signs of foundation trouble. The most common signs include:
- Doors and windows are jammed shut. When a home settles, doors and windows may become difficult to open or close.
- Horizontal cracks in the foundation. Foundation cracks are common, but horizontal cracks are a sign of a serious problem, especially if the cracks are more than 1/4 of an inch wide.
- Bulging walls. A bulge in an exterior or interior wall is a sign that the soil around the house has moved.
- Cracks in the walls over doors and windows. While small cracks over doors and windows are normal, large cracks can be an indication of a problem.
How Can Buyers Determine if a Home's Foundation is Truly Damaged?
If you have noticed signs that a home has foundation damage, then it's time to contact a foundation damage contractor. Your contractor can tell you whether or not a home's foundation s severely damaged and if so, what can be done to fix the problem.
How Much Does it Cost to Repair Foundation Damage?
In general, homeowners typically spend around $4,000 to repair foundation damage. This final cost may depend on a variety of factors including the extent of the damage, the original cause of the problem and what needs to be done in order to prevent the problem from happening again.
What Can Buyers Do With a House With Foundation Damage
If you wish to buy a fixer-upper West Hollywood home that has foundation damage, there are many steps that you can take to ensure that you'll be happy with the purchase. Have the home inspected by a qualified contractor who can assess the damage and make recommendations for repair, then work with your real estate agent to negotiate repairs from the home seller.
If the home seller won't make repairs or negotiate a lower price for the home, you'll either need to choose another home to buy or decide to make the repairs on your own after finalizing the purchase. If you decide to move forward with the purchase and make repairs on your own, get quotes from multiple contractors, then make a budget for repair work to ensure that this is something you can afford.
Work With a Qualified Real Estate Agent
In general, a home with foundation trouble may sell for a steep discount, so this kind of problem can actually lead to significant savings. Working with a qualified real estate agent during the sale and negotiation process can help you get the best deal for the home you choose.