Damage to a homes foundation is usually a gradual process. Most homes are built on what should be a well surveyed piece of land. The land that the foundation and ultimately the home is built upon in most cases will not have any issues. As time goes on the foundation may begin to settle because of water intrusion, settling of the soil or other natural process.
There are foundation problems in more homes then you probably imagine.
The amount of homes that have foundation problems is astounding. Every week home inspectors encounter several homes that have foundation issues. These foundation issues range from mild/fixable to severe/total loss.
In most instances the average prospective home buyer can spot most foundation issues, if they know what they are looking for.
But – what exactly do you spot foundation problems with a home? In most cases foundation problems can be spotted by a visible inspection of all corners of the interior and exterior of the property. Any home owner can do it if they know what to look for;
Feel for cracks under the carpet
Notice flexing laminate floors
Obvious signs of deteriorating walls
Inspect exterior for problems
Cracked drywall or stucco
Water around or in the home
Erosion around the exterior of the home
Windows that are difficult to open
The snake charge – because of of potential snakes of course!
Probably the most difficult kind of home inspection is where the inspector has to crawl under the home in order to evaluate the foundation. A foundation inspection which requires that the home inspector crawls under the house usually will cost slightly more depending on the size of the property because of the time needed in order crawl under the home. In the industry this is called the potential snake charge (jokingly) because in many cases the home inspector will come eye-to-eye with snakes who go under homes for relief from the hot sun.
Trust a home inspector in who has been around for a long time.
As a home inspector for over 20 years I have inspected everything from cabins to castles. Over the years foundation problems were the most devastating of all home inspection issues. In a lot of the homes that I inspect where I find foundation issues I uncover terrible news for either the prospective home buyer or bank. In most foundation issues that would be considered worse case scenario have to ultimately be demolished – a total loss.
What’s fair is fair or is it really?
Depending on who’s side that you are on, getting the results of a home inspection can devastating. Either way that you look at it what is fair is fair and all parties have to be known the exact condition of the home. Getting a home inspection is a vital part of the home buying process. – But before you think about hiring a home inspector how about next time do a little “inspecting” yourself and get in the know.