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How Much Does a Home Foundation Inspection Cost?


cracked home foundation by the window

The foundation of a home needs to be in solid condition in order for the rest of the building to be structurally sound. If the foundation becomes damaged, it can compromise pretty much any other part of the home.

One of the most expensive home repairs owners can face involve issues with the foundation. If you’re purchasing a home that has some problems with the foundation, you will definitely want to learn as much as possible about the necessary repairs so you know what you’re getting into.

Getting a home foundation inspection by a structural engineer can help you understand the scope of the problems as well as what repairs might be necessary. With this information, you can gather quotes from foundation repair companies to determine how much it would cost to bring the home back to a state of structural soundness.

How much does a home foundation inspection cost, though? Let’s take a look at the answer to this question and more.

How Much Does a Home Foundation Inspection Cost?

It costs between $300 and $1000 to have your home foundation inspected, on average. There are a number of factors that can influence how much the service costs, including:

  • Ease of access to the foundation
  • Local market conditions
  • The size of your house

If you are thinking about buying a home that has foundation issues, you will definitely want to hire an inspector so you can understand the extent to which the foundation is damaged. It is important to understand the issues with the foundation can be difficult to repair and can lead to major structural problems in a house.

The foundation inspection cost does not include the cost of making repairs. It is usually advised that homebuyers get a foundation inspection in addition to purchasing a general home inspection. A competent real estate agent should be able to help you navigate the foundation inspection process.

Why Do I Need a Foundation Inspection?

Having a home with foundation issues can lead to major damage. When the foundation isn’t sound, it can cause your home to literally start falling apart with crumbling floors, Boeing walls, and a collapsing roof.

The cost of preparing a damage foundation can range widely. It can sometimes even cost more to fix a foundation in the home is worth.

You’ll want to have the foundation professionally inspected if there are signs of a potential foundation issue when buying a home. Once you have learned more about the foundation problems, you might choose to negotiate or walk away completely.

Another major issue that can turn up during a general home inspection is a termite infestation. If you’re a home seller that is trying to sell a house with termites, take a look at this article.

Who Performs a Foundation Inspection?

Structural engineers perform foundation inspections. When you are buying or selling a home, they are an unbiased third party.

These professionals specialize in designing, planning, analyzing, and researching structural systems and components in a building. They typically have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering as well as a master’s degree in structural engineering. Structural engineers in the U.S. will also be licensed in the state that they practice.

A structural engineer foundation inspection goes beyond the service you will receive from a general home inspector. General home inspectors aren’t licensed or qualified to inspect a home in the way that a structural engineer is. For this reason, a general home inspector will usually recommend hiring a structural engineer foundation inspector if they see any of the signs or symptoms of foundation damage.

How Long Does a Foundation Inspection Take?

Typically, a home foundation inspection will take two hours or less. The structural engineer will begin the process by interviewing the owner about relevant past events and the history of the home.

(Are you wondering how much value it would add to your home to replace the roof? Check out this article to learn more.)

How Does a Structural Engineer Inspect a Foundation?

They will then visually inspect the home’s exterior, interior, and surrounding property. During this time, they will be looking for symptoms of foundation damage such as cracks and signs of moisture.

The next step is for inspectors to check the walls and doors for “plumbness” and measure floor elevations. They will then determine the source of any issues using a forensic analysis. This could be a number of causes, including poor grading or standing water under the home.

After the inspector leaves, they will then write up a report filled with both observations and recommendations. The party who ordered the report will then receive a copy, usually after several days.

What is not included in the report are quotes for how much repairs will cost. You will need to get these figures from a foundation repair company if you need this information as a part of negotiating a home transaction.

When Should You Get Your Foundation Inspected?

There are a number of different situations where it is common to get a professional foundation inspection. Let’s take a look at some of these scenarios.

Buying a House

If your general home inspector finds any signs or symptoms of damage, they might suggest a more in-depth look. You’ll want to hire a foundation specialist in order to have them take a look at your foundation and give you a report.

Another issue that can crop up when buying a house is problems with mold. If you’re selling your home and you’re concerned it has mold, you can learn more here about what to do.

Selling a House

A home seller might choose to have a foundation report conducted when they are selling an older house. This can help prospective buyers know right away that there aren’t any issues to be concerned with when it comes to the foundation.

Are you selling a house that has foundation problems? While it’s possible to sell a house that has issues with the foundation, the process might not be as smooth as if the foundation was sound. Learn more here in this guide.

Noticing Symptoms

If you live in a home where the symptoms of foundation issues are starting to appear, it’s best to have a foundation inspector come out and take a look right away. Some of the signs and symptoms you’ll want to watch out for include:

  • Cracks in tiling
  • Bowing walls
  • Cracks in walls
  • Doors and windows that don’t close properly
  • Uneven floors
  • Baseboards separating at corners
  • Indoor humidity
  • Bugs in the basement
  • Crooked chimney
  • Standing water in the crawlspace

If you suspect that there is foundation damage, you’ll want to take action right away. The sooner you catch an issue, the greater chance you’ll be able to prevent a larger problem from occurring. Preventative repairs can be much cheaper and easier than repairs for more serious damage. If you ignore foundation problems, they will only get worse over time, not to mention more expensive to repair.

Potential Damage

Events can sometimes negatively impact your foundation. This might include an earthquake or a large water leak in your home. A professional can let you know if your home has been impaired in some way with a foundation inspection.

Inspecting a Home Foundation Can Give You Valuable Information When You’re Purchasing a Home

As you can see, your home foundation inspection cost can vary depending on a number of different variables. However, if you’re concerned about there being structural issues with the house you are considering buying, it will definitely be worth the cost. Understanding what issues the foundation of a house has before you buy it can help save you from getting in over your head in terms of repair costs.

If you’re the home buyer in the process, the report the foundation inspector gives you can be used as a negotiating tool as a part of buying the home. Depending on the information that the inspector comes back with, you might even decide that you’d rather walk away from the deal altogether.

Is it time for you to sell your home? If you’ve ever been through the process before, you know it can be stressful, overwhelming, and drag on for what seems like an eternity. If you’re hoping to sell your home fast for a good price and move on with your life, you might consider selling to an iBuyer.

Are you wondering how much cash an iBuyer would give you for your home? If so, check out our home valuation tool here.

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