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They often say that a home is only as good as the foundation it’s built upon. That’s why when new home buyers are purchasing a property, a routine home inspection will always look at the foundation first. If the inspector detects signs of cracked floors, buckling walls, and other foundation issues this could mean major red flags for the future of the home.

Home Foundation InspectionHomeowners should steer clear of any foundation problems. Most of the time, a cracked or broken foundation isn't covered by a home insurance policy. More importantly, if other significant structural damage occurs as a result of a faulty foundation, your insurer may not pay for these repairs.

For those who find themselves in the middle of foundational issues, there are a few items to consider which may help ease the burden.

1. Understand the Why, Not Just the What

If a home inspection shows foundation issues, hire a structural engineer to analyze the cause and severity of the foundation problems. This will tell homeowners why the foundation issues exist. Perhaps the builder made an error, or it might have to do with the land underneath the home. The structural engineer will write a report detailing the damage and outlining potential solutions.

2. Shop Around

As with any large purchase, it pays to shop around. The engineer or inspector who evaluates the problem may have a recommendation, but it’s important to consult several foundation repair companies for quotes. Once you’ve found a competitive price, ask the home seller to finance the repairs or share the cost. If the seller won't agree to assist in fixing any of the repairs, it’s time to walk away from the deal. A bargain property can quickly turn into a money pit if foundational issues are present.

3. Compare Policies Carefully

Even when purchasing a home with no immediate repairs necessary, it’s important to closely evaluate home insurance policies to find out what's covered in case of damage stemming from foundation problems. Many homeowners policies exclude any problems relating to foundation cracks, wear and tear, and faulty workmanship. If the property settles and cracks the foundation, that may not be covered. But if as a result of the settling and cracking, water comes in and further damages the house, that may be covered.

4. Add To Your Current Policy

Even with a strong foundation, your home can still be susceptible to further damage depending on its age and location. Some homeowners may want to consider supplemental coverage which will protect your property. Rider policies are available to add to your current policy to cover situations such as earthquakes, ground movement; flood insurance and sinkhole coverage.

To fix a foundation out of pocket can be extremely expensive. Stabilizing or replacing a damaged foundation can require repairs such as underpinning a house with concrete or steel piers and replacing the foundation floor. This type of work can cost as much as $30,000, according to In addition, landscaping and decking often must be removed to access the foundation, which only adds to the price tag of the project. Review your policy, and negotiate with the seller before purchasing any home with existing or potential foundation pitfalls.

By Matt Reynolds - Google+
Posted 7:31 PM

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Louisville, KY 40258
Phone: 502-933-2255
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