Advice on interior drain tile

5 Replies

I am going to be making an offer on a home and wanted to get some thoughts on whether or not I should budget to have an interior drain tile/sump pump installed. The home is a 1950's ranch with cinder block foundation, which is very common for the area. From what I could tell, the foundation appeared to be in good condition (ie, no bowing, no cracks). About 40% of the basement is finished and throughout I saw no signs of water seepage. 

If I purchase the home, I would update the area of the basement already finished and keep the remaining portion unfinished. What has other people's experiences been with these types of homes? Do you typically add drain tiles/sump pumps on an as needed basis and just make sure grading is going away from home, or is it more of a must have when a portion of the basement is finished?


In my areas, we only add draintile when there is a water intrusion problem.  We don't do it proactively in a flip.

@J Scott, thanks for the feedback. Quick follow up question. Even though I didn't see any signs of water seepage, I probably won't know for sure until we get heavy rains in April. By then, I will have started the rehab on the house (assuming I get the property), so my rehab budget will already be set. Have you had to go through this process, where you need to buy now but won't know about repair due to seasonality? If so, what was your decision process? Obviously I can go to the conservative extreme and budget for the repair, but I'd hate to lose out on a deal because I over-budgeted for repairs.

Thanks! Appreciate the feedback.

If there was previous water seepage, I'd think you'd know it.  The finished part of the basement would have evidence (discoloration on the drywall, mold, etc.  And on the block part of the unfinished basement you'd see efflorescence on the walls.  

That said, if I were you, I'd factor in the extra cost to the rehab to be conservative.  If you don't need it, you make more in profit.  Of course, it means your offer won't be as strong either, which is the risk.

@J Scott, thanks again for the advice.

Agreed with @J Scott. I would also ask any neighbors who have properties with similar location/grading to your target whether they've had water seepage. Best person to ask is the owner, if that's possible. 

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