As I'm sure a lot of you know many of the properties being offered up by the wholesalers typically have foundation issues. I'm curious as to what others in the area think about these? Addressing foundation issues can be costly and add additional time to a rehab. What are others doing with these properties? We personally have chosen not to deal with these previously, but that means we end up passing on a lot of properties.
I have a foundation engineer evaluate the property in the option period to determine how bad the problem actually is, if it violates safety/building code, and figure this cost in my calculations. If the cost/time to rehab makes it a bad deal, I back out. Foundation issues scare a lot of buyers, but if you do your due diligence, they shouldn’t.
Thanks @Mike De Lota . In your experience, how much time does this typically add to the rehab? I know addressing foundation issues can cause problems with the plumbing. Have you seen this happen? Also, do you have a preferred company you deal with? Net Worth includes quotes from Low Jack Foundation Repair, but I've not dealt with them before.
@Wayne Bolen Cost really just depends on the issue and how severe. But he sure to get an estimate and estimation of how many days it’ll take to repair. Plumbing inspection is typically recommended after foundation repairs as well as more cosmetic work on windows, doors, drywall, and ceiling cracks. I’ve been happy with LAKE Foundation Engineers.
@Wayne Bolen - just be aware, there is more to foundation repairs than just the foundation. Here is what I collected as "warnings" or lessons (from various sources and some experienced myself) about foundation problems and/or repairs:
1. If you have brick on the exterior, you might have to do tuckpointing. $$$
2. If you have tiles inside, the tiles will crack. And if they have to drill holes for interior piers, you pretty much will have to replace the entire flooring. $$$$
3. You'll have drywall cracks, so you should factor in drywall repairs and repainting. $$$
4. If the doors were adjusted to a crooked foundation, you might need to readjust or even buy new doors. $$$
5. A hydrostatic plumbing test is recommended to be performed by a licensed plumber post Foundation work. Plumbing leaks may void warranty. Old houses have cast iron pipers that will disintegrate (because of age and/or foundation shift). You'll have to replace all plumbing at that point. $$$$
6. Depending on how bad is the foundation state (how many inches you have to correct), is very possible the sewer line will disconnect/break in the horizontal portions. Repairing that requires tunneling, a repair that could be very expensive. $$$$
7. If the driveway- garage differential is big (for example, the driveway slab is sunken and you need to raise the house, you'll end up with an even bigger gap after repair) you might need to replace the driveway. $$$$
8. If you are dealing with an addition built on 12" beams (or if the original foundation is old and not built to current standards), the repair company might not be able to push the piers down to refusal depth or psi due to the beam not taking the load, thus leveling it, but not guaranteeing it will not continue to move in the future, thus not providing warranty.
9. The owner may be required to provide a structural engineers evaluation prior to warranty work.
10. Read the fine print in the foundation repair contract: Damages to the property, interior and exterior as a result of the foundation movement are not covered, during and after works completion. This usually includes but is not limited to PLUMBING, flooring, landscape, utility lines and masonry. The foundation repair does not cover any repairs that may be needed to the home during and after works completion. And you'll have new cracks in unexpected places, old cracks that will not close, but instead enlarge. My suggestion is to add at least 25% to the cost of the foundation repair as mitigation to the problems that will come from the foundation repair.
11. The foundation repair company salespeople (and even owners, in some case) of structure companies are not engineers and though they may be right most of the time, there will be gaps in their assumptions. Unless it's a small job with an obvious solution, get an engineer ($250+) to look at it and sketch up a scope of work for a contractor to do.
12. Many foundation problems have water as a root cause - be that infiltration in a crawl space, drainage around the site, cracked sewer line or water line. Before solving the foundation you might want to get to the root cause of the foundation issue and resolve it, otherwise you might repair the foundation for nothing.
13. If you repair the foundation on only select places, don't be surprised if the other sides will suddenly start "working". If the house is stabilized on one side, you might get cracks in the other side soon after. In other words, if you do a foundation repair, it's better to get the whole house stabilized and the warranty for the whole house.
If anyone has more experience with any of these, please correct me if mistaken.
Thanks @Costin I. for the detailed info. We've been shying away from properties with foundation issues and this is all good information to have should we consider one in the future.
"If anyone has more experience with any of these, please correct me if mistaken."
Wow, am impressed, son :)
Don't see that many informed factual comments here (including mine).