Starting at $225.00 Foundation damage is by far the most expensive risk encountered when purchasing an existing home. The worst-case scenario? The engineering assessment and permits alone for major foundation repair work can easily exceed $10,000 and that doesn’t include any repairs. Repairs, such as driving piles to raise a sunken portion of a house and stitching a cracked slab back together can easily cost $30,000. Possible causes for foundation damage include improperly compacted soils, expansive soils, poor grading and drainage, sinkholes, and installation errors.
We are working hard to prevent this worst-case scenario from happening to our clients by including a “slab foundation manometer measurement” in each of our single family home inspections where houses are built “slab on grade.” We offer this service at no extra charge. Structural engineers, charging $550 and up for an initial site visit, perform a similar analysis to collect key data for their reports and repair recommendations. Please note: we are not claiming to be structural engineers but there is some overlap, and we may be able to tell you when hiring one is necessary.
As mentioned above, we will perform this manometer survey on all single family homes constructed with “slab on grade” foundations*. Modern “slab foundations” are the most common foundation and flooring system used, consisting of concrete footings and subfloor. A proper installation of a slab foundation would include levelness to within about 1/2″ from one end of the structure to the other. Excellent foundation contractors actually shoot for a perfectly level installation but in reality it’s more likely to be with within a 1/2″ tolerance.