Major Home Foundation Repair: Would You List It or Fix It?
September 12, 2021
We recently asked, “Would you rather sell your home or fix any foundation issues?” Most of the 978 responses, 60 percent, said they would fix the foundation issues. Quite a few, 24 percent, said they would sell their homes. Sixteen percent weren’t sure.
When asked a similar question, “Do you think you would be better off selling your home as-is?” the responses shifted quite a bit with 39 percent saying “yes,” 40 percent saying “no,” and 21 percent saying “I’m not sure.” Let’s see, in the earlier question, 24 percent said they would sell their homes, while 39 percent said they’d be better off selling their homes. It’s clear that this is a tough question involving a hypothetical situation that could have many variables at play.
We also asked a follow-up question, “I would sell my home if the foundation repair was…” and then listed several options for costs. The response showed fairly similar selection percentages as the costs escalated until the costs hit $10,000, with 20 percent at that point, along with a further 16 percent when costs hit $50,000 electing to sell their homes. Only 13 percent held firm about not selling their homes, with another 10 percent not sure.
All these responses are an interesting contrast with our earlier survey asking, “Would you buy a home in need of foundation repairs,” where 88 percent said “no.” It would appear that those wishing to sell any home in need of foundation repairs would face a tough market.
Homeowner Concerns About Foundation Repairs
Working through the responses to our other questions on this survey revealed that 68 percent of the responses were first-time homeowners, with 53 percent owning their home five years or less. Even so, a full 78 percent of survey respondents were worried about foundation damage in their homes. The breakdown was that 22 percent were very worried, 24 percent were moderately worried, 32 percent were somewhat worried, and a blessed 22 percent were not worried at all.
Homeowner Experience With Foundation Repairs
When asked if they’ve ever dealt with foundation repairs, 55 percent said “yes.” We then asked what type of repairs, and here’s what we learned.
Experience and Impressions on Cost of Foundation Repairs
Of the 605 respondents who have experienced foundation repairs, 47 percent had costs ranging from $100 up to $1,000, 35 percent saw repair costs from $1,001 to $5,000, 13 percent registered $5,001 to $10,000, and 5 percent were above $10,000.
We asked the further question, “Do you think foundation repairs are worth the cost?” We were pleased to see that 68 percent said “yes,” with another 25 percent at “maybe” and 7 percent at “no.”
Finding a Foundation Repair Company
Another question we posed was, “How will you find a local foundation repair company to fix any damage?” Searching the web was the most popular at 44 percent, followed by “I already have a foundation repair company I like” at 28 percent, which must be closely linked with those who have already experienced home foundation repairs. Other responses included “ask a friend” at 16 percent, “look at social media” at eight percent, and “I’ll do the repairs myself” at four percent. That last one is somewhat of a concern.
From the chart above you can get a pretty good glimpse of the types of foundation damage that homeowners can expect. Given that, there are quite a few warning signs to watch for in the home. They include all those listed above plus: gaps between walls, windows, or doors, leaning or cracked chimney, bulging or bowing basement walls, and cracked cement block foundation.
We’ve also compiled a listing of the most common house foundation defects in a recent article. Here’s a quick overview:
- Sinking. Excess water around a home’s foundation from rain or flooding can saturate the soil, causing it to sink. That effect will vary at different places around the foundation, causing not only sinking but uneven sinking, including breaking up the foundation.
- Settling. Drought can have just as big an impact on the foundation. The soil will dry up and shrink. This causes the foundation to settle into the reduced level of soil. And of course, that settlement will be uneven across the foundation, causing cracks and breaks.
- Tree and shrub roots. When planted close to the home’s foundation, roots can cause significant damage. In dry conditions, they pull out moisture, causing the soil to settle. In wet conditions, the cracks created can lead to excess moisture and even flooding in basements or crawl spaces.
- Frost heave. In freezing conditions, the top layer of soil freezes quickly, followed by the lower levels. Unfortunately, that top frozen layer doesn’t allow the lower levels to expand as they freeze. This, in turn, pushes the top layer upward and puts pressure on the home’s foundation. Cracks and bulges are the inevitable consequences.
- Poor workmanship. A home’s foundation could also suffer from poor workmanship in the original construction. For example, the concrete mix could have too much water, leaving weak cement. It could also be improperly leveled, leading to big problems over time.
It’s also a good idea to watch for these in your home so you can take steps to find the cause and repair the underlying problems before they become a major headache when it comes time to sell.
Even with all this background and information, it’s best to bring in the experts before making any major decisions about selling your current home or buying a new home.
A free inspection from the country's leading foundation repair experts can help you identify what steps to take to secure your foundation and protect your home (or your future home).
Our partners across the country will complete a thorough evaluation of your foundation and recommend customized repair solutions. Contact us today for a free inspection and estimate.