Is foundation shifting affecting your Phoenix home?
Posted in Foundation Issues, Slab Foundation, Phoenix, Phoenix Real Estate Market on November 18, 2021
Foundation repair In PhoenixFirst, don’t panic. Cracks in your walls or foundation can mean a few different things.
Here’s a hypothetical situation: A Phoenix family finds cracks in their drywall. They think it’s a sign the soil under their home has dried out and shrunk, that the house is settling deeper into the earth, and the changes are putting a strain on the building’s structure.
They could hire a contractor who agrees with them and raises the foundation. It might fix the problem. But it’s also possible that there isn’t a problem with the foundation. Sometimes you’ll find cracks in your walls that aren’t a symptom of an impending crisis.
The cracks could also mean the soil under the family’s home is rising, not sinking. A foundation stressed by expanding soil is a more difficult problem to diagnose, but it can often be cheaper to fix.
If the homeowners act on their first hunch, they will spend a lot of money, disrupt their lives, and they might still have a foundation that is silently shifting out of place.
The moral: Slow down. Figure out what’s happening and then decide what you should do next. A foundation repair in Phoenix could be very expensive. So, it’s best to be certain of what you need to do.
Is my foundation damaged?You may not even have a problem with your foundation. That would be nice, right?
There are several signs of foundation damage you should look for:
- Stair-step cracks. These show up on the sides of brick and masonry homes. They’re a classic sign of structural movement.
- Vertical cracks. Some can be harmless, but others could mean there’s a serious problem. If you see these, it will usually require an expert to diagnose what is going on with your home.
- Cracks in drywall. These usually appear above windows and door frames and run at an angle. It is a sign that your house is literally shearing the drywall apart.
- Cracked tiles. If you notice a cracked tile — or more telling, a row of cracked tiles — grab a 4-foot level. A level will help you find the floor’s slope, and the level’s straight edge will help you learn what caused the crack. If the straight edge shows everything is flat, it’s likely a separation or contraction crack. That’s not necessarily anything to worry about. If one side of the crack is sloping, it could mean that part of the home is sinking – that’s a problem
- Sticking doors and windows. If it’s difficult to open and close your door or – conversely – you’re noticing more daylight than usual coming through the crack above the door, that could mean the shifting foundation has begun to affect the wall and doorway.
What’s the problem?It’s understandable to see a big crack in your tile and assume the worst. However, you can’t know whether you have a foundation problem until you consult an expert.
In his book, Which Way is My Foundation Moving, Bob Brown advises homeowners to call a structural engineer before hiring anyone to make a foundation repair. Brown says often homes suffering from heave – expanding soil – show symptoms similar to homes standing on settling soil.
But Brown says many contractors are trained to diagnose and fix foundation settling. As a result, he says engineers are more likely to follow industry standards designed to identify the cause of foundation damage.
The Foundation Performance Association and Texas Section of American Society of Civil Engineers have standard procedures for evaluating foundations. You should ask anyone who tells you that you have serious foundation damage what standard they followed in their assessment.
How much does a foundation repair cost?Now that you’ve confirmed you have a problem, what you pay will depend on what you need to fix. This is going to be expensive, but it’s not all bad.
Let’s start with an optimistic scenario. First, we looked up cost estimates for a range of foundation repairs published by homeadvisor.com, Bob Brown’s company – Arizona Foundation Solutions – and the home improvement pricing tool Angi – formerly Angie’s List.
If you only need to repair some minor cracks in your foundation, the price could be as low as $250. However, major cracks can cost up to $800 to repair. Unfortunately, the estimates for more extensive work are more expensive.
If your foundation is leaking, you may need to pay between $2,000 and $7,000.
Fixing a foundation that is settling or sinking into the ground may require workers to raise your house to its original height using pillars called piers. This could cost between $4,000 to $5,000.
Arizona Foundation Solutions says on average, it costs their customers between $8,000 to $15,000 to fix a foundation, but the costs vary for each customer.
You have more than one optionYou’re the only person who can decide the best course of action for your house and your budget.
If you’re planning to stay in your home for a long time or if you’re trying to sell it in the best possible condition, it might be worth it to pay for a foundation repair in Phoenix.
Just be sure not to jump the gun. First, identify the problem. Then, make sure you hire the right expert to help you diagnose what’s wrong with your house.
If an engineer following accepted standards tells you that the foundation needs to be fixed, think about your end goals and the cost of repairs.
If you’re hoping to sell your house fast and you don’t want to pay for a foundation repair, consider selling your Phoenix house to We Buy Ugly Houses® Phoenix.
We buy houses fast “as is” in nearly any condition. A lot of home buyers are going to walk away from a home with obvious foundation issues without thinking twice.
Our independent home buyers living and working near you can buy your house even if the foundation is settling or rising.
Maybe you’ve inherited a house with foundation damage. Maybe you’re trying to sell your house fast to avoid foreclosure, and the foundation is scaring away buyers. Ask us about getting a fair cash offer.
We’re America’s #1 home buyer, and we can make you a fast, fair cash offer.