Posted by Steven Sawyer on 5/19/2019

Buying a property is one of the best decisions a person can make; it is also a great way to invest. After spending a lot of money to buy or build on a property, the condition of the house should be paramount. Having to deal with foundation issues can be daunting; it can take a lot of money to repair a damaged foundation.

The foundation of a home is what holds all other structures in place. If the foundation was laid incorrectly or without the proper tests and procedures, it could cause problems for the owner in the future. The types of foundation are the pier, beam, and concrete. It's best to know what kind was used for your property to look out for tell-tale signs of weakness or deterioration of the foundation.

A damaged foundation is a result of various environmental elements and stress like expanding and contracting soil, a terrible drainage system or excessive moisture. This stress over time causes the foundation to begin to weaken, resulting in uneven floors in the house, cracks on the walls and gaps in exterior doors.

The following are signs that indicate that you are likely having foundation issues:

Cracks in the walls.

A crack in the wall can be a sign of a foundation problem. If you notice floor cracks, a broken chimney, or wall fissures in your house, this might be your first sign of a damaged foundation.

Sinking floor. 

Have you noticed that some parts of your property are falling? Have them checked out to be sure it's not a foundation problem. One part of the house over time will be lower than the other if a sinking or settling floor is left unattended too long. Sinking or settling occurs when the ground the property is built on begins to collapse under the weight of the structure. Areas of the house that used to be even would begin to sag or dip. You would notice that such areas will not be on the same level as other parts on the property. It could be as a result of soil shift, humidity from water seepage or poor drainage system. 

Doors that don’t open or close properly. 

Another tell-tale sign of foundation issues is when the interior doors begin to stick or drag. Exterior doors may frequently leave space at the edge creating an uneven appearance.

Gaps around window frames. 

Did you suddenly notice gaps around your window or door? A faulty foundation can be the cause. Double-hung windows will be difficult to close because of the unevenness and inability to align the sash correctly.

Dampness in the basement.

Is your basement or crawl space becoming damp without any apparent source of moisture? Damp basement can cause a lot of problems like a moldy smell, mold growth, and uneven or saggy floors. 

Ask a professional engineer or contractor to help you investigate these signs to ascertain if it is a foundation problem. Discuss how you might go about fixing it and explore different options. Most of these evaluations are usually free and can save you thousands of dollars.




Tags: renovations   how to   homeowner  
Categories: renovation   how to   homeowner  


Posted by Steven Sawyer on 2/10/2019

Doing a home improvement or renovation is a great way to add value to your home while learning something new. If you decide to DIY, you can enlist the help of your family and learn together.

But, when you’re taking on a task you’ve never done before, there’s a lot that can go wrong. You might go over budget, or the project might take significantly longer than expected. Sometimes we start jobs that we don’t have the expertise (or permits) to finish and have to call in a professional sinking more time and money into what was supposed to be an inexpensive renovation.

To help you avoid some of these common pitfalls, we’ve provided these tips for running a successful home improvement project so you can focus on your renovation and not on the headaches that come with it.

1. Know when to call the experts

Undertaking a do-it-yourself project can be fun and rewarding. However, some tasks are better left to the professionals. Plumbing and electrical mistakes, in particular, can be dangerous and costly if you get it wrong. You don’t want to disregard the safety of you, your family, and your belongings just to save money on hiring a professional.

2. Call the best expert for the job

Call multiple professionals for a quote before accepting an offer.

If you received what seems a very low quote for a job, make sure to call other experts in the industry to see how much they would charge for the job. Getting an unusually low offer could be a sign that the contractor will rush the project or use cheap materials.

Alternatively, if you receive a quote that seems too high, the contractor may have a busy schedule or might not really want the job, so they’ve offered you a price they don’t expect you to take.

Regardless of who you choose, see if you can find reviews and testimonials to make sure you’ve selected a contractor who is professional and has good customer feedback.

3. Aim high with your budget

When homeowners take on a renovation, they tend to underestimate the costs. To avoid being shocked by going over budget, estimate what you think the total costs would be and then at another twenty percent. That twenty percent could account for damaged building materials, mistakes, or last-minute changes and customizations--all are frequent on DIY projects.

4. Don’t work without a design or blueprint

Even for simple home improvement projects, it’s best to start out with a plan. Having detailed measurements and drawings to refer to will help you avoid costly mistakes. We’ve all felt the temptation to “eyeball it” when working on a project--taking the extra few minutes to measure and refer to your plan will save you time in the long run.

5. Relax and focus on the results

Home improvement projects can be a source of frustration for many families. If you aren’t an expert, it’s easy to get angry when things aren’t going as you planned. If you find yourself frequently hitting a wall-literally or figuratively--step back from the project and refocus on the end goal, improving your home for years to come.




Categories: Home improvement   renovation   DIY