The house behind and across the alley from mine is up for sale again. A fellow named Bobby used to live there but he just left one day. I know Bobby had once owned the house because he had converted the garage into a den, added a swimming pool and had made other improvements you just don’t do if you’re renting.
However, hard times came upon Bobby (largely self inflicted) and as luck would have it, the foundation went bad just when he needed to sell the house he could no longer afford to keep.
He didn’t get the slab foundation repaired and therefore the house did not sell. There are just too many other properties for sale around here for buyers to even consider a house with a bad foundation.
So the bank forecloses and a house flipper buys it. Mr. House Flipper wants to spend a minimal amount of money to fix it up for re-sale and hires El Cheapo No Name Foundation Repair and Lawn Care to repair the slab. These guys show up after hours and on weekends to work on the foundation. They installed drilled piers and I had my doubts at the time about the quality of work.
Those suspicions were confirmed by a handyman I spoke with who had been hired by Mr. House Flipper to repair cracks in the walls and ceilings that had already been fixed once after the alleged foundation repair. He showed me where the floor plates of two walls were again coming apart at the corners. It was easy to see the long crack that had developed again in the ceiling of the same room. He said the foundation repair job was “terrible.”
The lesson here is to pick your foundation repair contractor carefully. Be suspicious of anyone who says they can fix your slab on the weekends for a ridiculously low price. Get at least three different bids from established contractors. Hire an independent structural engineer with experience in residential foundations. It’ll cost several hundred dollars but could save you thousands in the long run.
And just say “no” to El Cheapo No Name Foundation Repair and Taxidermy Inc.