Home Repairs and Foundation Costs

stock-photo-3164773-executive-home-bar-and-entertainment-roomMany of the home repairs done before selling a home are worth the money you spend.  Other jobs do not have the ROI we may want.  If you are buying a home or selling one, there are many things you can do to it without breaking your wallet.

  • If you kitchen is outdated and the cabinets are in need of replacement, it would be wise for you to bite the bullet and remodeled your kitchen cabinets.  If you do not have to replace the appliances, it will save you a lot of money when remodeling your kitchen.
  • A fresh coat of pain will brighten the home a great deal without spending too much doing it.
  • Uncluttered your home.  It doesn’t cost you any money, and it will give you great joy to see your home clean and with so much space.

Whether you’re  selling or buying a home, do your homework first.  It can save you time and money to learn a few things before entering into a long term contract.

To read more about this and other topics follow the links below.

Ask Will: Estimating the Real Cost of an As-Is Home

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A  column is written by Will Wiard, Arlington-based real estate broker, voted one of Washington’s Best Realtors of 2015 by Washingtonian. Please submit your questions via email.

Q: My wife and I recently discovered a home that we love, but are concerned about the state of disrepair because it is being sold as-is. What do you suggest for ball-parking repairs before finalizing our offer?

A: Regardless of the type of home you are buying–new construction, remodeled or as-is–there are typically minor repairs, at minimum, that will be flagged by a home inspector. When buying an “as-is” home, regardless of the condition, the buyer is not entitled to a home inspection or to any fixes or credits from the seller.

There are several reasons a seller would list the home in this category, but the most common is the need for repairs to the property that can be costly.

If you’re interested in buying a home as-is, or even a fixer-upper, it’s a good idea to get an estimate for the costs of the repairs before making an offer. Here’s what I recommend.

How Much Does Foundation Repair Cost?

There are two basic types of foundation problems: cracks and displacement from unstable soil, tree roots, earthquakes and/or faulty construction; and deteriorating concrete or mortar from age, flooding or other ongoing exposure to moisture, and/or a substandard concrete mix in the original construction. The signs of foundation failure include uneven flooring, cracked walls, cracked tiles and windows or doors not opening or closing properly.Typical costs:

  • It’s crucial to determine the exact nature of the problem. An inspection and report by a structural engineer runs about $300-$800; if needed, a soil report by a geotechnical engineer can be $500-$2,000, depending on the complexity of the problem and the level of detail needed in the analysis.
  • Repairing a simple crack in a poured concrete foundation can cost about $400-$800, depending on the extent of the damage. Replacing an entire basement floor can add another $200-$400. And in earthquake-prone areas, reinforcing the foundation with anchor bolts runs $1,500-$3,500 or more.
  • Poor soil causes the most damage. Most foundation repairs involve some form of underpinning — installing concrete or steel piers to support the foundation on deeper, more stable soil. The cost depends on the type of piers used, how deep they have to go to reach stable soil and local labor rates. Piers are placed 6-8 feet apart, and can cost $1,000-$3,000 each. Underpinning just one corner of a house can run $3,500-$5,000 and up.

How to Tell Your Home Needs Foundation Repair

We all know that your home cannot be stronger than its foundation and this is the reason every homeowner needs to give careful attention to foundation repair. The problem that most people face is that they ignore some subtle or not so subtle warning signs such as settling, sinking or cracks. When homeowners fail to treat these signs as emergencies, the problem will continue to persist and deteriorate to such an extent that they finally jeopardize the safety as well as structural integrity of your home. If the problems at the foundation are left to increase in their severity, a homeowner ends up spending too much money in foundation repairs than they would have spent ordinarily.

Signs of foundation trouble: Concrete is prone to cracks by its nature but this should not be an excuse to ignore foundation cracking in your home. Even that small hairline crack, when not attended to early enough, can very easily expand to cause more trouble at a later date. There are different causes for foundation cracks that include some minor unnoticeable earthquakes, issues to do with ground water, unstable grounds as well as the age of the house.

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