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Not All Inspections Are Created Equal

There are many inspections involved with real estate transactions as well as home renovation and repair projects. Whatever your specific need, it’s important to keep in mind that not all inspections are created equal. A standard home inspection as well as a pest inspection are an essential step in the process of buying or selling a home.

Similarly, a structural or foundation inspection is a vital step that should never be overlooked by a homeowner prior to starting a renovation project. In this article we’ll tell you what to expect to get out of each of these three inspections. We’ll also tell you why you should never skimp on a free yearly foundation inspection if you are being mindful of your home’s health.

Structural Engineer Foundation Inspection

Three Different Types of Inspections for Homeowners

Inspection #1 – The “Home Inspection”

Home inspections are lent by home inspectors who will do an inspection of the structural condition of the home to include items such as electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and roofing.

A Typical Home Inspection Lasts 2-3 Hours

To become a home inspector in the state of Virginia, you must complete the following requirements:

What is Not Included in a Home Inspection Report?

It’s important to remember that this is a visual inspection only. Inspectors will not move, cut into, or test any structures or items within a property. A home inspector will not inspect foundation footings, meaning there is no analysis of your home’s main support system… it’s feet!

Inspection #2 – The Wood Destroying Organisms Inspection (ie, “Termite Inspection”)

The termite inspection evaluates damage caused by pesky little termite and other wood destroying organisms. In Virginia, the termite inspector will provide a report detailing condition of the home and any structural damage related to termites that he/she is trained to identify. Additionally, a termite inspection will point out conditions that could lead to new termite infestation or support existing infestation, including firewood being stored outside and grade that does not slope away from the foundation.

Important! A Typical Termite Inspection Lasts 30 Minutes

Always hire an inspector that works for a termite or pest control company that is licensed.

In states such as Virginia where termites are common, potential homebuyers will be required to have a termite inspection especially if a loan is being secured. For instance, a VA Loan will require a termite inspection in the state of Virginia.

Fun Fact: Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year.

Be aware that termite damage is hard to detect by the naked untrained eye. Furthermore, termites can cause damage to the wood members of your home for years before the signs are apparent to your untrained eye. Protect the health of your home by having a yearly licensed pest control company out to service your home.

Inspection #3 – The Structural Inspection (The “Foundation Inspection”)

The foundation inspection is an investigation of the underside of your home and the health of all structural foundation elements. Whether your home be on a crawl space, basement, or slab, a proper foundation inspection by a licensed contractor experienced in driving push piers hundreds of feet below the soil to firm stratum is recommended at least once a year. Not all crawl space repair companies have the expertise, technical equipment and means of doing deep-driven piering and structural repair… But we do!

A Foundation Inspection Lasts 2-5 Hours

How Often Should I Have My Foundation Inspected?

Virginia homeowners are urged to have their foundations inspected at least once a year due to everchanging soil content that’s constantly impacted by the coastal waterways surrounding it. Virginia soil ranges from sand particles in areas within a 5 mile radius of the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay. Soil content in most areas across Tidewater is also rich in clay content, which increases the shrinking and swelling potential of the soil beneath your home.

Who Should Perform My Foundation Inspection?

You wouldn’t let just anyone perform surgery on your body, so why let just anyone perform surgery on your home? Foundation repair involves a very specific skillset, equipment, and expertise that many companies in Virginia don’t have. Foundation damage should also be evaluated by a structural engineer and licensed contractor. AMC911 offers an in-house engineering team that reviews all repair plans prior to executing them.

Foundation repair is not a job for amateurs…

In fact, every time we see someone attempt a DIY foundation repair, we die a little inside.

Is Foundation Repair Worth It?

Foundation repair ALWAYS increases home value… True story!

Recent studies in Virginia show that a failed foundation can detract 10-20% of a home’s total value. To put this into perspective, let’s imagine you are attempting to sell your homee worth $350k but the foundation is in less than stellar condition. You may only receive $280k for your home – that’s a $70k difference. A typical foundation repair by AMC911 costs around $15k. If you utilize AMC911 in this scenario for your foundation repair, you could be up $55k… Now that’s what we like to call “never settling.”

Additionally, it’s important for homeowners to keep in mind that remodels equate to higher property values. A kitchen renovation or bathroom remodel can increase your home’s value exponentially. However, here’s the kicker… Remodels implemented before a home with a failing foundation is stabilized are absolutely useless. Those cracks in the drywall you patched up will come back with a vengeance. Those new cabinets you installed will begin to pull away like the old ones. And the floors you “fixed” by self-leveling them will continue to sag over time.

There Is A Solution… AMC911.

Foundation push piers, helical piers, slab piers, and concrete underpinning by AMC911.

Not only will AMC provide a permanent stabilization plan to meet your unique needs, but we will add value to your home by warrantying the work for the life of the structure. This means that your warranty is transferrable in the event of a real estate transaction. 

It’s Important To Know The Simple Signs Your Home Has a Foundation Problem

If you are experiencing one or more of the following signs of foundation failure, your house is most likely making a 911 call. Call AMC911 Foundation & Crawl Space Repair for your free inspection once a year… After all, your home may settle, but YOU don’t have to!
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