What to do Before You Improve Your Home

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 by Haley Tepool

Like most of us, you’re probably still spending more time at home than you ever have. That means, even if you hadn’t been given a mile-long “Honey-Do” or "Quarantine" list, you’re probably still noticing things that could be improved. Now seems like the perfect time to tackle those in-home projects while the weather is frigid, and it is! 

But before you spend time, money, and effort planning and redoing the kitchen, adding a bathroom, or completing the man cave, there is one important question to ask yourself...

Is my home ready for improvement?

When your home was built, the ground was leveled. The soil that was moved, which is typically called fill soil, often settles over time, causing your home's foundation to sink with it. You may not realize this, but the soil around your home puts a lot of pressure on your foundation walls. The amount of pressure varies depending on the type of soil around the home, and the amount in the soil, and how deep the foundation is under the ground. When you think about it, there is nothing on the inside of the foundation pushing back. 

When this happens, your home's foundation sinks with the settling soil, causing problems throughout the structure that make home-improvement projects a nightmare. Let’s say you are hanging drywall to finish a basement and turn it into a home theatre. If your foundation isn’t stable, that beautiful, smooth drywall can crack and gap over time as your home continues to settle from season to season, turning that fabulous man-cave into, a dark space where no one wants to be.

It’s not just basements you have to be concerned about. Foundation settlement can cause issues throughout the home, as the entire house, regardless of how many floors it has, sits on this unstable foundation. So, if you are adding a washroom on the third floor, it makes sense to stabilize your foundation first, or you risk similarly serious problems down the road. 

What now?

There are many signs and symptoms you can observe that may indicate your home is experiencing a foundation settlement problem. These signs can be seen both on the inside and outside of your home. Do any of these sound familiar in your home?

  • Stair-step cracking
  • Separating chimneys, doors, and windows
  • Drywall cracks
  • Sagging floors
  • Horizontal cracking
  • Bowing

Before you start on any home improvement project from your list, you should have your property inspected by a foundation repair expert. These inspections are FREE and no obligation, so there’s no down-side to scheduling your appointment.  You also get the opportunity to gain knowledge about your home’s particular set of issues. 

Only then can you have the confidence that your home improvement project, and any you may tackle in the future, will be a true success!

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