Why You Should Not Rely On A Foundation Repair Contractor – Non Contractural Issues
More Thoughts On Using Foundation Repair Contractors In Lieu Of An Engineer
Last week I discussed why I think buyers are ignoring the sales contract when they have a foundation repair contractor look at the foundation in lieu of a licensed engineer.
This video discusses some additional reasons why it is not a good idea to get a foundation contractor involved in the inspection phase.
The credibility issue.
First there is a credibility issue. A foundation contractor, like any trades person, has an obvious financial interest in performing the work. For this reason alone, he or she cannot be said to be unbiased and independent.
The seller will know this and almost certainly consider any recommendation for repair to be biased and not credible.
The time issue.
Second, if the buyer does not retain an engineer at the start of his option period, they may find that they need a foundation report when they have only a day or two left before the option period expires.
Contractors make sales proposals, not reports.
Third. bear in mind that repair contractors do not make reports. They write sales proposals. The proposals usually offer no reasonable explanation why as to why foundation repair is recommended.
Fourth, any foundation repair proposal will be contingent on the owner accepting the risk of damage to his property caused by the repair process. There is no limitation on the nature or amount of damage he must accept. No rational or even semi-rational seller would do this.
Repair contractors have no special legal or ethical obligation to their clients.
Fifth, Professional engineers have a legal and ethical obligation to be a faithful agent of their client. Repair contractors have no such obligation.
Repair contractors warranty their piers or piles; they do not warranty your repaired foundation.
Sixth, the normal warranty covers only the piers or piles they install. It does not cover the foundation. Their only obligation is to adjust their piers or piles. They do not guarantee that the foundation will be level or stable.
They only warranty that their piers / piles will not settle more than a specified amount.
The reality is that the problem is not settlement. It is almost always heave, the opposite of settlement. Yet repair piers and piles are useless against heave. That can only be solved by identifying the source and correcting it. The source is usually under-slab plumbing leakage, poor drainage, tree issues or poor watering practices.
Seven, lifting the perimeter of the foundation may provide temporary relief but it also can make it easier for moisture to accumulate underneath the slab eventually making the problem worse, not better. In addition lifting the foundation can pull under-slab sewer plumbing apart making the problem far worse that it would have been had nothing been done.
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