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Remodel Your Home or Foundation Repair: Which Should Come First?


When you first start to remodel your home, there are a lot of things to consider. Homeowners need to think about timelines, budgets, materials, décor, weather, and the ultimate goal of the project. Before beginning any remodeling project, homeowners should do their homework, including making a master list of necessary supplies, checking references for companies, being realistic about what can and can’t be DIYed, calling in professional help or favors, and mapping out the renovation-free area of your home where you can recharge without worrying about mess.
Check on your home’s foundation before starting any home remodeling project. Your foundation is the most important part of your home, and checking on its health is important for having a successful remodel and will help you protect your home’s structural integrity.

Should I Remodel or Repair First?

It’s technically possible to remodel your home before repairing its foundation. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea, and we don’t recommend it, and many experienced contractors won’t remodel a home that has significant foundation issues. Because foundation repair involves lifting the house up, sometimes by several inches, it can cause issues on the repairs that you’ve made inside of your home. Foundation cracks, fractures in brick, tile or sheetrock cracks, and damage to plumbing pipes can all happen as a result of foundation repair lifting upwards.
The same thing applies to repairs on the outside of your home. You should fix your basement wall problems before you repair your roof, for example. Your roof will probably show signs of shifting after any foundation repair. It’s a smart idea to get your foundation repair done, then call in someone to replace your roof if it needs the work done.
Fixing your foundation before doing renovations inside or outside your home can reduce the potential for damage and save you time and money.

How to Tell if You Have Foundation Problems

While it’s always worth having your foundation inspected by a foundation repair expert, there are some signs of basement wall problems that you can look for. If you notice any of these signs of a failing foundation, you should call a foundation repair expert for an inspection:

  • Visible foundation cracks or bulges
  • Water in your crawl space or basement
  • Cracked glass in your windows
  • Gaps between your walls and ceiling
  • Windows or doors that are difficult to open or close
  • Sloped or cracked floors
  • Leaning or cracked walls, especially over doorways or windows

At a minimum, homeowners should have a certified foundation repair expert walk through their home to determine if their foundation is failing and needs work. The expert will be able to give you an estimate of what needs to be done, what factors are contributing to the foundation failure, and what parts of your home might be most affected by the foundation repair.

But I’ve Already Done My Remodel!

There’s a reason experienced contractors generally don’t work on homes with failing foundations: it’s a lot of time, money, and effort to redo the work. While the exact repairs that need to be done will depend on the extent of your remodel as well as the location of the construction, if you’ve already done some remodeling work and then realize your foundation has issues, you’ll need to call a contractor. Your kitchen might need countertops, cabinets, and the refrigerator releveled; bathrooms might also need countertops and the shower pan releveled and the plumbing repaired, and some doors might need to be reseated and floors fixed. It’s more expensive to correct the breaks in a recently remodeled home that happen because of foundation issues than it is to fix the foundation before starting a project.

Acculevel Can Repair your Basement Wall Problems

A successful home remodel starts with a solid foundation and ends with a beautiful, structurally sound home that keeps its value for years to come. The foundation repair experts at Acculevel can help homeowners diagnose and repair the foundation cracks and other problems that can hinder your remodeling progress. We have repair options to suit your basement or crawl space and the years of knowledge and trust to make sure we don’t have to come back for more repairs. Contact Acculevel for a free home inspection before your remodeling project begins.

Kelly Kater

Over her twenty year career, Kelly has worked in a wide variety of fields: secondary education, nursing, biology, elder care, the postal service, multicultural development, and academia. She has developed a skill for translating industry-specific jargon into everyday language. Her goal is to share the knowledge and experience of the Acculevel team with homeowners, in a way that is both engaging and informative.

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