Don’t Neglect Your Home’s Foundations When Considering A Renovation
Homeowners often choose the renovations they do to their home based on what will help them maximize the home’s visual appeal and the hottest trends in home design. However, while the beauty of your house will help you get more attention to the property, it is the condition of its major structures that will ultimately be the deal maker.
Potential buyers may get drawn to your home because of the brand new kitchen. However, the decision on whether to buy the home or not will depend on things like the building’s foundations. Your home’s foundation may not make it into the online pictures of the house, but it can derail all of your marketing efforts.
That is because, even when the style of your home is outdated, it is still habitable as long as its structures and systems are in good condition. Of course, making your home as attractive as possible will help it sell quicker and for more money. But improvements that merely improve the home’s appearance should never be at the expense of structural updates.
The two kinds of home renovations
Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of renovations you can do to your property:
Cosmetic improvement: Cosmetic renovations focus on giving the property a facelift. These types of projects improve the appearance of your home. But cosmetic changes do not directly affect the home’s function, even if they make it look nicer. Examples of cosmetic improvements are repainting your home, patching up walls, and replacing a door or cabinet hardware.
Functional improvements: These are changes that impact the way your home works. They address problems that limit people’s enjoyment of the property. They include substantive renovations like removing walls or adding a new room. They also comprise improvements to the home’s systems (electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems) or appliances.
But, the most important functional improvements you can make to a property are structural improvements. These address the main structural elements of the home (roof, foundations, subfloors, or load-bearing structures). Together, they aim to bring the house to standard. The number one structural improvement you can make to your home is renovating the home’s foundation.
Reasons to pay attention to your home’s foundation
The foundation is the most valuable part of the home. That is why it is called THE FOUNDATION. The home’s foundation is vital because:
- It supports the home
The entire structure of your home rests on the foundation. It is the first part of the house during construction, and the stability of the whole building depends on it. Whatever happens to the foundation will ripple through the rest of the building in one way or another.
- It anchors the home
The foundation helps your home resist all the movements happening in the soil beneath the building. Without this foundation, your home would be subject to changes in the water table, soil levels, or even the movements of the wind. A good foundation anchors your home and keeps it from slipping.
- It helps regulate the building’s temperature
The foundation is a vital part of the building envelope. It is the system that keeps your home’s temperature comfortable. Without the insulating characteristics of the foundation, you would be spending a lot more money on keeping the house warm in winter.
- It protects the home from water infiltration
The foundation serves as a barrier between the house and moisture in the external environment. A good foundation prevents water from getting beneath the home, where it can become a problem.
What happens if you don’t renovate your foundation?
It is clear why putting your home’s foundation first when doing renovations is vital. If you do other renovations at the expense of your foundations, two things are likely to happen;
Damage to the renovation you have done
A faulty foundation will damage whatever improvements you have made to your home. For instance, it can destroy your newly laid flooring. Also, if you change the cabinets or windows, a damaged foundation can force them out of alignment. A neglected foundation will also cause cracks to appear in your walls that no amount of paint or patching can fix.
The foundation will scare away buyers
Even if the foundation does not damage the improvements you made to the home, it can still interfere with your ability to sell the property. That is because when buyers discover, through their home inspection, that there are problems with the home’s foundation, they will walk away from the property.
Ignoring the home’s foundation during renovations will eventually cost you more. But by paying attention to the foundation, you can avoid wasting your money on home improvements that will not pay off in the long run.
Making foundation maintenance a part of your home maintenance routine will help you detect issues early and prevent future foundation damage. It would be best to start this today; when your home’s foundation does not show any signs of defect.
However, if your foundation is showing signs of damage, acting today can help to prevent complete foundation failure.