Some of you may be considering purchasing a home with prior foundation repairs. The seller or one or more real estate agents may tout the “lifetime” warranty provided by the foundation repair contractor as your protection against future problems. However, many buyers discover unfortunately after closing that the warranties provided by foundation repair contractors may not provide the protection they thought.
Before you decide to purchase the home, it is highly recommended that you have your own independent engineer inspect the home prior to purchase to provide guidance regarding whether the repair appropriately addressed the prior foundation movement and resulting damage. Further, you should obtain a copy of the “lifetime” warranty, and then discuss with the foundation repair contractor what this warranty does and does not cover. Many foundation repair contractors take the position that the warranty covers only “settlement” (i.e., downward movement) and only in the limited area where the prior underpinning was installed, and provides no protection for resulting damage (i.e. sheetrock cracks, etc.) caused by future movement.
Further, you should ask the foundation repair contractor about the warranty history of the prior repair – for example, did the prior owner complain about the quality of the job, or ask for additional work after it was initially completed? Further, you may discover that the foundation repair contractor recommended to the seller that additional underpinning be installed, and that the seller refused this additional work and instead decided to sell the home and not pay for this additional recommended work.