Home Additions and Foundation Problems

Most people decide to add to their homes because of the need for more space. A home addition makes it possible to add an area almost any way you want. It is a great investment into a bigger home without having to move. It will let you accommodate aging in-laws, make room for a new member of the family, or simply have more space to yourself.

Among the most common home additions are living rooms, master suites, and more open, bigger kitchens. An added living room helps families feel less cramped, enabling more engaging family time.
Master suites let you free up an old bedroom for guests or a new baby while providing you with the sanctuary you’ve always dreamed of.

The danger of home additions is the risk that lack of foundation planning or division between old and new structures can lead to costly and frustrating foundation issues. Read on to learn more. 

Layout Change

An open-space plan layout is a common home addition because it’s the best and most cost-effective way to give yourself more space. Adding space to the kitchen is crucial to implementing this concept. Usually, this is approached by incorporating the kitchen into the living room and dividing the space by means of aesthetic dividers. You get a spacious yet defined home as a result.

Adding to Your Home Before Repairing the Foundation: Why Shouldn't You?

It is never a good idea to make an addition to your house before performing foundation repair, especially if this repair is long overdue. The work that needs to be performed to fix your foundation depends on the root cause of the problems and the extent of the damage. It might be necessary to raise your house by a few inches. When a foundation repair company comes to perform the lifting, this could result in notable breaks in various surfaces.

How a Home Addition can Make Foundation Issues Worse

Older houses have been settling in for years. Many homeowners don’t understand that a home addition cannot exist in and of itself. The current structure is affected by any new addition or attachment. The addition needs time to settle and shift as the older structure stays still.

You might decide to add to the roof of your current house. When it rains, water will pour onto the roof and penetrate the ground around the addition. That part of the addition will sink if it gets very dry and the soil around that space dries up.

As a result, there will be a slight rise in the addition. This rise won’t be noticed immediately, but it will be sufficient to exert pressure on the original structure.

Causes of Damage to Foundations When Performing Home Additions

A few things can result in foundation damage during an addition or expansion project. In some cases, the initial structure was not put up by the same person the homeowner contracted for their home addition project. Lack of familiarity with the building’s structure can lead to foundation damage.

Lack of Professionalism

The contractor’s level of professionalism might also play a role. Some contractors will choose to cut corners to increase their revenue. They might erect footing at shallower depths, use insufficient steel reinforcements, or use lower-quality materials than agreed and paid for.

Many contractors who carry out real estate property addition projects do not install spread footing for the walls of the new foundation before mixing and pouring the concrete. Then, the foundation starts to settle, which is most noticeable when it gets hot.

Water Seepage

Water seepage is another possible cause of foundation issues. As you add more space to your home, the roof must accommodate larger volumes of water when it rains. It’s essential to determine whether the builder considered this and increased the size of the downspouts correspondingly. Water might seep into the soil around the house, causing saturation.

In the long term, the lack of proper gutters and downspouts can compromise the structural strength and integrity of your foundation.

Foundation shifting can result in damage throughout the home. It can trigger cracks in your roof, your walls, your plumbing pipes, your countertops, the exterior, your floors, and more. You risk suffering huge losses if you make an addition before having the foundation repaired.

Signs of Foundation Problems

Damage to a foundation does not occur without warning. There are some obvious signs as well as a few more subtle ones. Before arranging for a contractor to perform an addition to your home, look for the following signs:

Other Red Flags

  • Other red flags include windows that don’t close or open properly, doors that suddenly get stuck, wall cracks, and wall bowing in the basement.
  • A window that’s become hard to close or open might have an underlying problem. It could show that your foundation is shifting.
  • A door that used to work fine suddenly starts to stick. Now, you have to push or lift it to close it. This indicates a foundation problem.
  • Albeit being an easy fix, wall cracks can indicate you have a much bigger issue on your hands. A crack that you or someone else patched up might reappear as the foundations keep shifting.
  • Another sign of foundation problems is when parts of your crown molding start to separate. Whether you’ve completed a home addition or are planning one, this issue needs to be addressed.
  • One final sign is bowing basement walls. During heavy rainfall, the soil around the house becomes saturated with water and begins to push up against the foundation. It pulls away when it dries out. With time, this cycle can lead to deterioration of the basement walls, manifesting in visible bowing.
  • If your home has any of these indicators, we recommend contacting a foundation repair company before planning an addition. The foundation expert will inspect your premises and tell you if your foundation needs repair. If they find the foundation safe and unproblematic, you can launch your addition project with peace of mind.

What If You Already Completed the Addition?

Having already completed the addition is no reason to postpone foundation repair. While it’s hardly budget-friendly to hire a foundation specialist after spending a lot of money on remodeling, it’s always best to remedy foundation issues as soon as possible. The more you put it off, the more you’ll ultimately end up paying. The foundation expert will come for an inspection, determine what the problem is, and propose a solution. The contractor can identify areas that could sustain damage during the initial assessment.

Working with the Best Foundation Repair Company

A trusted and reliable foundation repair company can alleviate your concerns. Stop worrying about foundation problems. Foundations First is the expert to rely on. Our professional and experienced team is committed to helping homeowners sleep peacefully, knowing their property lies on solid ground.

Foundations First is a family-owned and operated business that provides quality foundation services in and around Maryland. We have built a strong presence in the area over the last two decades and established a golden performance standard in the industry.