House Settling vs. Foundation Problems: What to Do About Them


Buying a house almost always means you sign on for undertaking some home renovation projects. Maybe the bathroom looks like a transplant from the 1990s or the appliances in the kitchen make you cringe.

Something that most people don’t think that much about is the foundation. If the home inspection signed off on it, the foundation is fine. Right?

Anything you see or hear after that must just be the house settling. It’s not always obvious when you’re dealing with the house settling vs foundation problems. If you’re thinking that you’ve foundation problems or settling, keep reading to learn what to do.

What is Settling?

The term settling isn’t entirely clear-cut. Broadly speaking, it’s the term used for the foundation sinking into the ground over time.

Almost all houses will settle a little bit over time. That’s when you get those occasional creaks and groans in your home. That’s normal and generally not a cause for serious concern.

There is also a more severe form of settling where the home drops several inches over a very short period of time. That typically only happens if construction occurred during a time of weather extremes, such as a drought, that changed the normal soil composition.

What to Do About Settling

Assuming that your home settles more or less evenly, you shouldn’t experience serious problems. You may see small cracks in your walls or brickwork. While these largely cosmetic problems are an annoyance, you can generally get them repaired by a general contractor.

What Are Foundation Problems?

Foundation problems are very different animals. These often occur when the house settles unevenly. Some signs of foundation problems include cracks in the concrete slab, serious cracks in your brickwork, and uneven flooring.

House foundation problems not only impact the functionality of your home, but they can make selling the home difficult. Although, there are companies, such as BrothersBuyHomes, that will buy houses with foundation problems.

What to Do About Foundation Problems

When you face a serious foundation problem, there aren’t a lot of options. You can’t really ignore the problem because it will probably get worse over time.

The first thing you’ll need to do learn more about what the repair process will entail, as this will depend on what type of foundation your home. In most cases, you will need a foundation repair specialist to carry out the work needed. These specialists will assess the damage and then recommend a course of action to resolve the issue. As a general rule, foundation repairs are pricey at around $4,700.

House Settling vs Foundation Problems and You

As a homeowner, the house settling vs foundation problems question is one where you want settling. Settling generally means minor cosmetic problems that come with relatively minor repairs.

Foundation problems are serious issues that can affect selling your home and come with a steep repair cost. If you spot signs of a foundation problem, it’s not something you should put off. Foundation problems typically get worse over time.

You will likely need a foundation specialist for the job.

Looking for more home maintenance and repair tips? Check out some of the other posts over in our Real Estate & Household section.


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About Marc Wallace

I'm never too busy to share my passion. I've created this page to help people learn more about business, finance and real estate. Besides all the serious stuff, I'm also a man that values family and healthy relationships. I hope you find my content insightful.

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