According to a MSNBC poll, 81 percent of Americans say their home is their best long-term investment. Most will borrow thousands of dollars to afford this purchase and continue to pour money into their homes as the years go by. In fact, almost 40 percent of most Americans’ annual budgets goes toward housing. Thus, people want to build or purchase a home that is a good investment for the money. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Real estate . . . managed with reasonable care is about the safest investment in the world.”
This may be true, but a house, in order to be a safe and even lucrative investment, requires common-sense features – certain elements that are crucial. One, of course, is expertly installed footings and foundations. The strength of a home is its foundation. The primary purpose is to maintain structural integrity: to keep a home standing upright, level, and stable. If people build or purchase homes on poor foundations, the structures above them might never be sound. Most likely, improving the foundations will result in significant expense.
If the foundation is unsound – has shifted, settled, or sank in locations – every aspect of the home can be compromised: water and sewage, the home’s windows, its cabinetry, the electrical system, the basement, and more. In other words, any flaws in the foundation or mistakes made during its installation will worsen from the ground up. The term for this is compounding defects: one defect leads to another defect and so on.
A flawed foundation also can be dangerous to the people who dwell inside a home. The foundation must be able to carry the “dead” weight – the structure itself. Yet, it also must be strong enough to carry the “live” weight – everything homeowners will add to their houses as years go by, including structural attachments. If the foundation cannot bear these various types of weight, then the home truly can be dangerous. Also, Mother Nature plays a part with flooding, soil erosion, high winds, and more. Clearly, expertly installed footings and foundation are crucial to the quality and safety of the home.
Rock Foundations of Fenton, Michigan, has been expertly installing the highest quality foundations for years. Strong foundations require skillfully placed footings, which are of crucial importance to foundation construction. Usually made of concrete with rebar reinforcement, footings are poured into an excavated trench. They support the foundation and prevent sinking and settling. Thus, the knowledge and expertise of Rock Foundations are critical for outstanding results.
For example, specifications must be perfect. The quality of the entire house depends on the bottom of the building. When specifications are incorrect, adjustments must be made that affect many aspects of the ongoing construction. To assure that doesn’t happen, Rock Foundations uses laser technology. Therefore, all specifications will be perfect: Every corner and elevation will be correct for each home’s unique plan, level, and plumb.
Additionally, the type of soil must be taken into account. The experts at Rock Foundations have decades of experience analyzing soil, especially troublesome soil like soft clay or soft zones that can result in weakened bearing capacity. Even one inch of settling can lead to cracks in plaster, tile, or masonry. Rock Foundations will assess the soil types surrounding a home – analyzing their moisture content and soil stability – while also inspecting the conditions and determining the needed depth, width, and placement of the footings. This work cannot be done by any contractor. It requires substantial expertise that allows for site-specific footings. When people use the services of Rock Foundations, they can be sure that their homes’ footings and foundations will be best suited for their site and correctly installed by master craftsmen.
Further, each home requires its own type of footings, depending on the conditions. Rock Foundations is highly skilled at installing every type of footing: Earth-formed, Grade-Beam, and Spread. We also can help install Helical Pier foundations. Every home is different; therefore, using Rock Foundations is crucial to achieving the best possible construction outcome. Footings and foundations are not the area to save money when building a home because if something fails down the road, it leads to problems that are not easy or inexpensive to fix.
There also is the matter of aging homes. Quite often, there will cracks and damage present in older homes. The foundation may be settling, or walls may be bowing from the pressure of the soil. Sometimes, there are soil changes – often caused by flooding. Also, the weight above the foundation can cause pressure that shifts the foundation. When the foundation is not able to withstand those shifts, breaks take place. Shifting and breaking impacts the structural integrity of the home, which can be quite expensive to address. There are other signs indicating problems with the foundation as well.
Homeowners should inspect their walls and ceilings. Are they warped? No longer flat and flush? Maybe the corners of rooms don’t meet perfectly with the walls. Perhaps, joints and moldings are not flush. All of these are troubling signs. People also should be on guard for water damage – a major cause of foundation destruction. Water often does not drain properly away from a foundation; moisture builds up, and concrete foundations crumble. Further signs are floors that aren’t level, windows that are somewhat misshapen, doors that don’t close properly or stay closed, and stairs that slant incorrectly.
In these situations, homeowners should contact Rock Foundations. It will assess the situation: review homes carefully, possibly take soil samples, and determine the best possible method(s) to repair each home’s unique issues. Fortunately, many foundations can be strengthened.
The importance of a strong, durable foundation cannot be overstated. Everything about a home depends on it. So, whether people are building new homes or correcting footing and foundation issues on older homes, they should contact Rock Foundations. When their footings and foundations are expertly installed and maintained, homeowners will enjoy houses with structural integrity. They will be easier to insure, have more value, and keep loved ones from harm. This is the home everyone desires, the home, as Roosevelt pointed out, that will truly be a “safe” investment.