Remodeling Your Home Can Lead to Foundation Damage
Many homeowners living in older homes with pier and beam foundations want the open floor plan desired in modern homes. Although this can lead to a lovely living space, by remodeling you may be opening yourself up to structural damage over time.
Why Remodeling Damages Foundations
When an architect creates plans for a home, he includes the support based on the structure inside the home. That makes for a sound foundation holding up the house. If you were to use x-ray vision to see through your floors you’d see that most of the internal walls in your home are supported by piers below. When you remove a wall, that pier is no longer adding to the support of the floors and ceiling above. When you add a wall somewhere else in the home and don’t add support piers beneath, that wall has nothing below supporting it. If it is a small wall, it’s not going to have much impact. However, if this wall has cabinets and countertop adding weight to it, you’re going to impact the beams and the piers that are nearby.
Another hazard of remodeling is the increased weight in the home. Years ago homeowners didn’t have massive kitchen workspaces with heavy granite slabs. When you add granite countertops to a kitchen, you’re adding a lot of weight that may be in excess of what the original architect planned for weight distribution. Furniture can be an additional stressor. Today’s large pieces, including flat screen TV’s mounted to the wall and built in wall units full of electronics, books, and keepsakes, were never part of the planned structure decades and centuries ago.
What Can be Done to Avoid Damage?
Planning is the key ingredient to avoid future foundation damage from remodeling to your home. Make sure a structural engineer works with your remodeler on the changes you’re planning. Only an engineer understands how the current foundation piers could be impacted by your planned changes. Foundation experts like those at Heavenly Foundations can, not only inspect your home before the remodeling begins, but also add new support to help prevent damage in the future.
If you’re considering remodeling your home, have your architect or remodeling company work with Heavenly Foundations before any walls are removed. Know the total investment before you sign a contract. A bit of prevention today will save thousands in repair costs in the future. If you have questions about this or are concerned regarding your foundation since a remodeling project was completed, call us at (727) 228-6144 or fill out our simple contact form and we’ll call you.