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Home Inspectors

If you are a home inspector, you've come to the right place.

My name is Tom Pelletier, owner of The Foundation Works (TFW). Prior to forming TFW for a very specific reason, I spent several years as a member of C.R.E.I.A. (California Real Estate inspection Association) and in that time, inspected thousands of properties. Some of you may know me from the educational talks I've done at various state chapters of CREIA over the past few years. A good percentage of our work comes from referrals by home inspectors who know that if we come out to look at a property they've inspected, the client will get a thoroughly detailed, specialty foundation inspection including answers to any follow-up questions they may have beyond the day of the inspection.

foundation inspectionI spent years crawling under houses as a home inspector, only to dust off and explain all the problems with the foundation. I would then proceed to draw a blank when the agents and clients would ask who I recommended for foundation repair. Doing that one too many times is what planted the seed that grew into The Foundation Works.

The point of telling you the above is simply this. I am extremely dialed in to what your job is as the home inspector, what your standards are, and that the scope of a general visual inspection does have an end to it! I know your scope does not include code compliance on things like bolting patterns, that you are not supposed to force yourself into ridiculously tiny spaces, and that you are also inspecting the rest of the property while you are there! I get it. And so do our inspectors. We know where you fit into the transaction, and we know where we fit in. Together, the client ends up happy and well-educated and equally as important, aware of any material defects in the foundation system.

This is of utmost importance in my mind as TFW is often the next one in after you during an escrow process. Whenever a home inspection report is volunteered to us, we of course absorb any pertinent data but at the same time, we are aware that we are usually only there because further depth of inspection was warranted. We know that your job is to isolate areas of concern and indicate the need to have specialists further evaluate those areas.

Below is a general description of what a client can expect from us when they call us out, whether on your recommendation or not, for further inspection.

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Foundation Inspections

Our initial service starts with the performance of a detailed specialty inspection in order to determine the condition of the foundation on a single-family home or a multi-family home. This involves a thorough inspection of not only the foundation area itself, but also the exterior perimeter and interior of the building as well.

The interior of the building gives many clues of what has, is or may be occurring underneath. The exterior inspection is most commonly concerned with any potential moisture issues that could adversely affect the foundation system. We do a room-by-room walk-through of the interior first. We then do a perimeter walk that includes the main focus of establishing any moisture related concerns exterior inspectionin proximity to the foundation system. Having viewed the building interior and exterior, our inspector then has a true relative perspective so that when he is under the house, key areas of concern can be isolated in relation to his interior and exterior findings.

By viewing a building from all three of these perspectives (interior, exterior, and underneath), we are able to achieve a level of certainty that allows us to then write a corrective prescription that is most appropriate to that particular building.

During the above 3 step process, our inspector will be generating a two-dimensional schematic overview of the entire house and its immediate surroundings. This is done with a multi-color pen to facilitate using it later to help the client understand what is being explained. This indicates the perimeter, all girders, post and piers, floor joists, stairs, bushes, porches, downspouts, slopes, etc. It is very thorough by design as this really helps the client visualize while we are explaining our findings. We of course include on it any problems with the foundation and have additional pre-set schematics that are also available at that time to help them further understand any concerns.

foundation inspectionThat information is provided to the client in the form of what we call a "Summary of Findings." This is a narrative explanation that details our observations, our advised correction and a precise cost for us to do the work should we be requested to do that at a later date.

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Inspections for Insurance Compliance

We also perform inspections to comply with insurance forms requesting "bolting status." We will come to the property and inspect the foundation regarding the status of the bolting when requested by your client on behalf of their insurance company.  We are authorized to fill out the insurance company provided forms and if any work is needed to bring the home into compliance, we can of course perform that work as well.

Additionally, we will also provide a "Summary of Findings" as detailed in the last paragraph of the section above entitled "Foundation Inspections."

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Our Report

summary of findingsWe put all of our observations, recommendations and prescriptions to the client in the form of what we call a "Summary of Findings." This is a narrative explanation that details our observations, our advised correction and a precise cost for us to do the work should we be requested to do that at a later date. We deliver this summary to the client via e-mail, usually the next business day following the actual inspection.

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Any Other Questions?

We are here to help. We welcome calls from you regarding whatever foundation questions you have. If you are on an inspection and need some advice on how to call something, correct spacing between bolts, shear panel specs, etc., feel free to give a call. We're glad to help you any time we can, we want to be a resource for you and help further your knowledge of foundations which ultimately makes you that much more able at what you do. Contact us today at 1-877-BOLTDOWN.

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We provide foundation repair, foundation inspection, house bolting, foundation upgrades and seismic retrofitting services for the following areas:
Los Angeles CA West Hollywood Beverly Hills CA Burbank CA Glendale CA Pasadena CA La Cresenta CA Arcadia CA San Marino CA Altadena CA
Culver City CA San Fernando Valley La Canada CA Sunland - Tujunga Monrovia CA Alhambra CA Sierra Madre CA Azusa - Glendora Marina Del Rey Montrose CA
We now also provide foundation services for Santa Monica CA