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Homeowners and Investors, foundation inspection and repair

How Can We Help You?

A recent survey we conducted showed that the biggest concern homeowners had relating to a future earthquake was that of losing their home. We understand this and all of our efforts are geared towards protecting your home from the potential of any such damage or loss.

foundation inspectionThe Foundation Works is here to serve. We set out to raise the standard of an industry sorely in need of it and are creating that effect at an ever-increasing rate. We have been called into service by thousands of real estate agents, home inspectors, city inspectors, insurance companies, property investment groups and, of course, ultimately, homeowners just like you!

Whether you're just curious as to why that one wall crack in the kitchen seems to be getting bigger or you think your whole foundation might be in trouble, we can answer your concerns.

To find out what kind of shape your foundation system is in, give us a call and arrange to have a thorough inspection performed that will educate you about your foundation and, if any work is needed, to show you what that is.

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Determining the Condition of the Foundation

foundation inspectionOur 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 building. This involves a thorough inspection of not only the foundation area itself, but also the interior and exterior perimeter of the building as well.

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House Bolting (Seismic Retrofitting)

Seismic retrofitting is the process of adding additional hardware, plywood, and framing lumber to the foundation area of a building in a way that heightens its readiness and helps protect it during an earthquake. There are very specific methods of how this is to be done and unfortunately many wrong ways to do it as well! If your house is built later than 1936, it almost certainly has some level of "bolting" in place from when it was first built. Standards have of course evolved tremendously since then (imagine the safety difference in a 1936 car compared to a current one!) and this is where seismic retrofitting (bolting) comes in. It is employing current structural knowledge into an otherwise antiquated situation to improve its overall ability to withstand earthquake activity and protect your home from loss.

house boltingWe perform full seismic retrofitting ("house bolting") to current standards (bolts, plywood shear panel, floor joist blocking, framing clips, permits). The exact specifications of this work can be viewed directly via the City of Los Angeles website at www.ladbs.org. Even if you do not live in Los Angeles itself, all cities that we work in recognize the Los Angeles standards and accept them on all work we perform. This includes, but is not limited to, Glendale, Burbank, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, South Pasadena and Culver City. Other cities also apply, though these are the areas we service most often.

Old Bolting ExampleWe also perform corrections of incorrectly performed or antiquated bolting jobs in order to help protect those homes during future earthquakes. (Statistic: 85% of buildings within various cities of Los Angeles county that have been "bolted" since the 1994 Northridge earthquake had the work performed sub-standardly when it was done.)

Unfortunately, only about 15% of the inspections we perform find houses to be properly and fully retrofitted. This includes houses that have been "retrofitted" after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. If your foundation retrofit is sub-standard in some way, we will be able to provide you a recipe of correction to resolve that deficiency and help protect your home from loss in any future earthquakes.

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The Interior and Exterior of the Home

foundation inspectionThe interior of the building gives many clues of what has, is or will be occurring underneath in the crawl space. The exterior inspection is most commonly concerned with any potential moisture issues that could adversely affect the foundation system. Having viewed the building interior and exterior, our inspector then has a true relative perspective of the house and its foundation 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 an unsurpassed level of certainty that allows us to then write a corrective prescription that is most appropriate to that particular building.

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Summary of Findings

summary of findingsWe put all of our observations, recommendations and prescriptions to you 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 you via e-mail, usually the next business day following the actual inspection.

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Inspection Expectations

going over the inspectionTo give you an idea of what to expect on the day of your inspection, here is the way it usually will go:

  1. Give us a call here at the office (1-877-BOLTDOWN) and we'll find a mutually workable inspection day and time.
  2. Our inspector will arrive on time and remind you of our 3-part inspection process (inside, outside, underneath) and will ask you for any pertinent data as to why you called us out to the property. This is your time to show him that sticking door, or that wall crack, or that sloping floor, or whatever it is that has raised concerns for you.
  3. From there, the inspector will typically spend anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour (dependant on the house, of course) doing his inspection process. During this time, the inspector will let you get on with your day and will spend the next 30-45 minutes gathering his data so that after the inspection he can explain the important factors to you. If you want to follow along with him you are certainly welcome to, but we prefer to limit the amount of your time we take up and so it’s generally 10 minutes at the start of the inspection, and another 10-15 at the end of it.
  4. The inspector will meet with you to give you a verbal assessment of his findings. This generally takes about 10-15 minutes and is mainly meant to avoid leaving you in a complete mystery as to our findings. We will not sit in your living room and "sell" you a job. Instead, we like to e-mail our findings to you the day following the inspection and let you review them that way. To be blunt, we don't like pushy salespeople either and so promise that we will not do that to you! What you will receive is what is known as a "Summary of Findings." This is a narrative description of our observations of your home. It will include any recommended repairs along with a description of how the work is to be performed and of course exact pricing on the work.
  5. We will call you a day or so after the inspection to go over the summary with you and answer any additional questions you may have. If you would like to have the prescribed work taken care of, we can make those arrangements at that time. If you're not ready to have the work performed, we will keep your summary on file and will be reachable if and when you decide to have the work done.
  6. It's as simple as that! Give us a call, 1-877-BOLTDOWN, to get your inspection process started or click on the "Schedule an Inspection" icon if you prefer.

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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