If you have been noticing concrete cracks in your foundation that keep getting worse, or if your doors or windows do not close properly, you may need to hire a construction company to repair your foundation.
Before doing so you may want to consider hiring a structural engineer who can do a complete and thorough analysis of your foundation and make recommendations on exactly what repairs you will need made.
Another benefit of hiring a structural engineer is that they will usually be able to tell you steps you can take in the future to prevent your foundation problems from reappearing.
It is also possible that if your foundation is not in a very critical state that the engineer will simply recommend some preventative measures such as keeping the ground around your home properly watered year round. In this case you could end up saving thousands of dollars by not having to hire a foundation repair company.
By using the services of a structural engineer you can ensure that the foundation company does the work necessary to completely level your home and make sure you won't have problems again in the future. If you don't hire an independent engineer beforehand you are at the mercy of the foundation repair company to tell you what repairs they think need to be made.
The only downside of hiring an engineer to analyze your property is that it can be fairly expensive, ranging from $300 to possibly more than $800 depending on factors like the size of your property and how much work the engineer has to do to properly assess your damage. If you have a small crawl space that the engineer will have to crawl through to complete the inspection it can increase the cost and how much time it takes to get a proper assessment.
Still, even with the expense many people feel safer getting the opinion of a trusted and knowledgeable third party before hiring a company to fix their foundation as foundation repairs can cost several thousand dollars. The cost can rapidly increase depending on how much work is needed, with some repairs costing over $20,000 for large properties.
The only time you may be able to get by without hiring a structural engineer is if you know the repair is a very small job and the cost of hiring an engineer outweighs just having the work performed and being done with it. However, this is probably the minority of cases where a foundation repair is necessary and most of the time it would be wise to hire an engineer to know exactly what is going on.