6 Critical Signs You Need a Foundation Inspection Now

A 2023 survey revealed a nationwide housing shortage, with nearly 4 million missing homes, a 3% jump from the previous years. This shortage puts pressure on developers and buyers, making some to overlook crucial steps like a foundation inspection. Remember, while your home is a great investment, its foundation is what ensures a safe and stable living environment.

Foundations can deteriorate over time due to a wide range of factors. If these problems go unchecked, they can worsen, leading to expensive repairs. Here are six signs that suggest your home might need a foundation inspection.

1. Cracked Walls and Floors

Cracks on your walls and floors can be unsettling, and for good reason. They might be a sign of foundation problems. Hairline cracks (less than 1/8 inch wide) are normal settling and usually nothing to worry about.

However, larger cracks, especially those that are diagonal or stair-step shaped, can indicate foundation movement. Pay close attention to cracks that appear around the doorways and windows. These areas are particularly sensitive to foundation shifts.

As part of the structural inspection tips, you should also check if the cracks are getting bigger. By bigger, we mean the foundation issues may be urgent and severe. Bigger cracks are a red flag. Small cracks might be normal settling.

On the other hand, growing cracks indicate ongoing movement. So regularly inspect the crack size to prevent foundation problems early before they become more serious. You wouldn’t want the building to collapse and force you to pay for expensive repairs.

2. Sticking Doors and Windows

Sticking doors and windows can happen for a few reasons and usually isn’t a major cause for concern unless accompanied by other foundation damage indicators. Changes in humidity can cause wood doors and frames to swell slightly, making them rub against each other. Similarly, normal wear and tear can cause hinges to loosen or shift, making doors and windows less aligned.

If you experience sticking along with other damage signs like uneven floors or widening cracks, then it could be a foundation issue. Doors and windows that suddenly become difficult to open or close smoothly can be frustrating. So pay attention to where the sticking is happening.

Check if the door or window rubs against the frame at the top, bottom, or sides. If this is the case, it might indicate the foundation is settling unevenly, causing the frame to twist or tilt. It may be challenging to lock or unlock your doors or windows because the frames are no longer aligned properly due to foundation movement.

Find out if the sticking issues worsen during certain seasons. For instance, these issues may worsen after heavy rain or hot weather periods. This could suggest that changes in moisture content around the foundation are causing home stability issues.

3. Water Leaks and Drainage Issues

Water can seep into the foundation and cause serious problems. Visible water leaks in your basement or crawl space are a major concern. They can weaken the foundation and create an environment for mold growth.

Cracks in the foundation itself can allow water to seep in and cause problems. This can happen, especially if the cracks appear near water sources like gutters or downspouts. Your drainage system might not work effectively if water pools around your foundation after rain.

A poor drainage system can put stress on the foundation and lead to leaks or cracks. Don’t wait to address water leaks or drainage issues. Schedule a foundation inspection to identify the source of the problem and get it fixed before it causes extensive damage.

4. Uneven Foundation Slabs

Get down low and closely examine your exposed foundation (the part visible around your basement or crawlspace). Look for dips, cracks, or areas that seem higher or lower than others. A spirit level can also help you check for any tilting.

Uneven floors inside your home can be another foundation repair warning. Walk around barefoot and feel for any dips or slopes. Pay close attention to transitions between rooms, doorways, and hallways, as these are common areas where settling might show.

A foundation that’s settling in an uneven manner can cause doors to stick or become difficult to open and close. This is because the door frames themselves may be shifting slightly due to the movement of the foundation. Uneven foundation slabs can result from poor soil conditions or water drainage issues.

5. Expansion Gaps Around the Foundation

The perimeter of your foundation should have expansion gaps to allow for slight movement due to temperature changes. However, these gaps should remain consistent in size. Over time, expansion gaps may develop small cracks.

If you notice these cracks getting wider, it could mean foundation movement. However, if some gaps are significantly wider than others, this could indicate uneven settling. Use a ruler to measure the width of the cracks and monitor them for any changes.

Expansion gaps should be consistent in size around the entire foundation. Cracks that resemble stairs along the foundation wall are a more serious sign of foundation problems. These cracks can indicate that the foundation is either sinking or heaving (pushing upwards).

6. Cabinet Separation

Cabinets securely fastened to walls are a good sign your foundation is stable. However, if they start to pull away, it could indicate movement in the foundation. Here’s what to look for:

  • The top and bottom edges of your cabinets where they meet the wall
  • If the alignment of your cabinets appears crooked or uneven
  • Any cracks appearing around cabinet hinges, knobs, or pulls

Even small gaps between the cabinets and walls can indicate foundation issues. Crooked or uneven cabinet lines might indicate that the walls are shifting due to foundation movement. Cracks can stem from stress on the cabinets due to foundation movement.

Get a Foundation Inspection From Central Florida Building Inspectors

Ignoring signs of foundation problems can cause damage and lead to expensive repairs. A foundation inspection by a qualified professional can find and address issues early. It saves you time and money, giving you peace of mind.

Are you thinking of buying a home in Tampa, Ocala, Orlando, Volusia, or anywhere in Central Florida? Central Florida Building Inspectors offers trusted residential and commercial inspections.

Schedule your home construction inspection today to ensure a safe and secure investment.

What to Expect During a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection

Homeownership dreams are alive for many Americans. In fact, nearly 1 in 8 (12% of Americans) intend to buy a home in 2024 — with Florida being an attractive choice for many.

If you’re dreaming of owning a home in sunny Central Florida, doing a pre-purchase home inspection is an excellent move. This crucial step helps you understand the condition of the property and avoid any nasty surprises.

However, you may not be familiar with what it entails, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process so you can feel confident and prepared as you move forward with your home purchase.

Understanding the Home Inspection Process

A pre-purchase inspection aims to ensure your potential new home is in good shape. A professional home inspector will come to the property and embark on a thorough examination of the house, inside and out.

The inspector will check major systems like plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling. They’ll also look for any signs of damage, such as water leaks, structural issues, and pest infestations.

By the end of the inspection, you’ll have a detailed report that outlines any problems found and suggests possible repairs or further evaluations.

The Home Inspection Checklist

A good home inspector will follow a comprehensive home inspection checklist. This checklist ensures that no critical areas are overlooked. Here are some key items that will be examined:

  • Roof & Attic: Inspector checks roof, gutters, downspouts for damage/leaks, attic insulation, and ventilation
  • Foundation & Structure: Notes cracks or foundation problems. Assesses walls, ceilings, floors for structural soundness
  • Plumbing: All visible pipes, fixtures, and water heaters will be inspected for leaks, rust, or other problems like water pressure
  • Electrical Systems: The inspector will check the electrical panel, wiring, GFCI outlets, and light fixtures to ensure everything is up to code and working safely
  • Heating and Cooling Systems: The functionality and condition of the HVAC system will be evaluated including furnaces, air conditioning units, and ductwork
  • Windows and Doors: They’ll ensure all windows and doors open, close, and lock properly as well as check for drafts or broken seals
  • Basement and Crawl Spaces: These areas will be examined for moisture issues, mold, and pests

The inspector will also focus on specific areas that might have unique concerns. These include fireplaces and chimneys, checking for creosote buildup, structural integrity, and proper ventilation. They may also check the sewer line for potential clogs and damage.

Pre-Purchase Inspection Tips

While a home inspector will do their best to provide you with a detailed report on the condition of the home you want to buy, you have a role to play in ensuring the best possible outcomes. Follow these tips to get the most out of your home inspection:

Attend the Inspection

If possible, be present during the inspection. This is your chance to understand what the inspector is looking at and why it’s important. A good inspector will be happy to explain everything in a way you can understand.

Prepare a List of Concerns

Before the inspection, make a list of any specific concerns you may have about the property. Share this list with your inspector.

Review the Report Carefully

After completing the inspection, your inspector will compile a detailed report. Take time to review this report thoroughly. It may include:

  • A summary of findings
  • Photos of any issues or concerns
  • Recommendations for repairs or further evaluations
  • Estimated costs for repairs
  • Timeline for necessary repairs

Review the report in detail. If you don’t understand something, ask your inspector for clarification.

Follow up on Major Issues

If the inspection reveals significant problems, consider getting estimates for repairs or further evaluations from specialists. This will help you make informed decisions about moving forward with the purchase, potentially requesting repairs from the seller, or negotiating the price based on the inspection results.

Why Home Buying Inspections Are Crucial

A home buying inspection can save you a lot of money and stress in the long run. It’s better to know about potential problems before you buy the house rather than after. This knowledge gives you the power to negotiate with the seller for repairs or a lower price.

In some cases, you might even decide to walk away from a property that has too many issues.

Home inspections also help prevent buyer’s remorse. Knowing that your new home is safe and in good condition provides peace of mind. You’ll feel more confident in your investment and excited about moving into your new place.

Choosing the Right Home Inspection Services

Finding the right home inspection services is key to a thorough and accurate inspection. Here are a few key factors to consider when selecting your Central Florida home inspector:

License and Qualifications

Make sure your inspector is licensed by the state of Florida and holds certifications from reputable organizations like InterNACHI or ASHI. This ensures they have the knowledge and expertise to give your home a thorough examination.

Experience Matters

Look for an inspector with experience in your specific area of Central Florida. Different regions have unique considerations, and a seasoned local inspector will be familiar with the common issues to watch out for.

Inspection Report Savviness

A good inspector doesn’t just identify problems — they explain them in a clear and concise report you can understand. Ask them to see samples of their reports to ensure they’re easy to read and navigate.

Services Offered

Some inspectors offer additional services like pest inspections or radon testing. Consider what you might need and choose an inspector who can handle it all, saving you time and hassle.

Protect Your Investment With a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection

A pre-purchase home inspection is a critical part of buying a home. It helps you understand the true condition of the property and ensures your dream home is a safe and sound investment for your future.

At Central Florida Building Inspectors, we have been serving the Central Florida area since 1988. Our highly trained and experienced inspectors have the knowledge and expertise to help you navigate the homebuying process with confidence.

Get in touch today to learn more about our professional home inspection services.

How Valuable Are Home Inspection Services? Let Me List the Ways

You might think that getting a home inspection is an unnecessary expense. But according to a recent study by porch.com, 86% of inspectors find something that needs attention.

However, home inspections are not just about finding problems; they can also save you money in the long run. A thorough inspection uncovers any hidden issues that could cost you a lot more if left unchecked.

While optional in many states, this relatively small upfront cost can save you thousands. Let’s explore why buyers and sellers benefit from professional home inspection services.

Peace of Mind for Buyers

As a buyer, you gain peace of mind about the actual property condition. The inspector will examine all areas of the home to assess thoroughly:

  • Structural integrity: Inspect foundation, framing, floors, walls, and roof for soundness
  • Exterior: Inspect roof, siding, windows, doors, porches, and decks for wear, damage, and leaks
  • Electrical systems: Check for safety, capacity, and code compliance
  • Plumbing: Assess pipes, water pressure, drainage, water heater, and institutions for leaks, clogs, and corrosion
  • HVAC: Evaluate furnace, AC, ductwork, vents, and chimneys for proper function, leaks, and airflow
  • Insulation and ventilation: Check levels for water intrusion or condensation issues
  • Energy efficiency: Assess windows, air sealing, and systems for savings opportunities
  • Safety Issues: Check for mold, lead paint, radon, asbestos, and fire hazards

Buyers can make an informed purchasing decision with a detailed home inspection report. You’ll understand which repairs and maintenance you may need and can budget as required.

Avoid Surprises

Moreover, home inspections help buyers avoid expensive surprises down the road. Without one, you won’t know what potential problems lurk behind the walls or underneath the floors.

Unexpected repairs or replacements, such as for the roof, foundation, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC system, can be costly after moving in. An inspection allows you to prepare, budget, and negotiate accordingly.

Nobody wants the nasty shock of a $10,000 furnace replacement or foundation repairs shortly after moving in. Inspections provide vital information buyers need to plan for maintenance and repairs.

Negotiation Leverage

Buyers also gain leverage when negotiating with the seller if the inspector finds some issues. You can request the seller complete repairs before closing or negotiate the ultimate price down to help offset future repair costs.

Either way, you recoup the value of any unanticipated defects brought to light during the inspection process. Don’t overpay for a home with problems you didn’t know about.

Verify Quality of Renovations

When reviewing a home, buyers pay attention to any recent upgrades or renovations the seller has done. However, not all contractors perform work correctly or up to the current building code.

That’s where inspectors can provide critical insight. They will look at any areas the seller has upgraded, like the bathroom, kitchen, flooring, deck, etc. The inspector can determine if the renovators completed the work the right way and met the safety standards.

Knowing the quality of recent restorations helps buyers determine if they will need to do extra repairs. It may justify negotiating a lower price to fix subpar contractor work discovered during the home inspection.

Peace of Mind for Sellers

Like buyers, sellers also gain peace of mind by purchasing a home inspection. As a seller, you take responsibility for disclosing all known material defects to potential buyers.

It protects you from legal disputes from buyers who uncover issues you failed to disclose. You don’t want accusations of concealing defects, even on accident. Getting out ahead of problems looks good to buyers and covers you legally.

Find and Fix Hidden Defects Before Selling

You want buyers to have a positive impression of your property when you list your home. However, even the most diligent seller can overlook minor defects that could negatively impact a sale down the road.

For example, the inspector may discover a small roof leak high on the structure that is invisible from the ground. Or electrical wiring issues lurking behind walls and under floors that are working fine.

Home inspectors have specialized training, tools, and a keen eye for detail. They know how to look for hidden problems the average homeowner doesn’t even realize could be present.

Maximize Home Value

Inspection reports also empower sellers to make repairs to maximize the home’s market value. Fixing issues before listing will show care for the property and can prevent buyers from negotiating the price later.

Avoid Disputes and Delays

As a seller, you want your home sale to go as well as possible. A professional home inspection helps facilitate this by avoiding complications, disputes, and delays.

A Smooth Transaction

If you provide a detailed inspection report upfront, you build trust and confidence with buyers right from the start. It shows you have nothing to hide. Buyers will appreciate this transparency and planning on your part as the seller.


However, failing to provide an inspection gives buyers reason to doubt your transparency as a seller. Why didn’t you have one done? What are you concealing?

Without an inspection report, any issues found by the buyer’s inspector can lead to accusations, price negotiations, and strained relations.

A clean inspection report gives buyers peace of mind about purchasing. If they find issues, buyers also have time to process the findings and decide how to proceed before money changes hands.

They might request repairs or ask for a price reduction. Or if defects are minor, buyers may proceed with the sale as-is.

So don’t wait for problems to arise! The cost of the inspection can give you information that can make or break a sale. Or at least save you money in the long run.

Home Inspection Services Protect Investments

So, home inspection services are a necessary expense. They provide an unbiased, expert analysis of the property’s condition. For a small fee relative to most real estate’s value, buyers and sellers receive insights that help protect their investment.

Schedule a home inspection with Central Florida Building Inspectors before your next purchase offer or sale. Our experienced team delivers the peace of mind savvy buyers and sellers deserve. Let’s work together to ensure your next home meets your needs.

What Are The Most Common Myths About Building Inspections That You Should Know?

Building inspections make up a $6 billion industry today, which speaks to the importance of this skillset and service. Inspecting a building is a prerequisite to finalizing any purchase or sale, or opening it for business. Building contractors will go through their checklist to make sure that the property is up to par and that there are no red flags.

What is a building inspection? What should you know about them?

In this building inspection guide below, we’ll answer these questions, along with debunking some myths about these inspections.

Myth #1 - A Building Inspection Accurately Predicts Future Problems

A building inspection is an official examination of a property, carried out by a certified professional, that verifies the safety, code compliance, and viability of a particular property. Homebuyers get property inspections to know that they’re buying a quality house. Commercial property owners need a certified inspection before they can open their doors and occupy their buildings.

With that said, these inspections don’t necessarily predict future problems. While they do catch certain red flags, building inspectors have a set scope that they stick to. You should get a separate inspection to assess potential future red flags.

Myth #2 - You Don’t Need an Inspection for a New Property

Many people also underestimate the importance of inspections, to the point of foregoing them if the property is new. Even if a building is brand new and in mint condition, it must still pass inspection.

You need to verify that it is up to code no matter how old the building is. Also, there’s no guarantee that a new building was built safely or correctly.

Myth #3 - You Can Handle the Inspection Yourself

Never try to handle your own property inspection. Even if you do some research, it pales in comparison to the knowledge of a credible professional.

Only certified professionals understand issues like the risk of termites and foundation problems. They also have certifications for mold, radon, and wood-destroying organisms. They also belong to organizations like the  International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA), and the International Association of Certified Indoor Air Quality Consultants (IAC2).

Myth #4 - Appraisals and Building Inspections Are the Same

Appraisals and building inspections are two different projects. Because of this, you should hire different professionals to handle them. A building inspection checks for code issues, while an appraisal will let you know how much a property is worth.

An appraisal becomes necessary if you’re making a transaction and want an up-to-date look at its value and how much you can expect to earn.

Consider These Building Inspection Tips

Building inspections are part of doing business in real estate. Knowing the importance of these inspections and the right way to handle them will help you get the results that you need from any transaction.

Work with nothing but the best professionals when you need inspections or other services.

Central Florida Building Inspectors, Inc. can help you out with various residential and commercial inspections. Take time to contact us online if you have questions, or give us a call at (407)658-8267.

Why is a Home Inspection Important?

There are over 7 million housing units in Florida as the state continues to have a thriving market. If you’re selling or buying a new property, you might be looking into getting a home inspection done.

But what does a Florida home inspection entail? Why should you get one done and what are their benefits?

That’s what we’re here to look at today. Read on to find out more about Florida home inspections and their role in finalizing home transactions.

What Constitutes a Florida Home Inspection?

A home inspection is exactly what the name implies. It’s a process by which someone examines your home to see if there are any problems that you might not have noticed.

Most home inspections go over a bunch of mechanical systems in your house, but a Florida home inspector also looks at other factors. This includes the structural integrity of your home and other aesthetic blemishes.

Everything from electrical to HVAC systems is examined during a home inspection. Your walls, chimneys, plumbing, and overall foundation are also looked at as well.

Why Should You Get Florida Home Inspections Done?

Getting a home inspection done means you get a better sense of any lingering issues in and around your home. This is crucial if you’re looking to sell or buy a new property.

A home inspection results in a written opinion from an inspector. This allows you to address any defects or issues, and will definitely help you when you’re shopping around for contractors.

Best of all, a Florida home inspection helps improve the longevity of the home you’re buying or selling. Addressing these issues allows you to sell it at a higher price, or know what the issues are before making a purchase.

What to Expect During a Florida Home Inspection

So what actually goes down during a Florida home inspection? It’s actually a lot more simple than you might imagine.

The inspection typically starts with a site evaluation. The homeowner or the person in charge of the property shows the inspector around and lets them know where everything is. They’ll probably ask a few questions here as well.

After that, an inspector begins conducting a thorough examination of your home. This might include looking for roof leaks, any infestations, mold, radon testing, and a whole host of other tests.

After the inspector is finished, they’ll produce a report that has all their findings. This report might include a few photographs and descriptions of infestations or damage they’ve found during the inspection.

Make sure you’ve got the best possible Florida home inspector for the job. Some are specialized in specific areas, so it’s good to narrow your search depending on your home.

Understanding Home Inspection Services

A Florida home inspection is a big part of selling or buying a new home in the state. Use this guide to help you understand what a home inspection entails and why they’re so important.

Are you looking for reliable building inspection services in central Florida? Contact us today and we’ll get you started on a solution right away!

Your Ultimate and Complete Home Inspection Checklist

Did you know, according to a study from Repair Price, the average home inspection report finds around $11,000 worth of needed repairs? Doors that need adjusting made up the most common repair on the list. An average of 55 percent of homes had doors that needed an adjustment!

Are you planning on buying or selling a home? One essential step in the home buying/selling process is the home inspection. 

Having an inspection before you sell or buy a home can help you avoid the hassle of fixes later. Regardless of whether you’re buying or selling, this home inspection checklist can help you make sure you and your professional inspector hit all of the essential home inspection points. 


Foundation issues promise costly repairs down the road. The most obvious foundation red flag for a home inspector is cracking. The foundation may crack or you could see cracks in the walls or floor. 

A foundation may also sink or settle. Some settling is normal, especially for a newer home. However, if you notice one side of a home is much lower than the other, this is a bad sign for the foundation.   


How does the exterior of the home look? You can swap out cosmetic issues like paint colors or paving stones easily but deeper damage requires more time and money to fix. Your home inspector should look closely at major concerns like the condition of the roof, the siding of the house, and the chimney (if applicable). 

Additionally, don’t forget to check the landscaping. Pools or large puddles of water may indicate drainage issues. If there’s a septic tank, be sure to check on that as well.   


Here are some major points about the interior to hit during a house inspection:

  • Proper insulation
  • Proper operation of all windows and doors
  • Checking attic and/or basement for termite damage
  • Signs of water damage on walls and floors
  • Appliances in working order
  • Any leakage from sinks and showerheads

These are all in addition to doing a slow walk-through of the house to assess the general appearance of the inside of the home. 


When assessing the plumbing and HVAC, you can ask yourself or your home inspector the following questions. Does the hot water work from each faucet in the house? Do any pipes leak either under the sinks or in crawl spaces?

Does each vent in the house produce sufficient airflow? Do both the cooling and the heating functions work? Have air filters in the A/C units been changed recently? 


The final step in your home inspection checklist is the electrical components. Exercising great caution, your home inspector will check out the condition of the electrical systems of the house. Do all of the outlets work?

Are there any exposed wires in the house? Do you know where the service panel is? Do any of the breakers or fuses appear to be over-heating?

Start Checking Off Your Home Inspection Checklist

As you and the home inspector you hire go through this home inspection checklist, you’ll ensure that everything in the home is functioning properly and in top condition to buy or sell. If you live in Central Florida and are planning on buying or selling, check us out at Central Florida Building Inspectors. All of our inspectors are state-licensed and certified to offer you the highest quality of home inspection available.

Contact us today for more information!

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