When viewing the home we currently own for the first time, my realtor and I could not believe it had not sold. It had been overpriced for months considering the work it required, but it had really good bones. It checked off multiple wishlist boxes. When we saw the unfinished basement room, we understood the hesitation for many to make the purchase.
The basement foundation wall had a stair-step crack. We were close to walking away from the home as well. The more we talked about the home, the more answers we decided to find out.
A well known structural engineer in our area had been hired to give his opinion on the crack, necessary fix and the stability of the home. Fortunately, the crack was fixable and the home was structurally stable as long as the crack was repaired. To add to the engineer’s confidence in the structural integrity of the home, no water was entering the basement through the crack despite several days of heavy rains. The repair suggested? Carbon fibers.
Prior to making an offer on our home, we researched carbon fibers and found many installers explained their use, but we found very few homeowners explain their own experience. We were especially curious about the cost of installing carbon fibers because we would could not get estimates on the repair until we were under contract. Although we did not know the cost of the fibers, we knew it was expensive and needed to factor it into our offer on the home. The offer on our home included the enticing item that we would make all needed repairs to the home.
It Is Expensive
Our carbon fibers ran between $600-$700 a piece with the install. We needed 16 carbon fibers. Our home is a ranch style home and the main foundation wall was long. Carbon fibers must be spaced a certain distance apart from one another to be effective and to ensure the warranty of the product. Our particular fibers needed to be spaced between four and five feet apart. It was not a fun expense. We risked further and more expensive repairs if we did not repair the crack before it became larger.
It Is Messy
Our home was built before 1980 and the foundation walls were built of cinder blocks. As part of the maintenance, the previous owners had painted the cinder blocks with a moisture blocking paint. Our installers had to grind down our walls to remove the paint from the concrete before they were able to install. Although our HVAC system remained off during the install, the house had dust all over it.
It is Labor Intensive
My husband and I are big do-it-yourself homeowners. Several videos are located on a google search showing other homeowners who have chosen to install their own carbon fibers. After watching the videos, we knew it was a task that we could easily do ourselves. We decided not to tackle the project ourselves. We wanted the crack repaired prior to moving in our home to avoid the dust. Between the sale of our other home, the move and normal life activities, we could not add on a large repair project. It took two guys two and a half work days to finish our repair.
Why do we buy hold homes? Read here.