By Shawn Kyles

Home inspections are common during the buying or selling process. Look on the Internet and you?ll find tips and advice on how to hire the best home inspector possible for your property. One point everyone agrees on is that when it comes to inspecting a home, experience is extremely important.

Even The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recommends homeowners find out how long the company has been practicing in the home inspection profession and how many inspections they have completed.

HUD also says to ask the company if they are specifically experienced in residential inspections. According to HUD, ?there is no substitute for training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection.?

If you are looking for a foundation repair expert, the same qualifications apply. Foundation repair is a specialized field of work. There are plenty of materials that can be read on the subject, but there is no substitute for the knowledge gained from spending decades on the job.

The first step in the foundation repair process is an inspection. The more foundations your repair expert has seen and worked on, the more thorough the inspection will be. Keep in mind that anything that is missed during a foundation inspection can lead to costly repairs down the line. Californians in particular need to make sure that their foundation is regularly inspected by a qualified foundation company and kept in good shape in order to prevent building damage during earthquakes.

What questions should you ask before hiring a foundation expert? What you are looking for is a company with a strong track-record of foundation inspection experience. Find out how many years the company has been inspecting and repairing foundations (not just how many years they have been in business). Ask them what licenses and training they have. Get referrals. Call and talk to their customers about the quality of the work that was performed. Collect up enough information about each company so that you can make the best and most informed decision possible.

Consider this. For many people, their home is the single, most important financial investment they will ever make. Hiring a qualified foundation repair company is essential if you want to maintain the value of your home. It will also help you avoid more serious (and expensive) foundation issues that could lead to major reconstruction.

A foundation repair company with decades of experience can be trusted to conduct a proper and thorough inspection. This includes not only identifying the problem, but finding its cause. If any repair work is needed, a knowledgeable company will be able to explain all of your options in detail and answer any questions you have about the work. They will also give you a realistic estimate of what it will take to get the job done.

Most importantly, when you hire a company that has not only been in business a long time, but also inspected and repaired thousands of foundations, you will have more confidence about the work that is being performed and greater peace of mind regarding your home?s structural integrity and your family?s safety.

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