Anyone using a Ziplevel

Considering getting a Ziplevel for better documentation of foundation movement before refering to an Engineer. Anyone using one of these?
If so, are you marketing this as an ancillary service?

Not sure why you would want to measure “foundation movement” when there are obviously clues that an engineer needs to be brought in, ie. extensive cracks in foundation.

As a GC this tool might be ok when doing elevations by oneself however price would dictate weather I purchased this product or now.

And quite frankly, I can do the same thing with an old fashion water level ($20.00 or less)…which I have however pulling a line all over the construction site is not always practical.

What’s the cost by the way?


SelectItem NamePrice ZIPLEVEL PRO-2000

$799.00 ZIPLEVEL PRO-2000B

$599.00 Unipod

$79.00 Unipod Adapter

$39.00 Unipod Carpet Tip Kit

$29.00 Protective Boot

$39.00 Anchoring Stakes

$39.00 PC Serial Link
$199.00 Metric Only Option




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The Zip Level is a good piece of equipment. However documenting foundation movement is usually not possible even if you had a $20,000 digital surveying equipment. The problem you will run into is:

  • You do not have the “as built” elevations to compare with.
  • Errors is original construction may indicate movement where movement did not occur.

For example I have recently followed up on a house reported as having settlement issues. The root cause was the basement floor was not level, it had one inch dips and humps (sloppy workmanship) that was not visible just by looking. There was no main support beam or columns, just partition walls framed up in the basement which supported the floor joist for the main floor. The inspector took elevations on the main floor and recorded the elevation variations of +/- one inch and reported this as settlement. The main floor elevation were just a reflection of the uneven basement floor that supported the main floor. So the point to this story is be very careful what you report as settlement.

Agree with Randy, that equipment is a waste of time and money for Home Inspections. :slight_smile:

Ralph -

Most of the time I agree with Randy and Marcel. I’m on my 2nd Zip now.

I use it in expert witness. Just did 2 like this. One was PE his and her buyers, that thought another local home inspector had missed foundation movements. They hired a 3rd PE who came out used a 4’ level and old transit type level and agreed with the buyers. House was really cut up.

I set up the Zip in center of house for base and went out around walls and corners, etc. When done it was clear to all the movement present was within their engineering tolerances.

#2 - Recent case up in St. Joseph, MO in flood racked house. Stood water for 3 months. Insurance adjuster and the consulting engineer agreed any movement was in recognized tolerances. Again lots of cut-up rooms and walls … they could NOT measure like the Zip did. The guy called last week, tickled to death … instead of $45,000 they’re totalling the house for $300,000.

When it comes out we have EXTRA service fees … $195 p/hr with 2 hour minimum and the 2 hrs includes travel and report time. The average fee is about $750-$780 for travel, 2 hrs on-site and report.

So bottom line is … It may OR may not be worth it to you.

Links are no good Roy.

WOW! Thanks BOB Sorry have added this to original post…

Thanks for all the comments. Still sure, since I found out this unit has a recharge fee of $170.00 every 18 months and has to be shipped back to manufacture

If you start whipping out your expensive toys, you may be hard pressed to say you are doing a “generalist” inspection if you ever get sued. I don’t even like people to see me using a moisture meter around toilets.

Exactly Thanks Joe .
I agree we do a visual non destructive inspection .
More toys, more time ,more expenses
I spend enough time doing my inspections with out adding more things to do .
Remember the SOP please.

I have a ZipLevel. I used it some on a few inspections… then quit. I can see with my eye and feel with my feet what I need to report as an inspector.

I do however use the ZipLevel for other uses such as leveling homes and the likes. Great tool. Expensive. Very easy set up and use as a ‘one-man’ operation. (Bought in the beginning to do phase inspections for pre-pour.)