Foundation Measuring

Not sure if I got this in the right forum, so please let me know if there is one more pertinent.

I am a new inspector in Central Texas where we have a lot of slab foundations with a lot of dynamic soils. Does anyone have any experience with including foundation level measurements as an ancillary service in a high soil movement area? If so, what equipment do you use, do you charge extra considering that the foundation companies do it for free, and have you seen a spike in business that warrants the equipment cost and additional time?

I have heard that a number of inspectors in my area are beginning to offer it (a large majority of transactions wind up needing a foundation inspection) and agents are starting to talk about it as a time saver for them since they don’t have to deal with foundation companies (we all know what saves them time is good marketing for us!).

Thanks for any feedback!


A Zip Level has all the accuracy you need. You will need to be able to draw the floor plan to accurately show where your elevation measurements were taken. A digital tape measure works good for taking measurements by yourself. Now what you do with the information will determine how much you charge.

In new construction just recording the raw data as a base line for future inspections would be fine. Taking elevations as part of the home inspection will likely generate questions from the buyer or home owner. You will need to know the difference between normal construction tolerance and excessive slab movement. The more information you can provide the more you can charge, but the higher your liability risk if you make a mistake. At the low end of the pay scale are data collectors, at the high end of the scale are the forensic engineers.

I suggest you tag along with someone to gain more experience if you want to do more than just collect the data.

Thanks Randy. Talking to some pros is a great idea. I guess I need to also get some more information on what inspectors in my area are offering (i.e. data only for benchmark versus actual evaluation on settling).