Serving the High Rockies & Western Slope of Colorado
        Studio M Engineers, LLC      




Common Questions Associated with Distressed Homes

** Click the link to JUMP to the answer for each question. **

1. I have noticed signs of distress in my house. How do I know if it is a structural problem or not? (click here)

2. What is included in the initial structural inspection? (click here)

3. What is included in the report? (click here)

4. How much does this initial inspection and report cost?  (click here)

5. What happens next? (click here)

6. What is “official level survey monitoring”? (click here)

7. How do I know if my house has stopped moving? (click here)

 8. I just want my house back to normal. What is the fastest way to do that? (click here)

9. I am on a budget and want to minimize expense. What are my options? (click here)

10. How much does a foundation underpinning repair cost? (click distressed.html)

11. What advantage is there in using you, compared to another engineering firm? (click here)

12. What is the engineer’s responsibility in the process of fixing my home? (click here)

13. Can I prepare the plans myself, or have a contractor prepare them and then have you sign off (or stamp) those plans? (click here)

14. Does your company have references I can check? (click here)

15. Why can’t I just hire a common home inspection service? Don’t they do a lot of the same thing during inspection? And they are cheaper. (click here)



A #1: The easiest way to determine if a crack, bulge, dip or stuck window/door is the sign of a more serious issue is to let us come take a look at it. This meeting consists of you showing us the area of concern and us giving a verbal opinion about the nature and possible causes of your concern.

A #2: 1 to 3 hours of inspection time, a non-documented level survey (measurements are not marked or stored for future reference) and an initial inspection follow up report. Our reports are written so you, the person paying for it, can understand it. If you are interested in a follow up survey, we will mark points for later use.

A #3 1. Summary of level survey

2. General Structural description of the home’s structural system.

3. Conclusions based on observations and data reduction.

A #4: This fee is typically between $650 and $1100 depending on the size of the project.

A #5: The initial survey is followed up by at least one more survey, taken no sooner than 3 weeks after the first. This lets us compare the level data and see any changes.

Once we establish the type and rate of movement, we generate a repair concept that is tailored to the information from the surveys, inspection and any plans or soils reports that are available. Drawing on years of experience with the best foundation repair specialists Colorado we generate a repair plan that is truly customized and a 100% efficient solution. Your money goes towards the solution, not the problem. This plan is then given to a foundation repair specialist or contractor who prices it.

A #6: This is a survey of your house that produces the information required to properly fix things for the cheapest price…it lets us point our solution with pin point accuracy. This prevents you from throwing money into an area that might not be failing.

A #7: The survey information can easily tell us if your house has moved. Tolerances of this survey are as low as one-tenth of an inch. If it moves, we can see it.

A #8: The most efficient way to get your house back to normal is to follow a plan that has been successful for other homes that are just like yours. In a nutshell, learn from others past mistakes and capitalize on their successful decisions. You are not the first person to undertake this arduous task. At Studio M, we have developed a successful, communicative plan, based on our experience, as well as the experience of others we have worked with.

A #9: The level survey allows us to prioritize areas of your house that need fixed. That way you can put your money towards the worst problems first. Foundation movement is often not paid for by insurance companies. This places a stressful financial burden on the homeowner. Stopping the problem for the cheapest amount of money is the ultimate goal.

A#10: Foundation repair cost depends on many factors, but in general, you can estimate on a $1500 per lineal foot of foundation wall cost. For slab areas, where there is no wall, you can count on a slab jacking cost of $200 per square foot. For a definition of slab jacking, check out this link

A #11: The most successful projects are the ones with the right team. We understand that everyone’s expectations must be on the same page in order for the project to end and go well. The best way to find the right engineer for your project is to do a value based evaluation. Check out this link for more info.

Regarding Studio M, here are our highlights:

-- We have working relationships with the best underpinning contractors in the business, on a state wide level. We work to ensure that the contractor you choose is the most qualified for the particular type of underpinning your project needs. We then work hand in hand with them to deliver the best solution possible.

-- We are local. Unforeseen problem on the job during construction? Call us and we will be there to help. Save hundreds of dollars in travel cost over non-local engineers. The easiest way to solve a problem is to stand there in person and look at it.

-- We are one of only a small handful of engineering companies on the Western slope that have exclusive experience working on distressed houses. Many engineers avoid forensic projects, simply because they are more complex than new construction. A new project specifies. A forensic project is nothing but existing conditions and the need for solutions.

A #12: 1. Identify distress signs, including those that are not visible to the eye without the proper tools and experience.

2. Identify the cause of distress

3. Identify the most economical solution based on your settlement and budgetary situation

4. Produce a repair plan that typically saves thousands of dollars compared to a non-engineered repair plan. Contractors do not want to come back to fix a problem they caused. Sometimes this means adding “factor of safety” repairs that increase your bottom dollar expense and are really unnecessary. An extra pier here or there is money in their pocket, and ease of mind regarding future repairs. Avoid this by hiring an engineer.

5. Inspect, observe and help direct underpinning installation, mobilization and lifting efforts. We represent you, on site with your interests in mind.

6. Confirm tolerances of the final underpinning system install match pricing plan specifications.

7. Establish a follow up monitoring schedule to help establish the success of the chosen underpinning solution and identify any future movement during the warrantee period so that the underpinning contractor can properly service their system while it is still under warranty.

8. Provide a registered professional engineering stamp on the structural repair plans issued by our office. This signoff increases home value and facilitates future real estate transactions by giving your buyer the assurance that your home or property has been looked at by a qualified professional registered by the State of Colorado. In addition, a registered engineers stamp is actually a requirement with most local building departments.

A #13: In general, no. Because of liability reasons and the extremely high levels of precision and engineering science behind our designs and construction drawings, we typically cannot stamp plans that do not originate from our office. The amount of time it takes to coordinate between an outside drafter and our design intent is typically too long compared to just simply doing things in house.

A #14: Check our reference page out by clicking HERE.

A #15: A lot of our work is referenced to us from home inspectors. Our service is entirely focused on one thing: the structure of your home or property, whereas a general home inspection service is focused on a wider array of home based details such as mechanical, electrical, plumbing etc. For more info on property inspections, click this LINK.