Score: 92/100 (9.2 out of 10)
Owning a house is one of the biggest dreams that many people have; however, few who purchase real-estate actually know the nuances that go into the building and construction of their property. Furthermore, few are aware of the potential dangers and problems just waiting to rear their ugly heads in the life of the property, particularly in relation to the property's foundation.
This is where Robert K. Brown and his well-constructed book, Foundation Repair Secrets, comes in. Despite the book's very niche subject matter, this book contains information that anyone who ever hopes to own a home should know (or at least be aware of). Brown is an expert on repairing the foundations of houses, having over thirty years of experience in construction and numerous relevant certifications in the state of Arizona.
Arizona serves as a great proving ground for Brown's techniques because the climate and temperatures in parts of Arizona are severe and the soil differs dramatically from place to place. You can take and use this information and apply to just about any location on Earth.
We learned so much from this book. The author taught us about some of the history of foundation building, going back at least as far as ancient Rome. We learned that the Romans brought limestone created or exposed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius to build some of their grand structures. We learned about the different soils and how the environment influences a structure. Soils, environments, and climates vary. Soils are influenced by millions or even billions of years of change. This is something that the majority of us take for granted because we're usually concerned with the here and now.
We also learned that there are different kinds of “experts” who deal with construction, inspections, and repairs. Many of us hire one expert or engineer to do our inspections without considering a second opinion or considering the fact that experts and engineers vary in their areas of expertise and their motivations. That's right, some of these experts are motivated by money and are often self-invested in suggesting a change or in identifying a problem (or lack thereof). That's why having an unbiased third-party do the inspection is so important. You should also get a second opinion since there are different kinds of experts and engineers. There are geotechnical engineers and structural engineers.
Most surprising to us, we weren't bored reading this book. In fact, we actually ENJOYED reading it. Maybe it's the budding/aspiring real-estate mogul in us, but this information got us daydreaming about the kind of house we would want: one that is safe, secure, and—most important of all—is built with a strong foundation.
This book is impressively well-written and structured.
We loved quotes like “If the only tool you have is a hammer, then all your problems start looking like nails!” This may be a nominee for “Best Quote!”
Check it out on Amazon!