Today we had an architectural engineer stop by.
We have had cracks in our ceilings and walls - not bad ones, but to my eye, they appear to be getting worse. This has been driving me slightly mad, as we live in an area of known shifting foundations and the thought of a $12,000 foundation fix (yes, it has happened to an acquaintance) has been constantly playing on my mind.
So we finally called someone.
At the recommendation of the Realtor who helped us buy this house (who is just the most super nice, sweetest person in the world) we went with an Architectural Engineer. "I do not trust those 'Let us evaluate you for free' sorts of foundation repair folks" was her response. And, as a rule, you always go with the super nice sweetest Realtor.
There was a cost incurred, of course, an up front payment instead of waiting to see what it would cost (see the "Let us evaluate you for free" comment above). This is the payoff for such a thing - and such a cost I am happy to pay in this case - for things like this, always better to pay the professional.
What was the result? I have a verbal from The Ravishing Mrs. TB at the moment as she was here, but in fact we do NOT have a problem. The foundation has moved even less than he would have expected - maybe half an inch - and the cracks are due to the attic being hotter than perhaps it should be and the wood expanding. Recommendations were an attic fan and looking at installing a radiant barrier if we get re-insulated (which should probably happen at some point) - the first one easily resolvable, the second someone I have thought about anyway.
I cannot tell you the sense of relief I have. As it turns out, we are going to be here a little longer than I had originally anticipated due to the new job. It is nice to know that at least in the aspect, we do not have a serious issue and any improvements we make will not be wasted.
Bottom line, take action. And always pay the professionals if it is called for.