@parklinkz – No, I don’t think your cousin’s house will be going anywhere! I’m glad her contractor had the foresight to take those precautions. It isn’t pretty when a house’s foundation shifts.
If you pick up a ragdoll, hold it by its middle, and then tilt at an angle, you can get an idea of what a house looks like when suffering from foundation settling. The doorways and windows get tilted. The doors won’t open, and the windows won’t close. In severe cases, the walls start falling away from each other like pages of an open book.
I work with a company that fixes houses that have settlement issues. Often, the only way to fix the problem is to lift the affected house up off the ground and drive piling beneath the foundation. That stabilizes the soil and prevents future settling.