The foundation of a house is fundamental to its overall integrity, so it’s important to address any problems as soon as they occur. A foundation is the lowest part of any structure that supports the upper part’s weight and transfers it to the soil. An unsteady or sinking foundation can cause multiple issues throughout the house that’ll worsen over time.
Unfortunately, most foundation repair projects require professionals and are expensive. However, fixing your home’s foundation is a worthwhile investment.
Below, we’ll go over the average cost of repairing a foundation, factors affecting foundation repair costs, types of foundations, and how to save on foundation repair costs.
Average Cost of Foundation Repair
On average, foundation repair costs between $4000 and $15000 to fix extensive foundation repairs like bowing wall repair.
All houses eventually settle, but if your house settles excessively, it can cause serious structural issues. Underpinning and piering problems may cost $1000 to $2000 a pier. Most homes have 8-10 piers.
However, small cracks may require simple solutions like filling with epoxy, which costs a few hundred dollars ranging from $250 to $800.
Factors Affecting Foundation Repair Cost
Several factors impact foundation repair costs. Prices can vary depending on materials, labor and permits, type of foundation, size of home and accessibility, soil stability and foundation settlement, repair method, severity of foundation damage, and other additional considerations.
Soil Stability and Foundation Settlement
Finding a solid ground to lay the foundation of a home may be difficult because, naturally, soil contracts, expands, sinks or shifts depending on the gradient and drainage conditions of that particular area.
Some soils have better shrink-swell potential. It‘s best to build a house on stable and well-drained soil. Poor drainage adversely affects the foundation as it causes soil erosion beneath that might require more piers to correct. Poorly draining soils such as clay cause severe settlement, which increase the cost of repairs.
Home Size and Accessibility
It’d cost more to repair your foundation if your home settles over a larger area. Larger homes obviously take up more foundation areas, increasing the foundation repair cost. Bigger houses also have more weight and structural issues to sort out.
Access limitations increase the cost of foundation repair because these are issues that make it harder to install.
They might also cost more time. Just like in soil stability, accessibility might cost extra money in terms of materials such as additional piers and altering the landscape for the contractors to reach the problem areas or homes.
Severity of the Issue
It costs more to fix a bowing wall or a sinking foundation than to mend minor cracks. The more severe the foundation problem, the higher is its repair cost. Therefore, you need to identify and repair any foundation issues before the settlement becomes so extreme.
More severe problems like bowed walls, huge cracks, or doors that won’t close or open properly require stabilization with exterior piers, which means higher repair costs. It costs between $5,000 and $9,000 to repair a failing home foundation.
This cost excludes the possibility of additional problems to consider fixing while repairing the foundation, like replacing plumbing. While simple foundation repair projects can cost just over $2,000, more complex projects might push the cost up to nearly $20,000.
Materials, Labor, and Permits
The cause of foundation damage determines the materials used to fix the problem.
Common materials can include steel support beams, sealant, hydraulic piers, cement, carbon fiber, grout, steel reinforcement strips, waterproofing items, polyurethane foams, epoxy, or jacks.
Consult a foundation repair professional about what kind of material will sort out your home’s foundation problem.
Labor costs $200 on average. Most foundation repair contractors charge per hour, but consult your contractor about that if you’re unsure.
Permits for a foundation repair will cost between $75 and $150, on average. They’re necessary because the law requires homeowners to have them.
Cause of Foundation Problem
Different houses often have different kinds of foundations, which require different repair methods. Causes of foundation problems also vary by house.
These factors will affect the cost of foundation repair, but foundation problems are generally caused by cracks, bowing, shifting, leaks, crumbling, sinking, and soil erosion.
Be sure to call in a structural engineer so they can find out exactly what caused your foundation problem.
On average, it costs $4,442 to repair a foundation. This price may vary depending on the repair method used to fix the foundation problem. The most common ways to repair a foundation include basement piering or underpinning, foundation jacking, foundation sealing, and foundation stabilization.
Types of Foundations
The most important decision a homeowner makes when constructing a house is the type of foundation it’ll sit on. There are five main types of foundations and they determine what problems you might face and the cost of fixing them.
Sealing and mudjacking are usually the fixes for concrete slab foundation issues as long as the soil hasn’t moved. But if it has shifted, you’ll need to hire a soil specialist or concrete foundation contractor to recommend a better type of foundation. This may involve jacking up the home to get rid of the old slab and replace it with a more secure foundation.
Significant crawl space moisture leads to cracking and bowing, but is usually sorted out by increased insulation and ventilation. Another fix is to use adjustable joists that’ll help ease extra pressure on the soil and stop your home from sinking.
Brick and Cinder Block
When it comes to repairing a home’s foundation, cracks and leaking often occur together. If there’s a problem with your foundation, you’ll notice stair-step and vertical cracks along brick and cinder block joint lines. Horizontal lines considerably weaken the stability of a foundation and should be fixed right away.
The additional square footage of a basement offers lots of lifestyle solutions, such as guest suite or playroom. But leaking or cracking can result in more serious problems like bowing, so it’s essential to sort out any problems as soon as they occur. Basements often require waterproofing, which sometimes results in extensive excavation work.
Pier and Beam
Settling and wood decay is most often the cause of pier and beam problems, which indicate moisture issues or shifting soil. To fix pier and beam problems, you might need to install a new drainage system or upgrade your current system.
If possible, setting up a sump pump can be a cost-effective way to deal with pier and beam issues. Also, you’ll probably need to add extra piers to your underpinning system or replace the beams with steel.
Additional Considerations and Costs
There are often other factors to consider when it comes to the cost of foundation repairs. These may include a soil report, structural engineer report, and unseen obstacles.
Soil conditions change over the years due to water, tectonic shifts, or any other geological factor, and one may need to conduct a soil test to find out if it’s contributing to their home foundation developing problems. This makes it hard to depend on the initial soil reports normally done before construction. It costs between $300 and $3,000 to get a geotechnical engineer to do a soil report.
Always keep extra money between $1,000 and $2,500 to cover up unplanned costs such as damage by tree roots systems, extra deep footings, or remains of an old repair job that need to be moved away.
Structural Engineer Report
It is vital to call a structural engineer to inspect a home if it has foundation problems before repairing it. The professional checks the hidden areas of the foundation for distress, cracks, and water damage, among other problems. The report costs between $300 and $1,500
It is important to address the danger signs in the foundation at the earliest time possible through regular inspections. Failure to address a foundation issue early worsens the damage and makes it more expensive to repair. Proper foundation maintenance protects the home’s stability and its resale value. And finally, consulting professionals on foundation issues keeps homes safe.