Average Cost of Foundation Repair
Problems with the foundation of your home are serious and indicate major structural problems with the construction of your home. As such, they should not be ignored. Unfortunately, fixing foundation problems tends to be expensive. However, the sooner you address the issues, the cheaper it is to fix it. This is particularly true when it comes time to sell your house.
A house with foundation problems will struggle to sell, as it indicates basement flooding issues which no new homeowner wants to take on, and you’ll need to greatly discount the cost of your home for someone to take it. Financially, therefore, the costs may be high, but they are not as high as the cost of not fixing the problem.
This guide will walk you through the cost of foundation repair depending on what the problem is, what the method of fixing it is, and at what stage you catch the problem.
THE OVERALL COST
If you have to repair the foundation of your home, you will most likely spend between $2,500 and $6,750, with an average bill of $4,500.
If the required fix is minor, then your cost will be less than $1,000. However, if your repair needs hydraulic piers, you can expect to pay between $10,000 and $15,000. This shows that there is clear value in preventative work, discussed in the Preventing Damage section, below.
The cost of the repairs will obviously depend greatly on what specifically has gone wrong. The key signs to look out for are:
If you spot any of these, then you should call in a professional contractor – usually billed at between $100 and $150 per hour. They will be able to advise you on the specific problem you are facing.
Generally, the cause is one of the following:
Cracks in the foundation are problematic for two main reasons – firstly they suggest structural problems; secondly, they allow water to enter your home and cause damage. While cracks in the foundation are relatively easy to fix – roughly $60 per foot for a crack over inch wide – the real problem is why the crack emerged in the first place.
CRACK REPAIR BY THE FOOT
This chart is a rough guideline for how much it will cost to repair foundation costs, based on the length of an average sized crack.
Foundation Repair Calculator
Calculate how much you’ll pay for foundation repair based on the length of a crack.
Cracks are fixed by injecting in an epoxy into the empty space, allowing for a watertight seal to form. However, this is only a temporary solution, particularly if the structural problem is not addressed.
If you have a leak in your foundation, it will cost between $2,500 and $5,000 to fix. As with cracks in the foundation, leaks in the foundation often require multiple different solutions. For example, after you’ve fixed the leak, you will need to do something to prevent the water from creating a second leak.
For example, some of the solutions are as follows:
One of the most difficult and expensive foundation problems you can have is sinking foundations. In order to fix the problem, you will need to install reinforcing concrete piers to shore up the house. This will cost around $1,500 per pier.
Before you install the piers, you will need to get the following:
For more information on the different piering and underpinning techniques, see the section below, under Foundation Repair Methods.
If the wall in your basement is bowed, you can fix it with strong carbon fiber strips, which will cost around $5,000. This solution is only viable if your wall is less than 2 inches bowed. If it is more than that, then you will need to install steel strips to the floor to support the wall. This solution will cost $15,000. This indicates the benefit of catching problems early.
Once you’ve identified the problem with your foundation, you can start to think about how you go about fixing it. Naturally, the solution is dependent upon the problem, but the below solutions will give you an idea of what you can expect to spend.
Piering and Underpinning:
This solution involves digging under the home and placing hydraulically-lifted piers to raise the house.
This tends to be the most expensive solution, although it does provide a solid long-term solution.
House leveling is a less labor-intensive process than piering since it involves pumping a polyurethane mixture into holes that have been drilled under your home. Your home then ‘floats’ back to the surface, rather than having it sink into the ground. The cost of this process depends on how many holes you need to drill.
There are also cheaper solutions, such as unclogging or replacing gutters that require no spending at all.
If a wall or walls of your foundation are unstable, you can stabilize them with a carbon fiber mesh. This may also involve the use of wedge braces to raise the wall again.
Once the wall is level, you may also need to install wall straps to ensure that there is no further subsistence.
Window Straightening/Wall Repair:
Straightening a window frame is usually an additional cost once you have fixed the underlying structural issues. For example, once you’ve stabilized the basement wall, you will then need to pay to fix the window frames.
If you do this work yourself, the cost of the paint and the caulk will usually equal the additional $25.
Corner Pop Repair:
The corner pop is the exterior corner of the foundation. It often cracks as a result of exposure to hydrostatic pressure or weathering. While this may look troubling, the problem is actually cosmetic rather than structural. To fix the problem, you can use a trowel and premixed cement.
QUICK REFERENCE PRICE CHART
Here is a chart with the average costs of the various foundation repair methods discussed above.
Placing piers under a house and raising it up.
$10,720 - $13,400
Drilling holes into the ground and filling them with a polyurethane to raise the house.
$600 - $1,800
A method used to waterproof a foundation.
$2,000 - $6,500
Repairing instability issues.
$5,000 - $10,000
After fixing stabilization issues, window straightening and wall repair are often necessary.
$75 - $100
Repairing outside corners of the foundation.
As you may have gathered from the costs involved above, it’s better to catch problems before they escalate. Therefore, damage prevention is critical. The most important part of this is vigilance. Look for key signs of foundation damage – and if you spot something, act on it immediately.
These include keeping your plumbing up to scratch and having a professional inspect the foundation to check for signs of damage.
Both of these will go a long way to saving costs in the long term.
Sealing your foundation involves regularly checking the water and sewer pipes that come in and out of your home. You can also use your water bill as a way of checking to see if you may have a leak. However, if you want to be even safer, you can call a professional.
A plumbing inspection (even if you don’t think you have any problems) will cost you between $150 and $500. This does not include the cost of any repairs.
If you want to be absolutely sure, you can pay for a foundation Inspection. This is where a structural engineer will come to your home and provide a survey of your foundation. These usually cost between $350 and $1000, although can definitely save you money in the long-haul.
A foundation inspector will be able to identify issues in their nascent stages – or potentially before they even happen – which can save literally tens of thousands of dollars. It could be the best investment you ever make.
Although the costs of fixing a foundation may seem high, they are less than the cost of inaction. Besides, the structure of your home is of vital importance.
Spending money on fixing a foundation isn’t glamorous, but it is essential. After all, you buy a home to keep you and your family safe and secure, and a solid foundation is crucial in that. So, spend the money sooner, minimize your costs, and get your home back to its best.