How Much Does Foundation Repair Cost?
When homeowners notice cracks, leaks, or settling in their home’s foundation, quick action is essential. Foundation repair cost ranges from $2,161 to $7,773, with the national average at $4,956.
- Foundation repair typically costs between $2,161 and $7,773, with the national average foundation repair cost at $4,956.
- Some of the main factors that affect foundation repair cost include the type and severity of the damage, the repair method, and the type of material of the foundation.
- There are several signs that a foundation needs repair services, including persistent water and dampness, large horizontal cracks, crumbling concrete, and sloping or sagging floors and walls.
- Foundation damage can be dangerous, and homeowners will want to consult a professional as soon as they notice any issues to diagnose and repair any structural issues.
Foundation settling that results in cracking can lead to significant structural issues. For homeowners who notice cracks in their home’s foundation, foundation repair costs are a natural concern. According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, homeowners can expect to pay between $2,161 and $7,773 for foundation repair, with the national average at $4,956. Although repairs to minor foundation cracks can cost as little as $500, some homeowners will pay $15,000 or more if there are significant issues requiring hydraulic piers. Repairing any cracks right away will help homeowners avoid potentially irreversible damage. The longer it takes to repair the damage to the foundation, the more expensive the project will be. It’s common for foundation issues to result in cracked walls, settled floors, doors that are difficult to open and close, and even collapsed ceilings and burst pipes. Foundation repair professionals typically charge for labor by the hour, and while rates can vary due to the geographic location of the home and the cost of living in that region, the average rate is around $200 per hour. Homeowners can search for “foundation repair near me” to get an idea of rates in their area.
Factors in Calculating Foundation Repair Cost
How much does foundation repair cost? That depends on many factors. Prices can differ from the national average due to labor, permits, materials, the cause of the damage, the type and severity of the issue, the repair method, the type of foundation, accessibility of the damage for repairs, home size, soil stability, and foundation settlement.
The extent of necessary foundation repairs will vary greatly depending on the cause of the damage. For example, if the foundation has minor cracks but is otherwise structurally sound, the repairs will likely cost somewhere between $250 and $800. Small leaks may not seem like a big deal, but they often indicate a deeper drainage issue. For more severe or frequent leaks, basement waterproofing costs from $2,300 to $7,575.
For a foundation that is settling and sinking, soil drainage is a common culprit that will also need to be addressed to prevent the issue from recurring. Overall, a drainage system will cost between $2,800 and $6,500 to install. Bowing basement walls are another clue that poor soil drainage is affecting a foundation. Walls will need to be reinforced in addition to any soil changes addressed, so prices can range from $4,000 to $12,000. It’s common for the foundations of older homes to crumble and erode, especially if there is also water damage. Depending on the extent of the damage, reinforcement of crumbling foundations can cost between $500 and $20,000. Repairs to the home’s gutters may also be necessary to prevent further water damage.
If foundation issues are caught early, it’s likely that only minor repairs will be needed and costs will stay relatively low. But because foundation damage can affect the structural integrity of the entire house, the problem will become more extensive and more costly the longer the homeowner waits to address it. Not only will the foundation itself need significant structural repairs, but the cost of plumbing, wall, or floor repair will also add up. The full extent of damage to a foundation isn’t always clear at first glance, but a professional can help assess the situation in its entirety and offer informed recommendations to the homeowner.
The average cost of foundation repair is $4,956. This price can fluctuate depending on the type of repair method used to remedy the foundation damage. These are the most common types of home foundation repair methods.
- Basement underpinning or piering. Piering the basement costs between $1,000 and $3,000 per pier. This method involves excavating, raising the foundation, and installing hydraulic piers. When licensed professionals perform this technique, they offer a permanent solution to foundation problems, even if the house continues to settle and the soil shifts. Also called underpinning, the process installs piers under the home that lift and support the concrete foundation. The foundation repair professional will dig around the foundation, install hydraulic piers at different points underneath, and raise the foundation to the correct place to stabilize it.
- Foundation jacking. Also known as house leveling, mudjacking, or slabjacking, this process costs between $600 and $1,600. With this method a grout mixture is pumped into space beneath the concrete foundation and floats it back into the correct position. While this process is more budget-friendly than other options and doesn’t require as much excavation or equipment, it’s not a permanent fix if the house or soil continues to settle. Ask a foundation repair professional whether this repair will work for your home.
- Foundation stabilization. This process can run between $4,000 and $12,000 for 12 strips of reinforcement. For this repair method, a professional can use one of two materials to stabilize the walls: steel or carbon fiber. Steel is used if there are severe shifts, and carbon fiber is an excellent choice if there is minimal bowing in the walls. Steel is the more expensive option, but it may be worth the cost to stabilize the foundation and protect the home if the damage is severe. A foundation repair professional will know which material will work best.
- Foundation sealing. This foundation repair can cost between $2,300 and $7,300. Sealing is a waterproofing fix for drainage and moisture problems. Not every home with a moisture issue will need to have a complete waterproofing system, so homeowners will want to ask their foundation repair professional what will work best for their home. An inspection from a structural engineer is also a beneficial way to discover the range of needed repairs.
- Foundation reinforcement. If the foundation is not sinking but is showing minor signs of instability, a foundation repair professional may recommend reinforcement. Reinforcement is done in sections of the house alongside related repairs like securing bowing walls. Each section typically costs around $700 to $5,000 to repair.
- Foundation leveling. A myriad of issues can cause a foundation to need leveling: shifting soil, excess moisture, or natural settling can all set it off-kilter. Typically mudjacking or slabjacking will be used to fill in gaps and lift the foundation back to its proper height. The costs for leveling a foundation are usually between $3 and $25 per square foot, so to level a 1,500-square-foot area of foundation will cost between $4,500 and $37,500.
- Foundation waterproofing. Waterproofing is essential in protecting a foundation from water damage. The cost for waterproofing tends to be between $2,300 and $7,300. It may be the case that only sealing is needed to waterproof the foundation, but if there is already a severe moisture problem, more advanced techniques and drainage systems may be necessary, tipping costs to the higher side of that range.
A home’s foundation type will play a large part in determining the cost and type of repairs needed. Homes that have basements require more substantial excavation than homes with concrete slabs. Homes with pier and beam structures or crawl spaces are typically easier to repair and access. These are some of the most common foundation types.
- Concrete slab. If the home has a concrete slab that is settling, it can usually be repaired with sealing and mudjacking. Slabs are typically used in areas where the soil doesn’t shift. A soil specialist or structural engineer will assist in recommending a different type of stable foundation, which will affect the cost of concrete slab repair. If the home needs a new foundation, the house will be raised and the concrete slab removed to make room for a new foundation. Costs to repair a concrete slab foundation are between $350 and $20,000. A new concrete slab costs between $3,600 and $7,200.
- Crawl space. Crawl spaces can experience moisture issues that create serious deterioration under a home. The crawl spaces can crack, bow, and settle, causing the house to sink when the supports shift. One way to solve this problem is to install adjustable joists to level the foundation.
- Brick and cinder block. Brick and cinder block foundations are prone to cracking, leaking, and eventually bowing. Cracks can run in steps along the joints, vertically, or horizontally. Horizontal cracks can have devastating effects on a home’s stability. Cracks will need to be filled, and any drainage or moisture issues will need to be repaired. This can cost between $350 and $25,000. Stabilizing the foundation can be done with steel or carbon fiber reinforcements. The foundation repair contractor will recommend the best plan of action for repairs.
- Basement. Homes with a basement typically have the most expensive repairs and the widest assortment of issues. It’s common for basements to settle, sink, crack, bow, and leak. These problems will quickly lead to other, more serious issues if repairs aren’t made right away. It’s typical for basements to need waterproofing, which involves extensive excavation and costs between $2,300 to $7,300 on average. If the basement walls are cracked severely or are bowing, they will need to be reinforced.
- Pier and beam. A house with a pier and beam foundation will sit about 18 inches off the ground on piers that are supported by beams. The most common issues with this type of foundation are settling and wood decay caused by shifting soil and moisture. Wooden beams are usually replaced with steel, and sometimes extra piers are added for additional support. If there are severe soil issues, heavy foundation supports known as pilings will need to be installed more deeply under the piers. A sump pump may be installed to combat moisture and decay problems, the drainage may be adapted to ensure that water is directed away from the house, and a more efficient drainage system may need to be established. Pier and beam foundation repair costs around $700 to $25,000.
- Stem wall. A stem wall, or basement foundation, is most commonly affected by water damage. If water gets inside this structure, fluctuations in temperature can cause cracks to form. Smaller sections of damage can be patched and sealed, but for bigger cracks, mudjacking is the most effective approach. The cost to repair a stem wall runs between $350 and $20,000 depending on the severity of the problem.
The material that a foundation is made of will affect the method of repair as well as the cost. Brick foundations are typically the least costly to repair at $350 to $15,000. This usually involves filling gaps and repairing leaks, although in some cases the foundation may need to be reinforced with carbon fiber beams. Steel piers can be one of the costliest materials to repair, depending on the number of piers needed; this cost is usually between $950 and $19,200. For some materials like concrete, foundation repair professionals may need to raise the house in order to work on or replace the foundation altogether, increasing the overall cost significantly.
The size of the home will also affect foundation repair costs. Larger homes are typically more expensive to repair, since they weigh more, are more structurally complex, and need more equipment and materials for the repairs. If hydraulic piers need to be installed, the larger the house, the more piers will be required to support the foundation. Each pier may cost anywhere from $700 to $2,100 depending on the type.
Labor, Permits, and Materials
The average hourly price for labor is around $200. Most foundation repair professionals will charge for labor by the hour, but homeowners can check with their contractor to be sure. Permits are required for foundation repair, with an average cost of $75 to $150. The materials used for foundation repairs depend on the cause of the problem. Some common materials are jacks, epoxy, polyurethane foam, waterproofing items, grout, cement, sealant, hydraulic piers, carbon fiber, steel reinforcement strips, and steel support beams. A professional will know exactly what type of material will fix any foundation problem.
Calculating the cost of foundation repair depends on the type of foundation, damage, and repairs. The overall foundation repair cost will depend on the particular issue and repair method used. Some factors that impact cost include how accessible the foundation is and whether landscaping will need to be removed. Typically, crawl space foundation repair costs less because the area is easily accessible.
Soil Stability and Foundation Settlement
Soil contraction, expansion, and settlement in addition to inadequate foundation drainage commonly cause foundation problems. The only way to prevent foundation settlement is to install a deep and stable foundation with steel push piers or helical piers. This method transfers the weight of the home from unstable soil to robust supports. Some grounds have a greater shrink-swell potential than others, so it’s important to have a foundation professional’s assessment. Soil stability also affects drainage. Insufficient drainage can cause erosion underneath a home, negatively impacting the foundation’s structure and causing it to sink and settle. Every situation and foundation is different, so homeowners will want to ask their foundation repair professional what type of repair is best for the type of soil underneath their home.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When homeowners are budgeting for foundation repair costs, there are usually additional price factors and considerations, including a structural engineer report, a soil report, and unseen obstacles.
A structural engineer acts as a neutral third party who will inspect all unconcealed areas of the foundation, crawl space, and basement for signs of water damage, deterioration, distress, cracking, or other problems. A structural engineer report can cost between $350 and $725.
All homes settle and can shift over the years. Soil contraction and expansion are the leading causes of foundation settling. Soil reports are typically completed before a house is built, but the homeowner may not have one readily available if their home is older. A geotechnical engineer can determine what type of soil is surrounding the home and what kinds of foundation problems it can cause. A soil report can run between $500 and $3,000.
In addition to the type of foundation problem and the repair method used, another variable that can affect foundation repair cost is hidden obstacles in the ground. Some common unseen obstacles include extra-deep footings, old repair methods, or tree roots. Removing these hidden obstacles can add an average of $1,000 to $2,500 to the overall project cost.
For foundations with severe damage, it may be necessary to lift the house in order to make the repairs. Lifting the structure is a massive undertaking and is reflected in the cost, which can range from $20,000 to $23,000.
A house will also need to be lifted if the entire foundation needs to be replaced. The cost for foundation replacement is significantly higher; homeowners can expect to pay between $20,000 and $100,000.
Insulating a foundation can increase the home’s energy efficiency and protect against issues like moisture and mold. If the foundation is not already insulated, it may be worthwhile to have it installed while repairs are underway. Whether this is possible will depend on the foundation materials and the type of repairs being made. The cost to insulate a foundation is typically between $1.50 and $3.50 per square foot.
Landscaping and Drainage
If there are trees or shrubs blocking access to parts of the foundation, landscaping services may be needed to clear the area before repairs can be made. Landscapers may also need to return after the foundation has been repaired to clean up any debris or restore the landscaping that borders the house. If the foundation damage is caused by a tree root that has grown under the foundation, the tree will need to be removed before repairs can take place. For landscaping or tree removal, homeowners will want to budget an extra $200 to $500. If water or erosion has caused damage to the foundation, a French drain may need to be installed to prevent further damage. Drainage system installation can cost between $2,800 and $6,500.
Types of Foundation Issues
Depending on the type of issue, foundation repairs can cost as little as $250 for minor cracks and upwards of $25,000 or more if the issue requires hydraulic piers. The average homeowner will typically pay between $2,161 and $7,773 for foundation repair costs.
Foundation crack repair costs between $250 and $800. Some foundation cracks are minor and easy to fix. Cracks wider than ⅛ inch are a cause for concern, and hairline cracks should be repaired to prevent additional water damage. For larger cracks, homeowners will want to consult with a structural engineer about available options when it comes to repairing a foundation crack.
The total cost is usually determined by the direction the cracks are running: horizontally or vertically. Vertical cracks are generally harmless, but they should be repaired to avoid developing into something more serious. They’re typically filled with an epoxy- or polyurethane-based filler and sealed if needed. Filler is injected into portholes drilled every 4 to 8 inches along the crack to prevent it from growing. The more cracks in the foundation, the more expensive the repairs. Horizontal cracks are a sign of a significant problem. These cracks may require the walls to be reinforced, which can cost upward of $4,000, depending on how many walls need to be repaired and how extensive the issues are.
Foundation leak repair can run from $2,300 to $7,300. Foundation leaks signal issues with drainage and moisture around the home. A foundation repair professional will have plenty of advice for homeowners about the best options. It’s common to need waterproof sealing around the foundation if it’s leaking. To do this, the contractor will excavate around the foundation, establish new tile drains, and fill any cracks with cement. The structure will then be coated in sealant and wrapped with waterproof material. This repair involves labor, time, and material costs, but it’s worth the added expense to have a dry and secure home. Water pressure is another issue that causes foundation leaks. The pressure can erode the walls and foundation, causing them to crack and allow water into the house. If flooding or water damage is expected in the spring or summer, a professional may recommend installing a sump pump to ensure all water is pumped up and out of the home. The installation of a sump pump averages between $641 and $2,044.
Sinking or Settling
If the home’s foundation is sinking, a foundation repair professional will raise it to its original height and attach it to piers for approximately $1,000 to $3,000 per unit. Mudjacking for sinking foundation repair cost is around $600 to $1600 and involves pouring concrete beneath the foundation to push it back up. The method is determined by the cause of the sinking and the extent of the problem. A structural engineer report is helpful in determining why the house is sinking. This report will cost between $350 and $725 and will include how many piers are needed and where they need to be placed to provide the best support.
Using steel or carbon fiber reinforcement strips to repair a bowing wall costs between $4,000 and $12,000. Poor soil conditions caused by insufficient drainage, expansive clay, or weak fill will induce walls to bow. Bowing walls can cause the house to settle, which can also impact the value of the home. Soil testing and assessment are needed to determine the cause of the problem. Pier installation may be needed depending on how much the walls have bowed. A wall that has bowed less than 2 inches can be repaired with reinforcement strips applied to the wall with industrial-strength epoxy. If a wall has curved more than 2 inches, steel reinforcement strips will be used and anchored to the floor joists. Another potential solution is wall anchors. This process involves digging a trench around the perimeter of the house and lowering anchor plates into it. Steel connecting rods are positioned into the anchors and affixed to a wall plate placed inside the wall with a bolt and washer. The connecting rods are routinely tightened over time until the wall becomes straight again. The cost of each wall anchor is between $400 and $600.
Foundation erosion is the result of water damage, so the source of the water will need to be addressed before any structural changes are made. If gutters are the culprit, these and downspouts may need to be repaired or replaced. Another fix is installing a French drain. Repairing the foundation itself involves coating with epoxy or filling cracks with polyurethane. Depending on the extent of the problem, costs could range from $500 to $10,000.
Depending on the cause of the problem, repairing a crumbling foundation can cost between $500 and $20,000. A foundation can succumb to crumbling as a result of old age, water damage, or settling. Unless the problem is simply age, it may be necessary to address the cause of the issue by installing drainage systems or filling cracks.
A small amount of shifting is to be expected in a foundation, but significant shifting in a short period of time is cause for concern. Shifting can be repaired by installing piers, mudjacking, or reinforcing walls. The cost to repair a shifting foundation is typically between $700 and $25,000.
Do I Need Foundation Repair?
Homeowners who notice cracks in the foundation or interior walls, crumbling bricks, or doors that do not open and close smoothly will want to contact a professional to assess the damage. A foundation repair professional will know what to look for and how to determine whether these are signs of a more significant problem.
Because they are underground, basements have a higher range of potential problems, and foundations beneath basements tend to be costlier to repair. If there is excessive dampness or leaking in a basement, the foundation is a likely culprit. Water damage works quickly and can lead to other unpleasant issues like mold, so it’s advisable to act as soon as the signs appear. The cost for basement foundation repair is between $5,000 and $25,000.
While some small cracks are to be expected in any foundation, horizontal cracks in a brick foundation can be a red flag. Horizontal cracks indicate that there is a buildup of pressure on the perimeter of the home, whereas vertical cracks do not. Tiny cracks—⅛-inch or smaller—are probably not indications of damage. However, a serious horizontal crack of at least 15mm in length or with a ¼-inch gap can be a sign of significant foundation movement and should be addressed right away. Water damage and burrowing insects can make the damage worse.
Crumbling can be a result of water damage, old age, or something much more serious, such as sinking. In any case, crumbling concrete can compromise the integrity of the home if not fixed. One solution may be to fill gaps with epoxy or polyurethane. Otherwise, it may be necessary to address drainage or soil problems in addition to structural repairs.
Damp Crawl Space
A home with a pier and beam foundation may be subject to water damage in the crawl space if there is insufficient drainage. A damp crawl space can cause a whole host of problems, such as mold, termites, a musty smell, and a deteriorating foundation. It may be necessary to implement drainage systems around the crawl space to keep the area dry.
Poor Drainage or Pooling Water
If sewer or drainage pipes have sprung a leak, the excess moisture can cause the soil beneath a foundation to shift or prevent proper drainage. If there is water pooling in the basement or yard, the homeowner can call a plumber to find the source of the leak before having the foundation itself repaired.
Hard-to-Open Windows or Doors
In some cases, a shifting foundation can cause other parts of the home to become off-kilter. For example, floors or ceilings may become uneven and sag. Some signs that this has occurred are doors that are difficult to open because there is not enough room at the top or bottom of the frame. The same can happen with windows. Homeowners will want to keep in mind that another explanation for this phenomenon is humidity—wood can become bloated after a series of damp days. But if the problem does not resolve when the weather dries out, it’s likely a sign that the foundation is failing.
Gaping Around Windows or Doors
Another sign that a foundation is failing is gaping around windows and doors. When the foundation is uneven, walls can shift, causing windows and door frames to become visibly misaligned. Doors may not stay latched, and double doors may not line up evenly.
Sloping or Sagging Floors or Walls
If it seems like the floors are sloping or uneven, the foundation has likely shifted significantly. Floors may also begin to squeak more than they used to. If uneven floors become severe enough, they can be a safety hazard, especially for those who already have difficulty walking. It is important to address this problem as soon as possible to avoid personal injury or further damage to the home.
Foundation Repair: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
When it comes to foundation repair, DIY-ing should be limited to filling minor cracks. Still, those small cracks could be a symptom of a much larger problem that only a professional can identify. The best way to determine whether a crack is a sign of a serious structural issue is to consult a structural engineer or a foundation repair contractor. If the problem runs deeper, the cost of future repairs will increase exponentially as problems fester underground. Even if the cracks are only cosmetic, the peace of mind that comes from a pro giving the foundation a clean bill of health is priceless.
Many times, foundation damage can lead to additional problems throughout the home. A settling foundation can put pressure on plumbing, cause structural damage to walls and floors, and create gaps that leave the house vulnerable to pests. Usually, the problems will continue to worsen until a professional is brought in to tackle the shifting or sinking foundation. By hiring a foundation repair professional, homeowners can potentially avoid the expense of foundation replacement and all the accompanying repairs down the road.
How to Save Money on Foundation Repair Cost
Foundation repair costs can be high, and the additional costs associated with the project can quickly add up. One way to save on foundation repair is to buy the cheapest materials for the project, but there are other ways to save without compromising quality.
- Get multiple quotes. Request an estimate and cost breakdown from at least three reputable foundation repair professionals in the area. Keep in mind that some foundation contractors may be more familiar with the foundation’s unique problems than others.
- Request cost-effective options. Ask the foundation contractor or engineer if there are any temporary, cost-effective options. This is beneficial for homeowners on a budget and can help buy some time to save up for the project.
- Do preventative maintenance. If the current damage to the foundation isn’t severe, some preventative maintenance can be DIY-ed. Make sure the gutter and drainage system work properly to drain water away from the foundation, mark foundation cracks and monitor them every few months, and call an engineer if any significant signs of foundation damage appear.
- Prioritize repairs. Ask the foundation contractor if they can tackle the most critical repairs first. This will make it possible to save and budget for the more minor repairs down the road.
- Waterproof the foundation. If the foundation is currently in decent shape, waterproofing the foundation as soon as possible will help preserve it. This up-front cost could end up saving money on costly foundation repairs in the future.
- Search for free inspections and estimates. Some contractors in the area may offer free foundation inspections and estimates. Gathering and comparing the information helps homeowners budget and negotiate to get the best prices.
- Ask about a payment plan. Some foundation contractors may offer a payment plan so homeowners can pay over time instead of one large lump sum.
- Don’t wait. Don’t delay if the foundation is clearly in need of repair. The longer the problem persists, the more extensive the damage and cost can become.
Questions to Ask About Foundation Repair
Asking a professional the right questions about foundation repair costs can help homeowners minimize miscommunication, save money, and achieve the desired results. Below are some questions for homeowners to ask the best foundation repair companies to determine which will be the best fit.
- Is your company insured?
- Do you carry workers’ comp insurance?
- How long has your company been in business?
- Who will be doing the foundation repair?
- How long will the project take to complete?
- What type of soil do I have, and how does that impact the issues and repairs?
- Will the crew clean up after the project is completed?
- What will happen to my landscaping?
- Is there a potential for damage to irrigation lines?
- What type of repair method do you recommend, and why is that the best for my house?
- Do you offer a plumbing test to ensure there’s been no damage to the plumbing during the project?
- Do you offer a warranty?
- Will your company get all the required permits for the job?
Deciding on foundation repair while staying within a budget can be a daunting process for homeowners. Listed below are some frequently asked questions about foundation repair costs to help guide the decision-making process.
Q. How much does it cost to fix a house foundation?
Homeowners can expect to pay $4,926 on average for foundation repair. Some superficial cracks can cost as little as $500 to repair, and hydraulic piers can cost $10,000 or more. Many homeowners pay between $2,156 and $7,752 to repair foundation issues.
Q. Is foundation repair covered by homeowners insurance?
Most insurance companies consider foundation repair a regular part of home maintenance, so they rarely cover the cost.
Q. What are some common signs of a bad foundation?
Common signs of a bad foundation include cracks in the foundation walls, crumbling or cracking bricks or concrete, insufficient water drainage on the outside, leaking water in the basement, doors and windows that are difficult to open and close, cracks in the interior walls, sloped and warped floors, bowed or bulging walls, and door and window frame separation from brick.
Q. Does foundation repair affect home value?
When selling a home, owners are required to disclose any foundation repair work that has been completed on the home. Foundation problems can affect the entire home, so discovering that a foundation is in disrepair can be a huge turnoff for potential buyers. While some sellers are wary of disclosing that the foundation has undergone any foundation repairs, this information may make the home more attractive, since buyers won’t have to be responsible for those same repairs down the road.
Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, Fixr, Thumbtack, HomeGuide, Concrete Network