How Much Does Foundation Repair Cost?
Have you noticed cracks in your home’s foundation? Foundation repair costs range from $2,012 to $7,074, with the national average at $4,542.
- Typical Range: $2,012 to $7,074
- National Average: $4,542
Foundation settling that results in cracking can lead to significant structural issues for your home. If you notice cracks in your home’s foundation, chances are you’re concerned about foundation repair costs. According to HomeAdvisor, when the time comes for home foundation repair, expect to pay between $2,012 and $7,074, with the national average at $4,542. If there are significant issues and hydraulic piers are needed, some homeowners will pay $10,000 or more. Repairs to minor foundation cracks can cost as little as $500. It’s beneficial to repair any cracks right away to avoid potentially irreversible damage. The longer it takes to repair the damage to the foundation, the more expensive it 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, with the average rate around $200 per hour. Labor rates can vary due to the geographic area you live in and the cost of living in your city or town.
Factors in Calculating Foundation Repair Cost
Calculating foundation repair costs depends on several factors. Prices can differ from the national average due to labor, permits, materials, cause of the damage, type and severity of the issue, repair method, the type of foundation, accessibility to the damage for repairs, home size, soil stability, and foundation settlement.
Labor, Permits, and Materials
The average price for labor is around $200 per hour. Most foundation repair professionals will charge for labor by the hour, but check with your contractor to be sure. Permits are required for foundation repair, and the average cost is between $75 and $150. The materials used for foundation repairs depend on the cause of the problem. Some common materials can be jacks, epoxy, polyurethane foam, waterproofing items, grout, cement, sealant, hydraulic piers, carbon fiber, steel reinforcement strips, or steel support beams. A professional will tell you what type of material will fix the foundation problem in your home.
Cause of the Issue
The cause of the foundation issue will vary from home to home and so will the method of repair. One reason for the variation depends on the type of foundation you have. The price of the repair can fluctuate due to these factors. Some common causes of foundation problems are cracks, soil erosion, leaks, sinking, shifting, crumbling, and bowing of the foundation. A structural engineer can determine the ultimate cause of the foundation issues.
Type and Severity of the Issue
Foundations that have been poorly maintained or built on compressible or improperly compacted soil can cause significant damage to the home. As the foundation settles and moves, it can cause cracks in walls and doors that no longer easily open and close. If foundation damage isn’t repaired quickly, it can lead to severe issues, and the property may be condemned. Common issues are foundation cracks and leakage, house settling, sinking foundation, and bowing walls. How much it costs to repair these issues will vary according to how severe the damage is and the type of foundation in your home.
The average foundation repair cost is $4,542. This price can fluctuate depending on what type of repair method is used to remedy the foundation damage. These are the most common types of foundation repair methods.
- Basement underpinning or piering. Piering the basement costs between $1,000 and $3,000 per pier. This method involves excavation, raising the foundation, and installing hydraulic piers. When licensed professionals perform this technique, it’s a permanent solution to foundation problems, even if the house continues to settle and the soil shifts. Also called underpinning, this 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 under the foundation at different points, and raise the foundation to the correct place to stabilize it.
- Foundation jacking. Also known as house leveling, mud jacking, or slab jacking, this process costs between $500 and $1,300. This method uses a grout mixture pumped into space beneath the concrete foundation that floats the foundation back into the correct position. This process is more budget-friendly, and it doesn’t require as much excavation or equipment. This method is not a permanent fix if the house or soil continues to settle. Ask your foundation repair professional if 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 two materials to stabilize the walls: steel and 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. A foundation repair professional will know which material will work the best for your home. Steel is the more expensive option, but it may be worth it to stabilize the foundation and protect your home.
- Foundation sealing. This foundation repair can cost between $2,000 and $7,000. 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. Always ask your foundation repair professional what will work the best for your home. An inspection from a structural engineer is also a beneficial way to discover the range of needed repairs.
Type of Foundation
The type of foundation your home has will in large part determine the cost and type of repairs you’ll need. Homes that have basements require more substantial excavation than a home with a concrete slab. Homes with pier and beam structures or crawl spaces are typically easier to repair and access. These are some of the most common types of foundations.
- Concrete slab. If your home has a concrete slab that is settling, it can usually be repaired with sealing and mud jacking. Slabs are typically used in areas where the soil doesn’t move and shift very much. 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 you need a new foundation, your house will be raised, and the concrete slab will be removed to make room for a new foundation.
- Crawl space. Crawl spaces can experience moisture issues that create serious deterioration under a home. The crawl spaces can crack, bow, and settle, which causes the house to sink when the supports shift. A solution to 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. Stabilizing the foundation can be done with steel or carbon fiber reinforcements. Your 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. Basement 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. If the basement walls are bowing, you will need to get those reinforced.
- Pier and beam. A house will sit about 18 inches off the ground with a pier and beam foundation. The house rests on piers that are supported by beams. The most common issues with this type of foundation are settling and wood decay caused by soil shifting 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 deeper under the piers. A sump pump may be installed to combat moisture and decay problems, and the drainage may be adapted to ensure that water is directed away from the house, and a more efficient drainage system will need to be established.
Calculating the cost of foundation repair can be tricky due to the type of damage, repair, and foundation. The overall foundation repair cost for your home will depend on the particular issue and repair method used. Some factors that impact cost include how accessible the foundation is and if landscaping will need to be removed. Some types of foundations are more easily accessible, such as pier and beam and crawl spaces.
The size of your home will also affect foundation repair costs. The larger the house, the more equipment and materials will be needed for the repairs. Larger homes are typically more expensive to repair since they weigh more and are more structurally complex. If hydraulic piers need to be installed, the larger the house, the more piers will be required to support the foundation.
Soil Stability and Foundation Settlement
Soil contraction, expansion, settlement, and 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. Soil stability is also related to improper 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 be sure to ask your foundation repair professional what type of repair is best for the type of soil that’s underneath your home.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When budgeting for foundation repair costs, there are usually additional price factors and considerations. These can include a structural engineer report, a soil report, and unseen obstacles.
Structural Engineer Report
If you have foundation damage and need repairs, call a structural engineer to inspect your home. A structural engineer report can cost between $300 and $1,500. The structural engineer will inspect all unconcealed areas of the foundation, crawl space, and basement for signs of water damage, deterioration, distress, cracking, or other damage. Rest assured that a structural engineer is not trying to sell you anything and will only report on visible damage as a trusted and neutral third party.
All homes settle, and the house will shift over the years. Soil contraction and expansion are the leading causes of foundation settling. Soil reports are commonly done before building a house, but you may not have one readily available if your home is older. A geotechnical engineer will inform you of what type of soil you have around your home and what kinds of foundation problems result from it. A soil report can run between $500 and $3,000.
In addition to the foundation problem and the repair method used, another variable that can affect foundation repair cost are hidden obstacles in the ground. Some common unseen obstacles can be extra-deep footings, old repair methods, or tree roots. These variables can add an average of $1,000 to $2,500 to the overall project cost.
Foundation Repair Cost: Types of Foundation Issues
Depending on the type of issue, foundation repairs can cost as little as $500 for minor cracks and upward of $10,000 or more if the issue requires hydraulic piers. The average homeowner typically pays between $2,012 and $7,074 for foundation repair costs.
Foundation crack repairs cost between $250 and $800. Some foundation cracks are minor and easy to fix. Cracks wider than ⅛ inch cause concern, and hairline cracks should be repaired to prevent water damage. If you discover large cracks, consult with a structural engineer about your options. The total cost is usually determined by the direction the cracks are running: horizontally or vertically. Vertical cracks are deemed harmless, but they should be repaired to not develop into something more serious. They’re typically filled with an epoxy-based or polyurethane-based filler and sealed if needed. Filler is injected into portholes drilled every 4 to 8 inches along the crack to prevent cracks from growing. The more cracks your foundation has, the more expensive it will be to repair them. 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.
Repairing foundation leaks can run from $2,000 to $7,000. Foundation leaks signal issues with drainage and moisture around a home. A foundation repair professional will advise you about the best options for your home. It’s common to need waterproof sealing around the foundation if it’s leaking. To do this, they will excavate around the foundation, establish new tile drains, and fill any cracks with cement. The structure will 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, it may be recommended that you install a sump pump to ensure all water is pumped up and out of your home. The installation of a sump pump averages between $490 to $1,170.
If your home’s foundation is sinking, a foundation repair professional will raise it to the original height and attach it to piers for approximately $1,000 to $3,000 per unit. Using mud jacking to repair a sinking foundation by pouring concrete beneath the foundation to push it back up costs around $500 to $1,300, depending on the extent of the repair. The method used is determined by what is causing the sinking and how badly your house is sinking. A structural engineer report is helpful to answer the question of what is causing the house to sink. This report will cost between $300 and $1,500, and it can tell you how many piers are needed and where they need to be placed to provide the best support.
The steel or carbon fiber reinforcement strips needed to repair a bowing wall cost between $350 and $1,000 per strip. 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 your home. Soil testing and assessment are needed to determine the cause of the problem. Piers may need to be installed depending on how greatly 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 and will cost about $5,000. If a wall has curved more than 2 inches, steel reinforcement strips will be used and anchored to the floor joists. This method can cost as much as $15,000. 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 tightened and will continue to be tightened over time until the wall becomes straight again. The cost of wall anchors is between $400 and $600 each.
Foundation Repair Cost: Signs of Foundation Issues
If you notice cracks in the foundation, crumbling bricks, interior walls that are cracked, and doors that do not open and close smoothly, it’s time to bring in a professional to take a look. A foundation repair professional will know what to look for and how to determine if that crack is a sign of a more significant problem.
Early Signs of Foundation Damage
Your house will give you clues that there are issues with the foundation, such as cracks in the exterior walls, horizontal or jagged cracks in the foundation, or water leaking into the basement. Some of these signs may be subtle, like windows or doors that are difficult to open and close, uneven floors, and drywall cracks. Others can be more obvious, like baseboards or woodwork coming away from the walls or walls that are bowing or sloping.
Foundation Issue Signs on Home’s Exterior
Some signs will appear on the exterior of your home, like multiple cracks in the walls or foundation, walls that bulge or bow, cracked or crumbling bricks and concrete, insufficient drainage and pooling water, separation at the corners of doors and windows, and expansive clay or soil issues.
Foundation Issue Signs in Home’s Interior
Some signs of foundation issues visible inside the home that may lead to floor repair are sloping, warped, or bouncing floors. Additional signs are windows and doors that are difficult to open and close, cracks in walls or tile, doorframe gaps, nails popping out of drywall, and gaps between the floor and the wall.
Foundation Repair Cost: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
When it comes to DIY-ing foundation repair, it should be limited to filling minor cracks. Smaller repairs like filling cracks and sealing small leaks can cost around $60 each. Still, it’s recommended to let a professional fill the larger cracks. The best way to determine if a crack is a sign of a serious structural issue is to consult a structural engineer or a foundation repair contractor. Many times, foundation cracks are more than simply superficial. Shifting and moving soil that results in foundation settling typically forms cracks. Usually, the problem will continue to worsen until a professional is brought in to deal with the shifting or sinking foundation. By hiring a foundation repair professional, you can potentially avoid the expense of foundation replacement.
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 breakdowns from at least three reputable foundation repair professionals in your area. Keep in mind that some foundation contractors may be more familiar with your foundation and its unique problems than others might be.
- Request cost-effective options. Ask your foundation contractor or engineer if there are any temporary, cost-effective options. This is beneficial if you’re on a budget and can’t afford the high quote for repairs, and it can help buy you time to save for the project.
- Do preventative maintenance. If you don’t currently have extensive foundation damage, you can keep up on preventative maintenance to avoid costly repairs. Make sure your 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 you notice any significant signs of foundation damage.
- Prioritize repairs. Ask your foundation contractor if they can tackle the most critical repairs first. That way, you can save and budget for the more minor repairs down the road.
- Waterproof the foundation. If you don’t have foundation issues, it will help if you waterproof the foundation at your first opportunity. 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 your area may offer free inspections and estimates. By gathering and comparing the information provided, you can get a better idea of how to budget and negotiate to get the best prices.
- Ask about a payment plan. Some foundation contractors may offer a payment plan so you can pay over time instead of one large lump sum.
- Don’t wait. If you notice that you need foundation repair, don’t wait. The longer you wait, the more extensive the damage can become, and the more expensive it will be.
Questions to Ask About Foundation Repair Cost
Asking a professional the right questions about foundation repair costs can minimize miscommunication, save money, and get the desired results. Here are some questions to ask a foundation repair professional.
- Is your company insured?
- 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 your budget can be a daunting process. Here are some frequently asked questions about foundation repair costs to help guide you in your decisions.
Q. How much does it cost to fix a house foundation?
Expect to pay $4,542 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 $2,012 and $7,074 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?
Some common signs of a bad foundation are cracks in the foundation, 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.