Each year, US homeowners spend more than $400 billion on home repairs and upgrades. Most of these projects are optional, with many aimed at making the home more comfortable and enhancing visual appeal.
Some home projects, however, are unavoidable. One of these projects is foundation repair.
The foundation is, without a doubt, the most important part of the home. Its main purpose is to support the rest of the house, besides insulating it and preventing insect infiltration.
A problematic foundation is a huge worry that shouldn’t be ignored. But what foundation repair costs should you anticipate the moment you suspect a problem with your foundation? The national average is approximately $4,645.
Of course, the exact amount you pay your foundation repair contractor can vary widely based on a variety of factors. Today, we’ll look at these factors, so it’s easier for you to estimate how much you’ll pay for repairs to your home’s foundation.
Labor and Permit Costs
Labor costs make up a significant part of the total foundation repair cost. Note that different contractors may charge differently when it comes to labor. Doing a bit of comparison shopping can help you land a contractor who charges a reasonable price for top-notch service.
The material required to fix the problem will also have an impact on your overall repair bill. Note that the type of material you need depends on the actual problem you’re trying to fix.
Some common materials used in foundation repair include cement, epoxy, grout, polyurethane foam, sealant, carbon fiber, steel support beams, and waterproofing items.
Foundation repairs may also attract permit costs. Your contractor will tell you how much you need to pay for permits.
Cause of the Foundation Issue
The causes of foundation damage differ significantly. Typically, the repair approach will depend on the cause of the problem.
Generally, the type of foundation your home has determines what problems it’s most likely to face. Certain kinds of foundations are especially prone to different types of foundation cracks, while others are vulnerable to leaks.
When you work with a structural engineer, it’s easier to determine what caused the foundation issues you’re experiencing and recommend a suitable way to fix them. Depending on the root cause of the issue, you may have to pay either more for the repair or a low amount.
The Type and Severity of the Foundation Problem
By far, the biggest determinant of how much a contractor will charge is the type of problem they’re tackling and how severe it is.
One of the biggest repair problems your foundation can have is cracks. This is especially the case with a foundation that has cracks in multiple places. Fixing the issue may require reinforcing the walls, which can bring the cost of repair to thousands of dollars.
On the other hand, a few cosmetic cracks and dents on your foundation are easy to fix. Consequently, these issues will cost a low amount to resolve. A few hundred dollars may be enough to get your foundation looking great once again.
In most cases, neglect is the main cause of major foundation issues. A foundation that’s been entirely neglected for a long time will eventually fail, with potentially catastrophic results for the entire structure that sits on it. Avoid that by regularly inspecting your foundation and addressing any issues early enough.
The overall price of repair can differ significantly based on the method of repair your contractor adopts. Some of the more common foundation repair methods include:
Basement underpinning is also commonly referred to as “piering.” It’s a foundation repair method that involves excavation and raising the foundation. The contractor will also install hydraulic piers.
Basement piering can prove a long-term solution for many foundation issues. It can help your home remain stable even if the soil underneath it shifts. This repair approach will set you back between $1,000 and $3,000.
This repair approach is also known as mud jacking, slab jacking, and house leveling. It uses a grout mixture that’s pumped into the space beneath your home’s concrete foundation. The purpose is to float your foundation back into its correct position.
Foundation jacking is a much more affordable repair method than basement underpinning. Repair costs may be as low as $500.
Foundation stabilization is the most expensive of the three foundation repair methods on our list. The cost of repair may run as high as $12,000 for about 12 strips of reinforcement.
As the name suggests, foundation stabilization involves using a strong material to stabilize the wall. Two of the top stabilization materials used are steel and carbon fiber.
How accessible your foundation is will determine how easy it is to fix. Where the issue is easy to access, as in the case of pier and beam and crawl spaces, you’ll end up paying less for repair. But if the contractor has to remove landscaping to get to the issue, you may end up paying more.
The size of your house may also affect how much you’re going to pay for repair costs, especially if you need to do touch-ups on the entire foundation. The larger the home, the more materials the contractor will need to complete the project. In the end, the repair bill is larger than if you were dealing with a smaller house.
Plan Well for Foundation Repair Costs
Every foundation will experience problems at some point, so it’s best to anticipate foundation repair costs. How much you end up paying for repair depends on a variety of things, from the cost of labor to the type and extent of the issue to what repair method you opt to use.