Your home’s foundation is important because it supports everything above it. Over time, the foundation can exhibit signs of deterioration, leading to cracks, leaks, moisture issues, and other problems.
If the signs are ignored for too long, homeowners may need to replace the entire structure.
Hence, it’s vital to take care of minor issues as quickly as possible.
Signs of Foundation Issues
Spotting foundation issues before they jeopardize your home’s structural integrity is essential. Here are the most common signs of an issue.
Your home gives you clues about potential foundation issues early on. Minor or jagged cracks in walls, horizontal cracks in the foundation, and water in your basement (if you have one) are common early signs of foundation issues.
Signs Outside Your Home
Foundation issues can typically be spotted by looking at the home’s exterior. Here are the signs homeowners should look out for:
-The severity and location of cracks
-Cracked or chipped bricks
-Cracks at the corners of windows and doors
Signs Inside Your Home
-Several signs inside your home could indicate a foundation issue:
-Windows and doors that are difficult to open and close
-Cracked floors, walls, and tiles
-Warped and bouncing floors
-Nails popping out of drywall
How Much Does Foundation Repair Cost?
On average, homeowners can expect to pay anything between $1,913 and $6,911 for foundation repair. The average national cost is $4,412.
Of course, the final price depends on numerous factors. If there are minor cracks in the walls, homeowners might pay as little as $490.
Repairing significant issues could cost up to $10,200.
Cost of Labor, Permits, and Materials
If you’re hiring a professional for foundation repair, you should be aware that contractors charge around $190 per hour on average.
Most contractors charge by the hour, but this isn’t a universal rule.
Pro Tip: Before hiring a professional, be sure to establish whether they have a fixed rate or charge by the hour.
Another thing homeowners need to be aware of is that foundation repairs require permits, and they usually cost between $70 and $142.
The final price of foundation repairs largely depends on the materials used. The specific materials your home needs will be dictated in part by the cause of the problem.
Your contractor will explain what materials are necessary to fix the foundation issue.
Cause of the Foundation Problem
Common causes of foundation issues include soil erosion, cracks, leaks, climate conditions, and sinking, among others.
Naturally, some issues are harder to fix, which results in a higher final price. Structural engineers can determine the exact cause and advise on the repair method.
Type and Severity of the Issue
Your home will display early signs of foundation issues before they become more significant. If the foundation isn’t properly maintained and minor issues are neglected, the damage could become more severe, thus resulting in a higher final cost.
The final foundation repair price also depends in part on the repair method used to fix the damage. Here are the most common repair methods and their average prices.
Piering and Underpinning
Piering and underpinning involve placing support (piers) underneath the home to lift and stabilize the concrete foundation.
Foundation repair professionals dig around the foundation, place hydraulic piers at several points, and lift the foundation to the optimal position to ensure maximum stability.
Piering and underpinning typically cost between $950 and $2,850 per pier. The cost includes excavation, raising the house, and installing the piers.
While this is one of the most expensive repair methods, piering and underpinning are considered a permanent solution.
The installed piers typically can’t be affected by further house settling or soil shifting. Keep in mind that piering and underpinning should only be performed by certified professionals who can guarantee the best results.
Did you know? An average house requires 8–10 piers, so the final price can be anything from $7,600 to $28,500.
House Leveling (Foundation Jacking)
House leveling, also called foundation jacking, slab jacking, or mud jacking, involves shoring up the soil underneath a home. The process needs to be performed by a professional.
They will pump a grout mixture into the empty space under the foundation and lift it back to its correct position.
Since this method doesn’t involve excavation or as much equipment, it’s more affordable than piering and underpinning. It costs between $570 and $1,520 on average.
House leveling can’t be used for every foundation type, and a professional will be able to inspect your issue and determine whether this method is appropriate.
If there are any structural shifts to your home or the surrounding soil, house leveling won’t be possible.
Keep in mind that house leveling isn’t a permanent solution if your house or soil continues to shift.
A professional can stabilize foundation walls using two types of material: carbon fiber and steel. Carbon fiber is used for minimal wall bowing, and it’s more affordable.
Steel is the right choice for more significant shifts because it provides more support. A foundation repair professional will decide which material will work best for your home based on the damage.
The average foundation stabilization costs fall between $3,800 and $11,400 for 12 strips of reinforcement.
Foundation sealing represents a waterproofing solution for moisture and drainage problems. The good news is, you may not need a complete waterproofing system.
If you want to avoid paying for unnecessary services, it’s best to get an inspection from a structural engineer and determine the degree of damage. For example, a sealant and a waterproof barrier may be all you need to combat moisture.
Pro Tip: If you don’t want to hire a structural engineer for an inspection, you can always ask your foundation repair professional what the best solution would be.
Foundation sealing costs range from $1,900 to $6,650.
Window Straightening and Wall Repair
Before any walls are straightened, windows and their frames need to be removed. The wall opening will need to be straightened, which costs roughly $72.
Add the price of a new window to this amount, as well as the price of refinishing the exterior wall, which costs around $25 per touchup area.
Corner Pop Repair
A corner pop is the foundation’s outside corner that can crack on one or both sides. This cosmetic problem can be fixed for only a few dollars. Fixing a corner pop is important for keeping moisture out.
The type of your foundation can play a crucial role in the final foundation repair costs. Homes with basements often require more extensive (and thus more costly) repairs than homes with concrete slabs.
Moreover, homes with pier and beam structures or crawl spaces are often easier to access and repair, resulting in a lower final price. Here are the most common foundation types.
Concrete slabs are usually used for homes in areas that don’t experience much soil moving and shifting. Foundation issues in a home with a concrete slab can often be repaired with mud jacking or sealing.
A crawl space can be very durable, but only if maintained properly. Homes with a crawl space often experience settling, bowing, cracking, or moisture buildup, causing the house to sink.
In such cases, fixing the issue usually involves installing adjustable joists to level the foundation.
Brick and Block
Brick and block foundations are at risk of leaking, cracking, and bowing. Homeowners who want to prevent major foundation issues should fix minor cracks as soon as they spot them and install a foundation sealant.
Stabilizing brick and block foundations is usually done with steel or carbon reinforcements.
Homes with basements usually require the most extensive repairs and can experience many foundation issues.
One minor problem can quickly result in a major issue if it’s not taken care of right away. Many basements will require waterproofing, which involves excavation.
Moreover, this foundation type often requires wall reinforcement.
Pier and Beam
A house with a pier and beam foundation typically sits around 18 inches off the ground. The house sits on piers supported by beams.
The most common foundation issues that arise in such houses are settling and decay caused by moisture and soil shifting.
Frequent repair methods used in houses with piers and beams involve drainage and adding more piers to the system. Installing a sump pump is often recommended to combat moisture issues.
Accessibility is another factor that impacts the final cost of foundation repair. For example, piers and beams and crawl spaces are much easier to access, which affects the rate.
The size of your home dictates the final foundation repair costs as well. It’s simple: the bigger the house, the more materials and equipment are necessary for the repairs. Moreover, larger houses are usually more structurally complex.
Foundation problems are often caused by soil contraction, expansion, and settlement.
If you live in an area where the soil isn’t stable, you’ll need to pay more for stronger and more durable materials that will keep the foundation in place efficiently.
You may also need to pay for a drainage system to ensure more soil stability.
Bear in mind that every foundation is different. Your foundation repair professional will be able to examine the situation, determine the best solution, and give you a price estimate.
Additional foundation Repair Costs to Consider
Besides the labor and material costs, homeowners need to consider additional costs that may arise.
Structural Engineer Report
A structural engineer inspects all foundation areas for signs of damage. Unlike some contractors, a structural engineer won’t try to sell you anything and will remain objective.
Although the structural engineer report can cost between $285 and $1,425, many homeowners consider it a good investment.
Pro Tip: Getting the structural engineer report allows you to avoid paying for unnecessary repairs contractors may suggest, thus saving money in the end.
The fact is, all homes settle after some time, depending on the soil. Since soil movement is one of the leading causes of foundation issues, many homeowners decide to get a soil report.
Knowing what soil type you have around the house can be invaluable for determining an adequate repair method.
Plus, it helps you learn what foundation problems can appear due to the particular soil type.
A soil report can cost anywhere from $475 to $2,850.
Unexpected issues can appear after the contractor starts working on your home. These issues involve stumbling upon hidden obstacles like extra-deep footings, old repairs, or even tree roots.
Issues such as these can cost homeowners another $950 to $2,375 on top of the original project cost.
Types of Foundation Issues and Their Costs
Foundation repairs can vary in price depending on their type. Here’s a breakdown of the most common foundation issues and their average cost.
Some foundation cracks are simple to fix, while others require more extensive repairs, so the average cost ranges from $240 to $760.
Did you know? Besides their size, the direction of the crack determines the final cost.
Vertical cracks are typically harmless and easier to fix. Even though such cracks are deemed harmless, homeowners shouldn’t wait to fix them if they want to prevent more serious issues.
Vertical cracks are usually filled with polyurethane or epoxy-based fillers and sealed. Naturally, the more cracks in your foundation, the higher the repair costs.
Horizontal cracks are usually a sign of a more serious problem and should be taken care of as soon as possible. Such cracks may require wall reinforcements, which can cost up to $3,800.
Foundation leaks indicate drainage and moisture issues, and repairing them costs between $1,900 and $6,650.
A common additional expense is adding waterproof sealing around the foundation, which will prevent future issues and ensure your home is dry and safe.
The foundation repair professional may recommend installing a sump pump to prevent water buildup around the house.
Pro Tip: Leaking water and sewer lines often cause foundation issues. Keep an eye on them to ensure they’re functioning properly.
There’s only one solution for a sinking foundation: raising it to its original height. Adding piers costs between $950 and $2,850 per unit, while mud jacking costs between $570 and $1,520.
The contractor will determine the right repair method based on your foundation type and other relevant factors.
Bowing walls are usually repaired with carbon or steel reinforcement, which costs between $3,800 and $11,400 for 12 strips of reinforcement.
Keep in mind that additional strips may need to be installed, which increases the final cost.
A wall that has bowed less than 2 inches can typically be fixed with reinforcement strips that cost around $4,750.
If the wall has bowed more than two inches, steel strips may be necessary to fix it, which can cost up to $14,250.
Another potential solution for bowing walls is wall anchors. The process involves digging a trench around the house and lowering the anchors into it.
Each wall anchor costs between $380 and $570.
Bowing walls can cause a house to settle, thus affecting its value. Homeowners who want to prevent this usually get the soil around the house tested to determine the cause and take precautions.
DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
While homeowners can seal minor foundation cracks themselves, hiring a foundation repair professional is almost always recommended.
First of all, the foundation is your home’s most integral element. You should never risk jeopardizing your home’s stability in order to save money by not hiring a professional, especially if you’ve noticed foundation issues.
Professionals are highly skilled, experienced, well-trained, and know the best way to deal with every foundation issue.
They can perform a thorough inspection to establish the cause of the issue, fix it, and ensure similar problems don’t happen in the future.
Plus, most foundation repair professionals offer a guarantee on their work, ensuring homeowners have peace of mind if any issues arise.
The most important advantage of hiring a professional is safety. Homeowners shouldn’t take any chances with their home’s structural integrity.
Neglected foundation issues can jeopardize the home’s stability and lead to severe damage, injuries, and thousands of dollars in repairs.
Think of hiring a foundation repair professional as a long-term investment that will extend your home’s lifespan, protect you and your family, and save money in the long run.
Pro Tip: Get multiple quotes before hiring a foundation repair professional. That way, you’ll be able to choose the best offer without overpaying.
Does Foundation Repair Affect Home Resale Value?
Many homeowners avoid repairing the foundation because they don’t want the resale value of their home to decrease.
Contrary to popular belief, foundation repair isn’t always a death sentence for the home resale value.
In fact, many prospective buyers may consider it a plus, because then they won’t have to deal with the problem.
Having proof of foundation repairs can attract buyers, especially in areas prone to foundation issues. The warranty is often transferable, so new homeowners can have peace of mind.
Is Foundation Repair Covered by Insurance?
Foundation repair usually isn’t covered by insurance, but it can be in certain cases. For example, if plumbing problems caused the foundation damage, some or all costs could be covered by your insurance.
Repair Your Foundation Now
Postponing the foundation repair can only lead to damage that will end up costing you significantly more.
Foundation issues should never be neglected, as they can decrease your home’s value, jeopardize the home’s structural integrity, and ultimately represent a safety hazard for you and your family.