If you’re seeing cracks in your walls or your doors won’t close properly, chances are that your foundation is beginning to settle. The settlement or displacement of your foundation could be due to the weight of the structure, unstable soil, earthquakes and floods, and subsidence or the sinking down of the ground surface.
To save on repair costs, you should take action as soon as you see signs that your foundation is beginning to settle. Do not wait for the damage to get worse, not only to cut down on expenses but most importantly to secure your family’s safety. After all, no one would be comfortable living in a house that is not built on solid, strong foundation.
Assuming that you took action at the first sign of damage, the first step is to hire a structural engineer who would check your house and submit a structural report. You should then submit the report to a repair contractor. This will help the contractor complete a cost estimate for the repair.
To give you an idea on costs acceptable for this kind of repair project, let’s take a look at the average foundation repairing price.
Average Foundation Repairing Price
According to Home Advisor, the reported average cost of foundation repair is US$4,005, with most homeowners spending between US$1,889 to US$6,332.
Furthermore, as foundation repairs have many different types, the price may be as low as US$500 or as high as US$10,000+. An example of a low-cost repair is the fixing of minor cracks, while high-cost repairs involve the use of hydraulic piers.
The severity of the damage, accessibility of the sunken portion of the foundation, and method of repair are all factors that determine the exact cost.
For an overview of what entails the average price, specifically major repairs, here’s a breakdown as listed by Concrete Network:
- Hiring a structural engineer US$300 to US$1,500
- Soil reports from a geotechnical engineer US$500 to US$3,000
- Building permit US$3,000 to US$4,000
- Seismic work (for earthquake-prone area) US$3,000 to US$4,000
- Hidden obstacles (tree roots and old repairs) US$1,000 to US$2,500
- Cost per pier US$1,340
- Cost per drill hole US$150
The above average prices may be near the exact cost to repair the foundation. But to know the true pricing, you should contact foundation repair companies. Getting an estimate would not be hard as most contractors offer a free quote. Just provide them with the details they need so they could proceed with creating an estimate that is tailor-fit to your foundation problems.
Hiring a Structural Engineer
The first thing to do if you want repairs for your foundation is to hire a structural engineer to inspect it first. The said engineer would recommend what steps you have to take next after revealing the severity of your problem.
Unlike contractors who would tell you that their repair method is the best for your house, a structural engineer tends to be unbiased on his/her recommendations. The aim of the engineer, after all, is to spot the problem and figure out ways to solve it and not sell his/her services.
The initial visit of a structural engineer, according to House Logic, would cost you about US$500. The cost may go up to US$1,000 if you request for a full engineering report. Also, if you want an expert opinion while the foundation repair is ongoing, expect to pay the engineer around US$100 to US$200 per hour.
Other Foundation Repair Costs
Aside from the average cost to repair the foundation, you should be ready for other expenses.
For instance, if your foundation is not yet suffering from severe damage but is already manifesting signs of settlement through wall cracks, you could repair the walls from the inside using wood or steel braces. Each brace would cost you US$500 to US$700. You could also opt for wall anchors which cost US$400 to US$600 each. For earthquake-prone areas, you need to reinforce the foundation with anchor bolts which would cost around US$1,500 to US$3,500 or more.
If you need to repair an entire basement floor, you would have to pay US$200 to US$400.
Major repairs, on the other hand, may involve installing concrete or steel piers. We earlier mentioned that the average cost per pier is US$1,340. Suppose that this is the actual price, installing piers to support the foundation of just a corner of a house would cost around US$3,500 to US$5,000 and above.
All these prices may help you answer the query “How much does foundation repair cost?” However, the total expense varies from problem to problem. After submitting reports written by your hired engineers to the contractor, the repair company would give you a quote detailing the prices for the project.
To get the best service, don’t just be satisfied with a single quote. Instead, request estimates from different repair contractors and compare them. Be sure to opt for a company that offers efficiency and professionalism at a reasonable price. Better yet, get referrals from the National Association of Waterproofing and Structural Repair Contractors or from Ram Jack.
Building on Solid Foundation
The question “How much does foundation repair cost?” would not be asked by you if you have no foundation problems in your house in the first place.
That’s why the best method to prevent foundation problems from getting worse should start at the beginning. Meaning, you should ensure a solid and strong foundation that is tough and water-resistant early on or in the first stages of building your house or any establishment. Putting up a structure on a foundation that will last long means the structure would endure, too. If the conditions are perfect, you won’t even have to worry about cracks.
However, as you are never certain of the changes in the soil and the onslaught of natural disasters, there might be issues no matter how strong your foundation is. With that said, you should always be attentive to warning signs. Also, don’t be shy to consult with experts once you see a sign that alarms you. After all, it is better to be cautious than to sacrifice the safety of those living in your home.