The cost of foundation repair typically ranges from $2,000–$7,500, with a national average of $4,500, but it’s a necessary investment to protect your home’s structural integrity. A sinking or unstable foundation can cause various problems throughout the home that will only worsen with time.
We’ve outlined typical home foundation repair costs, types of foundations, how to spot foundation cracks and more, plus provided money-saving project tips.
Foundation Repair Costs by Issue
This table displays average price ranges for common repairs.
Foundation Repair Costs by Type
You can fix cracks and leaks with epoxy, concrete, or waterproof materials and improve drainage by installing drains. You can address house leveling and bowing walls depending on the severity and soil type. Underpinning and foundation jacking are expensive methods. The table below shares the average price ranges for each repair option.
Factors in Calculating Foundation Repair Cost
The type of foundation repair that you need and the issue with your foundation are just two of the factors that determine the price you’ll pay for repairs. Major factors in calculating your foundation repair cost include:
- Home size and accessibility
- Severity of the foundation issue
- Soil stability and foundation settlement
- Labors, permits, and materials needed
To have an accurate understanding of what your repair may cost, you’ll want to have a grasp on these considerations.
Home Size and Accessibility
It’s no surprise that larger homes have larger foundations and thus tend to cost more to fix. However, the accessibility of your home’s foundation also plays a role in the price of a repair. If the problem area or the whole home is difficult for workers to reach, landscaping may have to be removed and replaced, increasing the overall cost of the project.
Severity of the Issue
Unsurprisingly, minor cracks are much easier and cheaper to fix than a sinking foundation. However, catching any of the types of foundation problems early will save you money. The more severe a home’s structural problems become, the more damage they can cause to the rest of the house. In later stages of foundation problems, you may find yourself having to repair cracks in interior walls and floors as well.
Soil Stability and Foundation Settlement
The phrase “solid ground” may be slightly misleading—soil expands, contracts, and shifts depending on weather and drainage conditions. Some types of soil are more stable than others, and ideally, your house is built on the right foundation type for the ground it’s on. However, foundations built on expansive clay or poorly-draining soil will experience more severe settlement. If you find yourself dealing with these soil types, your foundation may require more extensive repairs.
Labors, Permits, and Materials
Beyond just the pilings, filler material, polyurethane foam, or waterproofing sealant that go into fixing a foundation, you also have to consider the cost of labor. Work on a foundation repair averages around $200 per hour. You may be able to perform minor foundation crack repair without needing permission from the city, but bigger repair jobs are usually substantial enough to require $75-$150 in permits.
Additional Foundation Repair Costs and Considerations
Once you’ve determined your foundation issue and type along with the pricing factors listed above, there are a few more aspects to consider. Foundation repair is one of the most extensive home projects, and some homeowners will also need a soil or structural engineer report, detailed below.
Unexpected problems can also pop up, delaying your timeline or increasing your total price. However, these additional costs aren’t typical for minor repairs.
Even if your home was built on an ideal foundation for the surrounding soil type, the soil conditions may have changed over the years. If they’ve changed substantially, you may need to hire a geotechnical engineer to complete a soil report. These reports usually cost $500–$3,000. While soil reports are typically completed before new construction occurs, they can sometimes provide a better picture of what’s causing the problem with your foundation and how to solve it.
Structural Engineer Report
Structural engineers are consultants who specialize in buildings’ structural integrity. In advanced cases of foundation damage, you may need to have a structural engineer inspect your home and its foundation and write up a report on any problems. This report can cost anywhere from $300–$1,500.
As with any substantial home improvement project, you might not know exactly how extensive the job is until you start it. There may be unexpected tree roots or the remains of old repair jobs which need to be cleared away. It’s always a good idea to have at least $1,000–$2,500 extra in your budget to cover these unplanned costs.
Types of Foundations
The type of foundation you have will determine what problems you might face and how to best solve them. The most common types of foundations include a concrete slab, crawl space, cinder block and brick, basement, and pier and beam.
- Concrete slab: A concrete slab foundation is a layer of concrete that rests atop the soil and is usually between 4 and 8 inches. These are usually found in warmer climates since freezing and thawing of the soil can make even a thick concrete slab crack over time. Homes with concrete foundations don’t have basements or crawl spaces, and though this means no underground leaks and fewer pest problems, it also means the drainage system must be embedded right into the concrete.
- Crawl space: This unfinished, unheated space may house a furnace or pipes for the house and even act as storage space. A properly built crawl space is well-ventilated to prevent moisture from building up and causing problems beneath the house. Crawl space foundation walls are typically built of poured concrete or concrete blocks, which may develop cracks. Crawl space issues are a little easier to address since there’s space to access the underside of the home.
- Cinder block and brick: A foundation may comprise cinder blocks or bricks with mortar in between. Often, the blocks are laid in an overlapping pattern and grouted with steel rods. This method provides the stability of a concrete slab while allowing for more compression and expansion than solid concrete. A foundation made of cinder blocks or bricks with mortar may crack, leak, or bow along mortar lines. Extensive waterproofing and sealing is required to prevent moisture. Steel or carbon fiber can reinforce the blocks’ stability, but you should fix drainage issues first.
- Basement: A full basement foundation is one of the most expensive types to build, involving the most excavation and construction. However, a basement also expands the home’s livable area and is more suited to climates where the ground freezes in the winter. Foundation footings support it under the perimeter of the space that extends into the ground deeper than the frost line. Unfortunately, basement foundations are some of the most expensive to repair.
- Pier and beam: Pier and beam foundations allow a home to sit several feet above the ground, creating an open-air crawl space that allows easier access to plumbing and electrical fixtures. Often, the piers, made of metal, concrete, wood, or brick, will rest on concrete footing buried deep underground. Here, they won’t be affected by shifting or pressure in the surface soil. The piers are then connected to support beams, which are, in turn, connected to the house’s floor joists.
DIY vs. Professional Foundation Repair
Most of the time, you can’t attempt foundation repair on your own. If you find small, vertical cracks no wider than one-eighth of an inch, you can purchase epoxy and try to seal them yourself. However, larger cracks need to be assessed by a professional at the very least. Foundation repair companies often provide free inspections of potential problems.
Even experienced home improvement enthusiasts won’t have the necessary equipment to address serious foundation issues. A sinking foundation may require the whole house to be held up on jacks, and heavy machinery may be needed to excavate the area around the home to access the foundation. Although it may be expensive, hiring a professional contractor to fix your foundation can keep the problem from worsening or causing more damage to the rest of the house.
Professional Foundation Repair
When and why is it better to use professional foundation repair companies? Below, we outline common foundation problems that are difficult to fix yourself. As an example, we’ll explain how Groundworks, a top foundation repair company, would handle the situation.
- Basement waterproofing: If you have a leaking water heater or notice a musty smell in your basement, you can contact Groundworks to get a foundation repair technician to assess the situation. Based on their expertise, Groundworks creates a plan of action to remove excess moisture from your basement and then waterproof the area to prevent further damage. Some solutions include a sump pump and dehumidifier installation, which professionals can install for you. Other options include adding new drainage systems to your home or installing a new egress window.
- Concrete lifting: Like its other foundation repair services, Groundworks provides professionally-seasoned foundation repair technicians to assess any concrete cracking or sinking you notice. However, unlike some DIY options for concrete lifting like mud jacking, Groundworks has access to polyurethane injections, which are less time-consuming, invasive, and expensive. It takes a professional to understand how to use this mixture correctly, but you’ll be able to use your driveway or other concrete surfaces just 15 minutes after installing the polyurethane foam.
- Crawl space repair: When you opt for a professional foundation repair company to handle crawl space repairs, you won’t have to crawl around a dangerous and uncomfortable space in order to handle this sensitive repair. Groundworks offers many solutions to crawl space repair as basement waterproofing, such as dehumidifier and drainage system installation. In addition, the company provides more complex repairs, such as crawl space encapsulation with its meticulously designed CrawlSeal vapor barrier. These repairs can prevent future foundation issues due to moisture.
The best reason to hire a professional foundation repair company like Groundworks is to receive a proper structural engineer report on your home’s foundation problem. This approach can avoid costly errors. Based on your report, professional companies like Groundworks will offer solutions that are not typically DIY-friendly, such as helical pier installation and carbon fiber wall reinforcement. These standard solutions require expertise and careful execution to keep you and your family safe, so we recommend you use a professional for your foundation repairs.
How To Save Money on Foundation Repair
Foundation repair is expensive, and you may be tempted to try to cut corners to save money. However, your investment in your home is too important to risk subpar repairs. It’s worth comparing quotes from several local contractors to find a good deal without sacrificing workmanship.
- Ask about less expensive repair methods: Ask if injecting polyurethane foam or epoxy into the cracks is an option instead of completely replacing the foundation if you have minor settling or cracking. Less invasive methods can cost thousands less.
- Consider used materials: Check with the foundation repair company if it can use some used bricks or stones to reduce material costs when repairing a brick foundation. The structural parts should be new, but aesthetics can use previously used materials.
- Fix the root cause: Make sure to fix any drainage or landscaping issues causing the foundation problems. Ensure your drainage system, including gutters and downspouts, properly directs water away from your foundation. Focus on the root cause of the problem with a foundation repair technician rather than fixing the symptoms.
- Get a warranty: A reputable company will stand behind its work with a warranty that protects you if any issues arise.
- Get multiple quotes: We recommend you ask numerous foundation repair companies for quotes. Foundation repair can be expensive, so get quotes from several companies before choosing one. Make sure all the quotes are for the same scope of work.
- Negotiate the price: Don’t be afraid to negotiate, especially if you’re getting multiple quotes. Stress your budget constraints and see if they can shave some dollars off their quotes.
- Schedule during the off-peak seasons: Foundation repair companies are less busy in the winter in colder climates. You may get discounted rates if you schedule the work during their slower months.
Find Your Local Foundation Repair Company
Use our tool below to find the best foundation companies in your city.
You want to handle any foundation issues fast. Issues like cracking or uneven floors get worse and more expensive over time, so you should address any danger signs immediately. Foundation repair may be costly, but you’ll protect your home’s stability and resale value by resolving any issues.
We recommend you get multiple quotes to determine the best course of action based on your budget and required repairs. Our tool below helps you contact reputable foundation repair companies in your area using just your ZIP code and basic information.
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