How much does it cost to repair a foundation?
For the purpose of this discussion, we will consider the costs of repairing a residential foundation. This might include everything from excavation to fixing cracks and can even require the hiring of a licensed engineer.
Generally, the process includes:
- A formal inspection – unless you already know all about engineering and foundations you are going to need an official inspector to come out and assess the problem. They will be able to recommend the next step which might be contacting a structural engineer or simply hiring a mason to fix a few cracks. Such work rarely costs more than $500, though a major inspection may go as high as $1000;
- Getting estimates – if the work is extensive, it is best to seek out a few estimates or “quotes” from local contractors. Be sure that they are licensed to operate in your area, and it may even be a good idea to contact the National Association of Waterproofing and Structural Repair Contractors to get some referrals of providers in your region. If a few types of engineers will be called in for the work it might even be wise to seek out a contractor to handle the entire process for you;
- Basic repairs – if you are extremely fortunate your foundation may only need a few cracks patched with the appropriate materials, such as concrete or even stonework. This might be as little as a few hundred dollars, and usually stays below the $2000 mark; and
- Major repairs – if you are less lucky you may need excavation, the pouring of new concrete, drainage, reinforcement of the existing structure, and new soil added to the foundation area of the home. If you are even unluckier still, you may have to deal with structural issues caused by the shifting of the foundation (which is the reason for consulting with an engineer when an inspector suggests it). Average repairs of this type range from a new floor (at $75 per cubic yard) to adding piers or new underpinning at roughly $3500 to $5000.
Repair costs by type of foundation
Brick Foundation Repair Cost: Fixing this type of material can be expensive, costing between $350 and 15K+. The most common problems brick structures have are cracking along the joints horizontally or vertically. Usually, these cracks will cause some sort of damage such as moisture intrusion which needs to be fixed immediately before it gets worse; otherwise, you may end up with an unstable house.
Stone Foundation Repair Cost: Repairing a concrete structure is priced at $350 to 20k, depending on the severity of the damage. If you need your house raised then that will cost way more than just repairing it.
Wood Foundation Repair Cost: Expect to spend between $400 and 10K depending on the extent of the damage. Rot, mold & buckling are common problems in wood structures usually caused by water/moisture which can be prevented with proper sealant use alongside boric acid treatments for fungi growth prevention- but once decay starts there is no stopping it.
Stone Foundation Repair Cost: The cost to fix a stone structure that has cracks or settling can be anywhere from $400-20,000. This is because stones are nonporous which makes them resistant to water damage; however, if left untreated these problems could lead to major structural issues for your home.
Additional considerations and costs
- Plantings and landscaping – quite often people have trees and plantings that must be eliminated in order to reach the foundation. Sometimes it is the plantings themselves that might have caused some trouble (such as old and powerful tree roots). If such work is needed it will have to be done by a professional who can handle such work, and which will average around $150 per hour; and
- Attached structures – often attached garages and decks become a problem during such work as well. This is the reason it is always advisable to seek out help from a contractor should such an extensive list of requirements pop up during the course of the inspection.