Let’s Get to the Bottom of How Much Foundation Repair Costs

Becca Stokes
Written by Becca Stokes
Updated May 12, 2022
Two professionals inspecting house foundation
Photo: fstop123 / E+ / Getty Images

On average, homeowners pay about $4,530 for foundation repairs

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If you’re overwhelmed by potential foundation fixes, it's a good idea to think of the repairs as an insurance policy that protects the longevity of your home. Minor repairs are priced affordably, starting at $500. But, according to HomeAdvisor, you’ll pay between $2,010 and $7,060 for most foundation repairs, depending on the extent of the damage.  

Foundation Repair Costs Breakdown

With your busy schedule, you probably haven’t thought about your foundation since the required inspection to buy your house. It’s not until you notice problems do you start to think about the importance of your foundation.  

Early signs of foundation trouble are cracks and water leaks, and then later, settling and sinking. The only way to uncover the root of the problem is to hire a foundation repair inspector. They’ll find any issues that need immediate attention and recommend solutions. They’ll help you avoid greater damage before the foundation affects the inside of the house, causing uneven floors and out of square windows and doors. 

House Leveling or Foundation Jacking Costs

When contractors and structural engineers raise a foundation, they calculate the overall costs by how high the foundation should be raised and by what type of foundation the house has. Homes with basements are harder to fix compared to a house with a concrete slab foundation. Foundation repairs average about $4,500.

Fees also change depending on the parts of the foundation that they'll need to lift, for example, one corner versus all four corners. Contractors have different solutions for homes with basements, concrete slabs, and crawl spaces.

After the inspection, there’s a chance you’ll have to lift the foundation to its original height by using jacks to raise the house and add piers (cement pillars). The process involves digging deep under the foundation.

Foundation repair contractors charge $1,000 to $3,000 per pier to secure the foundation and correct the height. If your property has less-than-ideal soil (expansive clay, poor drainage, weak fill) or excess moisture, the overall solution changes because you have to first fix the soil drainage problems.

Your contractor may also suggest mud jacking or slab jacking, another option for leveling a foundation. Grout or foam is pumped into space under the foundation and pushes or floats the foundation back to its original position. 

This technique only works if there haven’t been any structural shifts in the house. The average price for this type of foundation jacking is between $500 and $1,300 and is one of the more affordable solutions because it doesn't require as much digging or equipment.

Foundation Crack Repair Costs

Minor cracks that don’t affect the structure’s integrity cost as little as $250 to repair, while major cracks price at $800. Cracks happen when the foundation sinks or there’s too much pressure on the foundation from surrounding soil.

Small cracks don’t usually cause structural damage. Contractors repair them with either epoxy or polyurethane foam. However, larger cracks, sized at about one-eighth of an inch wide and more, can damage the structure and should be repaired immediately. Big cracks scare homeowners, but don’t worry—the solution might be as simple as filling it with concrete. 

Foundation Leak Repair Costs

If you notice a couple of small leaks in your foundation, they could be telltale signs of bigger drainage and moisture problems. To fix the foundation correctly, professionals often recommend sealing the entire foundation before securing the structure. Fixing the foundation leaks and waterproofing costs between $2,000 and $7,000.

The wide range of fees depends on the amount of labor, time, and equipment needed to dig deep around the foundation, add new tile drains, fill cracks with cement, and coat and seal the foundation with waterproof material. 

Piering or Basement Underpinning Costs

Underpinning requires raising the foundation and installing piers underground. Piers lift and support the concrete foundation. Contractors dig many feet into the ground, place multiple piers at different locations under your foundation, and raise them back into place with hydraulic lifts to stabilize the entire structure. 

Underpinning your basement costs $1,000 to $3,000 per pier and is one of the most expensive options to fix your foundation. But, if done correctly, the solution is permanent and prevents future foundation issues if the house shifts again. There’s nothing like forever peace of mind when it comes to your foundation.

Foundation Stabilization Costs

Professionals straighten bowed walls with carbon fiber or steel reinforcement strips. Bowing largely depends on the quality of the soil around the foundation, so assessing the soil is particularly important for the best results. 

The strips cost $4,000 to $12,000 for 12. Your local foundation contractor will suggest which material works better for your situation. Steel is more expensive but often needed for bigger shifts in the foundation. 

How Much Does It Cost for Repairs by Foundation Type?

Close-up of a worker’s hand fixing a house’s foundation
Photo: seroma72 / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Your home’s foundation type dictates the repair options contractors will suggest; there isn’t a one size fits all answer. The prices for each project vary with customized solutions. 

Basement

Homeowners have a love/hate relationship with basements. The extra square footage offers tons of lifestyle solutions, like a playroom or a guest suite. But any weakness like cracking or leaking can lead to larger issues such as bowing, so fixing problems quickly is essential. Basements often need waterproofing, which sometimes leads to significant excavation projects. 

Concrete Slab

Usually, mudjacking and sealing the concrete slab fixes foundation problems if the soil hasn’t shifted. However, if it has, you’re looking at hiring a local concrete foundation company or soil specialist to recommend a more secure foundation system which probably includes jacking the house to remove the old slab and build a better foundation. 

Cinder Block And Brick 

Cracks and leaking go hand in hand when it comes to foundation repair. If there’s an issue, homeowners will notice vertical and stair-step cracks along the joint lines of cinder blocks and bricks. Horizontal cracks significantly reduce the foundation's stability and should be looked at ASAP.  

Crawl Space

Significant moisture in crawl spaces results in bowing and cracking but is often fixed by increased ventilation and insulation. Another solution is to add adjustable joists to help offload additional pressure from the soil and prevent the house from sinking. 

Foundation Repair Cost Factors

A few factors influence the final cost when calculating foundation repair, including materials, labor, permits, and the cause of the damage. Prices can also differ based on the type and severity of your foundation issue, as well as how a pro will repair it. Other factors to calculate into your final cost include: 

  • Foundation type

  • Home size

  • Soil stability

  • Foundation settlement

  • How accessible it is to access the damaged area 

Here’s a closer look at what you should consider when calculating your foundation repair costs.

Labor, Materials, and Permits

Labor costs to repair foundation run around $200 per hour. You’ll need permits to do the work, which average between $75 and $150. The materials depend on your specific foundation issue, but some common ones include:

  • Epoxy

  • Sealant

  • Polyurethane foam

  • Cement

  • Jacks

  • Waterproofing items

  • Grout

  • Hydraulic piers

  • Carbon fiber

  • Steel reinforcement strips

  • Steel support beams 

Cause of the Problem

Different homes often have different types of foundation, and therefore different methods of repair. Causes of the foundation problems vary from house to house, too. These factors will impact the cost to repair foundation, but in general, some common causes of foundation problems are: 

  • Cracks

  • Shifting

  • Bowing 

  • Leaks

  • Sinking

  • Crumbling

  • Soil erosion

You can call a structural engineer to pinpoint the exact cause of your foundation trouble.

Severity of the Issue

The worst-case scenario with foundation problems is an unsafe home that must be condemned because it is uninhabitable. This happens if a foundation is built improperly or has been poorly maintained. A settling foundation causes wall cracks and doors that won’t open or close properly. Your foundation repair cost will vary depending on how bad the damage is, as well as your foundation type. A professional can fill you in on the severity of your foundation problem. 

Type of Repair

Foundation repair cost varies depending on what type of repair method a pro uses. Here’s a look at the most common types of foundation repair methods.

  • Basement underpinning or piering: This is a pretty reliable and long-term solution to most foundation problems. With this repair method, a pro will excavate and raise your foundation then install hydraulic piers under your home to support it. Basement underpinning or piering costs between $1,000 and $3,000 per pier

  • Foundation jacking: This method, also called house leveling or mud or slab jacking, pumps a grout mixture under your foundation to get it in the proper position. Unlike basement piering, you won’t need excavation, which is why it’s less expensive—though it isn’t a permanent solution. Foundation jacking costs between $500 and $1,300

  • Foundation stabilization: This repair method uses steel and carbon fiber to stabilize your walls. Steel is the best choice if you have major foundation shifts, though it’s more expensive than carbon. A pro can determine which material you’ll need. Foundation stabilization costs between $4,000 and $12,000 for a dozen reinforcement strips.

  • Foundation sealing: This repair offers waterproofing if you have foundation drainage or moisture problems. A structural engineer can tell you if you need waterproofing. Foundation sealing costs between $2,000 and $7,000.

What Other Factors Influence the Cost of Foundation Repairs?

Since every foundation is different, the cost of repairs changes with the amount of labor and materials needed. The overall cost of the project also changes by adding extra services. 

Foundation Sealing

The cost of sealing a foundation ranges from $2,000 to $6,000, depending on drainage and the soil’s moisture level around the home. Hire a local structural engineer to inspect the foundation and find the best sealing solutions. You may only need a sealant and a waterproof barrier. But if the drainage is bad, the engineer will recommend solutions for improvements like regrading the property around the foundation. 

Structural Reports

A structural report is a collection of information taken directly from the foundation’s condition. If you think your house has foundation issues, hiring an unbiased professional to document the problems and suggest solutions is a smart way to determine the necessary fixes before hiring a company. Using the report as a guide for the estimate eliminates overpaying. The cost of the report usually ranges from $300 to $1,000

FAQs

What should I consider about foundation repairs? 

You should consider the long-term gains of a stable foundation when it comes time to sell your house. Your home’s resale value increases with every foundational boost. In areas with notoriously poor soil quality, foundation repairs and upgrades act as an attractive selling point. 

What other projects should I do at the same time?

Talk to a local landscaper about improving your yard. Not only to add aesthetics and fix any unsightly spots after excavation but also to regrade the property to improve drainage. Professional landscapers will also have ideas to help with the soil quality and offer suggestions for plant life that won’t ruin your foundation. 

Is foundation repair covered by home insurance?

No. Most home insurance companies typically consider foundation repair as part of your home maintenance, so they won’t cover the cost.

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