How much does it cost to repair a foundation?
According to writer Wanda Marie Thibodeaux the average costs associated with the repair of a foundation range from around $5000 to $7000. This, however, is only if no additional problems will need to be resolved at the same time. This might mean that the work could easily escalate tens of thousands if major repair work is necessary.
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.
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.