How much does it cost to repair a foundation?
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Repair Foundation Cost Guide
Updated: August 18, 2022
The foundation of your home is arguably the most important part, supporting everything above it and keeping it stable. However, over time it can start showing signs of deterioration caused by shifting, the house settling, or weather changes. This causes cracks on the outside walls, moisture problems, or sticking doors and cracking walls. If the issues go on long enough, they lead to the need for a new structure. That is why it is important and the most cost-effective option to repair it as soon as you know there is a problem.
The national average price homeowners spend to repair a foundation is between $5,000 and $10,000. Most homeowners spend $8,000 for mudjack a foundation to help lift and reinforce it because of settling and cracking. At the low end of the spectrum, however, you spend $1,000 to fix several minor vertical cracks. At the high end, you can pay up to $30,700 to install up to 12 piers, fix a few cracks, and add a French drain.
Cost to Repair a Foundation
|Foundation Repair Cost|
|National average cost||$8,000|
Cost to Fix a Foundation by Material
Fixing a foundation is heavily influenced by the materials used, with average repair prices ranging between $350 and $25,000. Every material has a different fixing process. Some materials require more substantial excavation and work to do the fix. Others are easier to use and cheaper. In some cases, the contractor may combine different materials or use a material different from your current structure to improve the strength and durability. Below is a table with the most common materials and the price to fix their most common problems.
|Material||Repair Price (Labor Included)|
|Brick||$350 - $15,000|
|Concrete||$350 - $20,000|
|Foam||$350 - $25,000|
|Wood||$400 - $10,000|
|Stone||$400 - $20,000|
|Carbon Fiber||$600 - $14,000|
|Cinder Block||$600 - $25,000|
|Steel Pier||$950 - $19,200|
Brick Foundation Repair
Fixing this type of material has a price between $350 and $15,000 depending on the type of repair needed. The most common problems brick structures have are cracking, leaking, and bowing. Usually, cracks happen along the joints horizontally or vertically, but horizontal cracks can drastically impact the house’s stability. The contractor will usually fill the cracks and fix any moisture or drainage issues. If needed, they will also reinforce the structure with steel or carbon fiber.
Concrete Foundation Repair
Repairing concrete structures is priced at $350 to $20,000 in most cases. Concrete slab structures can usually be repaired by sealing (waterproofing) and mud jacking (leveling). Where the soil doesn’t shift significantly, slabs can also be used. If the structure is severely damaged, it may require the house to be raised and a new structure installed, which significantly increases the repair price.
Foam Foundation Repair
This type of material usually repaired by foam jacking, with a price between $350 to $25,000 depending on the size and amount of fixing needed. This process uses polyurethane or high-density polyurethane foam sprayed into the areas that need fixing, similar to concrete structure repairs. It is a very strong and durable material that cures quickly, making it a great choice for applications that require better control and precision.
Wood Foundation Repair
Expect to spend between $400 and $10,000 to repair wood options based on the extent of the damage. Rot, mold, and buckling are the most common problems in wood structures, usually caused by water and moisture. These issues can be prevented by sealing and dehumidifying the area and treating the wood with boric acid to eliminate the fungi growth. However, once wood decay and fungus appear, the affected wood and surrounding materials may be removed and replaced with new pieces.
Stone Foundation Repair
Expect this type of material fixing to be priced $400 to $20,000. Repairsthat are commonly needed in stone structures are due to cracks or settling. Due to the non-porous nature of stone, if there are water issues with the structure, the contractor would need to drag the loose water out and create a void or a hole for the water. If unattended, these can lead to major structural problems, so it’s crucial to take care of any fixing whenever needed.
Carbon Fiber Foundation Repair
The price to fixt this type of material ranges between $600 and $14,000, depending on what is done in the process. Carbon fiber is usually used to reinforce the walls, stabilize the foundation, and solve wall bowing issues. It is an inexpensive material that provides the durability of other materials without being so expensive. However, it’s not fit for all projects. If the structure shifts are more significant, steel will be the best material to do the repairs.
Cinder Block Foundation Repair
The price to fixt this type of material is higher than most materials, moving between $600 and $25,000. The exact price of the repair depends on the severity of the issue, whether it is a cosmetic fix or sinking walls. Small cracks can be easily fixed, but if there are larger cracks, uneven blocks, structural or larger problems, the price will be significantly higher.
Steel Pier Foundation Repair
Steel piers are priced between $950 and $19,200, depending on if you need one or twelve installed. The number of piers you need depends on the size and the size of the area that requires to be fixed. Steel piers are used to reinforce the walls and stabilize the structure. They are one of the strongest materials capable of carrying massive weight while being the most durable materials.
Foundation Repair Costs by Type
Depending on the type, the repair prices can vary between $350 and $25,000. There are several types, and many of them have similar issues or problems. They are also often repaired by the same methods, regardless of the type. Your repair expenses are driven by the issue and method used to solve it, not by the type you have. Here are the most common types, their most common problems, and how much you can expect to spend for each.
|Type||Repair Price (Labor Included)|
|Stem Wall||$350 - $20,000|
|Pier and Beam||$700 - $25,000|
|Slab on Grade||$700 - $25,000|
Stem Wall Foundation Repair
Stem wall repairs start at $350 for small cracks and go up to $20,000 if the structure starts to crumble. Also known as basement foundations, moisture is the biggest problem with these types of structures. Water and moisture may cause the internal rebar to oxidize and expand, which would show cracks on the structure. To repair these issues, the contractor will chip out the area affected by moisture, apply a new patch of cement, and seal the wall to prevent future problems with moisture. When the cracks are bigger, they will use mudjacking to fill the gaps and rejoin the separated areas.
Pier and Beam Foundation Repair
Depending on the type of repair applied, repairing a pier and beam structure is priced between $700 and $25,000. These are older types of structures with a crawl space, but it’s not so frequently used anymore as it doesn’t provide the same stability as a concrete or stem wall crawl space. The most common causes of damage to these types of structures are settlement, moisture, or the weakness of the original materials used during the construction. To repair these issues, professionals usually use underpinning or supporting piers underneath the structure to fix the sinking and settlement issues or reinforce the structure. Once installed, the piers are sealed to prevent moisture issues. If the problems are caused due to lower quality materials during the constructions, all piers would have to be replaced with new ones.
Slab on Grade Foundation Repair
Slab on grade or cement slab repairs are priced from $700 to $25,000. Slab on grade structures are flat structures resting on the ground and poured in one single piece. Also known as monolithic, they can often suffer because of sinking, shifting, or bowing, which is often noticed through cracks or an uneven surface. Mudjacking is the most frequent type of repair used on these structures. The poured cement mixture binds the structure back together, preventing cracks from appearing due to the shifting. It can also be used on slab on grade structures to flatten the surface and level the structure.
Cost to Fix a Foundation by Problem
Depending on the problem, the price of repairs can range from $350 for fixing small cracks up to $25,000 if new piers are required. These structures may have several issues, and the repair method varies for the same problem case by case, depending on the cause and structure you have. For this reason, each problem may have a range of expenses associated with fixing it:
|Problem||Repair Price (Labor Included)|
|Cracks||$350 - $4,000|
|Erosion||$500 - $10,000|
|Crumbling||$500 - $20,000|
|Bowing||$700 - $15,000|
|Shifting||$700 - $25,000|
|Sinking||$1,000 - $25,000|
|Leaks||$2,000 - $7,000|
Foundation Crack Repair
Repairing cracks in the structure has a price between $350 to $4,000. Some cracks are minor and fairly simple to fix, while others signify a bigger problem. What you do to fix the problem and its price largely depends on the direction the cracks are running. Running between $350 to $2,000, the vertical crack repair price is the lowest one. Vertical cracks are filled with a polyurethane-based or epoxy-based filler, then sealed if necessary. On the other hand, horizontal crack repair expenses can go up to $4,000, depending on how many walls are impacted and the extent of the issues.
Foundation Erosion Repair
Fixing erosion is priced around $500 for applying epoxy and polyurethane fillers up to $10,000 if new gutters and downspouts are needed. If your structure has issues because the soil around it is eroding or part of your structure has compacted earth, address the problem’s cause first. In most cases, this means installing gutters and new downspouts to direct the water away from your home. If the problem is very bad, a French drain may also be required. If you have earth walls, you may need to reinforce them after taking care of the drainage issue.
Crumbling Foundation Repair
The price to fix crumbling ranges from $500 for applying epoxy and polyurethane fillers up to $20,000 to reinforce the structure walls and install new gutters. Many things cause a structure to crumble, from water damage to significant sinking or settling, or simply old age. Some crumbling is fixed with epoxy and polyurethane fillers. However, in most cases, you need to address the cause of the erosion, which may require new gutters or pier installation.
Bowing Foundation Wall Repair
Expect prices between $700 and $15,000 to fix a bowing structure, depending on how many walls are affected and how badly. Bowing walls are caused by shifting soil, sinking, or water damage. The most common method of repairing structures that are less than 2’’ bowed is by using carbon fiber strips that are applied to the wall with epoxy to strengthen the structure. Another solution is to reinforce them with a wall anchor that uses anchor plates and connected steel rods attached to a wall plate and inserted inside the wall. The rods are tightened over time, helping the walls stay straight. If the issue is more severe, you may need to have piers installed to support them as well, depending on how badly they have bowed.
Foundation Shifting Repair
The price to fix shifting is typically between $700 and $25,000, depending on the method used. Most structures shift at least a little over a long period, and it is not usually a problem that requires your attention. However, if it begins to shift a lot, this may be a warning sign that bigger issues are coming, such as sinking. A shifting structure is usually repaired by installing pers, but it may need to be mudjacked, foam jacked, or have its walls reinforced.
Sinking Foundation Repair
Repairing a sinking foundation has a price from $1,000 to $25,000, depending on the method used. If your structure is sinking, it is repaired in one of two ways, depending on your soil and structure type. It may be mudjacked or foam jacked, where concrete or foam is poured beneath your structure. This has a price $3 to $25 per sq.ft. The second way of fixing a sinking structure is to have piers installed to support it, sinking into the soil below. The price per pier is $700 to $2,100. You may need one or twelve to repair the structure. The exact method is determined by how badly your home is sinking and what is causing it.
Foundation Leak Repair
If your structure is leaking, you will need to seal it, which has a price$2,000 to $7,000. It’s usually best to find the source of the problem and address it if possible to prevent further damage to the structure. Leakage usually points towards issues with drainage and moisture, for which the most common repair method is waterproof sealing around the structure. The professionals will dig around the structure, install new tile drains, and fill any cracks with cement. Once this is done, the structure will be coated in sealant and wrapped in waterproof material. If the cause of the leak is water pressure or frequent flooding during summer and spring is expected, the professional may recommend installing a sump pump.
Foundation Repair Costs by Method
Depending on the method, fixing your structure prices can range between $700 and $25,000. In most cases, several methods are done at the same time to repair the structure fully. For example, you may need to have cracks filled, then a wall braced, or a wall braced before mudjacking. The method or methods used will depend on the type of repair needed and the severity of the damage. Below is a table with the average prices to repair a structure based on the method used.
|Repair Method||Price (Labor Included)|
|Reinforcement||$700 - $5,000|
|Underpinning||$700 - $25,000|
|Stabilization||$1,000 - $25,000|
|Waterproofing||$2,000 - $7,000|
|Leveling||$3,000 - $25,000|
Reinforce a Foundation
The price of reinforcing is typically $700 to $5,000 per section, as reinforcement, window straightening, and wall repair are generally done at the same time. If your walls are bowing or your windows and doors are sticking, but your structure is not sinking, it may just need reinforcement. Reinforcing the structure of a home will ensure it won’t start shifting, bowing, or crumbling, and will improve the stability of the house at the same time.
The price to underpin is usually $700 to $25,000, depending on the type of pier and how many are needed. One way to help a structure that is settling, sinking, or having structural problems is underpinning. This is usually done with piers, which are sunk below the structure to hold it up. The price of a single pier ranges between $700 and $2,100. There are many pier types, and your home may need one or 12, which influences the price.
Expect stabilization price to be between $1,000 and $25,000, depending on the exact materials used. Stabilization can be anything from reinforcing the walls to underpinning to mudjacking. It depends on what causes the issue, so the price may vary drastically. To stabilize the structure, a professional will inspect it and determine the method and material that will work best and last the longest in your home.
Waterproofing has a range of price, usually from $2,000 to $7,000, but they can be on the low end of the range when only sealing is needed. Foundations and basements frequently need to be waterproofed to prevent moisture from seeping in and causing damage. Not every moisture problem will require a full waterproofing system, so you may end up being cheaper. However, there may be cases where a sump pump may be needed to solve problems with frequent leaks and moisture.
Leveling a 1,000 sq.ft. concrete structure will have a price from $3,000 to $25,000, depending on what exactly will be used to level the structure. If your structure is sinking moderately, it may be able to be mudjacked or foam jacked. This is the process where concrete or foam is pumped beneath your structure to lift it. This is usually priced at around $3 to $25 a sq.ft., so if you have only a small area that needs repairing, it is inexpensive.
Foundation Repair Cost Per Pier
The repair price ranges between $700 and $2,100 per pier, depending on the type you will use. Also known as underpinning, this process is done by certified professionals and involves excavation, raising the structure, and installing hydraulic piers underneath it to support the concrete. It’s a permanent solution for issues with the structure, regardless if it keeps shifting and settling. Piering is an older method because it doesn’t offer the same stability as concrete or stem wall crawl spaces.
There are several types of piers depending on how they are installed and support the house: drilled, pressed, steel, cable lock ST+, and helical. Drilled piers are made by excavating a hole into the ground and pouring concrete into the holes to create the piers. Concrete piers are precast concrete cylinders that are pressed into the ground by hydraulic rams. Steel piers are installed using the same method as drilled ones, but as their name suggests, they are made of steel. Cable lock ST+ is a new method of repairing these structures that uses both concrete and steel tied together with a strong cable. The holes are deeper and wider, resulting in a sturdier and longer-lasting foundation. Helical piers look like giant screws and are screwed into the ground with hydraulic rotations. Here is how much you can expect to pay for each pier type:
|Pier||Price per Pier (Installed)|
|Drilled||$700 - $950|
|Press||$800 - $1,350|
|Steel||$950 - $1,600|
|Cable Lock ST+||$1,100 - $1,250|
|Helical||$1,400 - $2,100|
Labor Cost to Repair Foundation
Most contractors charge by the hour at a rate of $150 to $200 per hour, although some may charge per project depending on the method used. From the average price of $8,000 to fix a structure, around 60%, or $4,800, is the price of labor, while the remaining 40%, or $3,200, is the price of materials used in the process. Sometimes, the labor price to fix the structure depends on the method used and the type of repair, so you may be quoted a price per square foot that ranges depending on the material used.
These are complex projects that require licensed professionals to inspect the damaged area and determine the most appropriate method of repairing. The contractor you work with will start the process by inspecting the structure to find the damaged area that requires repair. Cracks are one of the minor issues that are usually repaired with fillers. Bigger issues like underpinning and stabilization require a professional to repair the structure. In most cases, the house will be ready to use within 48 hours of doing the repair.
Garage Foundation Repair
Expect the price for fixing a garage base structure to be from $1,000 to $10,000. Garage structures are simple slabs, but they still settle, crack, shift, or need reinforcement. The process to repair a garage structure is the same as regular houses, with the obvious difference being the size. You can notice some issues with the garage structure if you see lights coming through from the outside, haps in the doors, or cracks in the floor or columns. They have the same basic range of prices, depending on the issue and what is done to fix it.
Basement Foundation Repair
The average price to fix the structure beneath a basement ranges between $5,000 and $25,000. Basement structures have the greatest variety of issues, as they are below ground and can leak, bow, sink, settle, or crack easier than the rest of the house. The most common issue is moisture and water damage, which may require excavating the side to improve waterproofing. Often, one problem leads to another if it’s not taken care of, so if you notice any issue with the basement structure, make sure to tend to it as soon as possible.
Foundation Inspection Cost
Inspections done by a licensed structural engineer range from $300 to $600 to determine the best course of action. Some issues are merely cosmetic, such as a corner pop or some vertical cracks. All base structures also settle or shift slightly without causing major issues. If you notice problems with your structure and want to know whether they need to be fixed or not, as well as the best method, it may be worth hiring an inspector. These experts do not repair your foundation, so they have no vested interest in whether you have the repair done or not.
Foundation Replacement Cost
Replacement prices are $20,000 to $100,000, depending on how high your home must be raised, your soil type, and the size and type of structure you are installing. While these structures are strong, they don’t last forever, so they will have to be replaced at some point. Replacing a foundation is a very expensive project because the home has to be lifted off during the process. To avoid having these expenses, make sure to keep it in good shape.
Signs of Foundation Problems
Foundation problems come in many forms, so the signs that you are having an issue may be very subtle and easy to miss or very dramatic. Subtle signs include windows and doors that are hard to open, walls that are not level, floors that slope, or cracks in your drywall. Outside your home, you may also see cracks in the walls. Inside the basement or crawl space, you may notice water or moisture, additional cracking, sloping, or bowing of walls. If the structure is sinking dramatically, things are very off-level inside to the point where your baseboards may actually come loose from the walls.
Is Foundation Repair Covered by Insurance?
Most insurance companies consider this form of repairs to be part of the maintenance needed to keep your home in good repair. Therefore, most repairs are not covered by insurance. However, there are two cases when fixing a structure may be covered by homeowner’s insurance. The first one is when the damage is caused by an event covered by your policy (i.e., a flooded basement caused by a burst pipe). The second one is when the structural damage is caused by an event outside the home (i.e., a flood). Because most repairs are not covered by the policy, to ensure you will not have significant expenses at once, maintain your structure regularly and budget for the repairs upfront. Most structures will require some maintenance at a certain point.
House Settling vs Foundation Problems
House settling refers to the minor shifts that happen in the house’s base. It happens when the soil underneath the home adjusts to accommodate the weight of the house and the changing weather conditions. The settling itself is not a problem since it happens to all homes without exception, but it can become a problem if it happens too fast or the house moves too much. The settling of the building causes the house to shift, resulting in a range of problems, such as cracks on both the interior and the exterior of the house, bowing in the walls, and water seeping into the basement.
Enhancements and Improvement Costs
Drainage systems are priced around $2,800 to $6,500 to install. If you have issues with erosion, cracking, or water damage, adding drainage helps prevent future problems. A French drain is installed inside or outside to facilitate drainage in or around your structure. If your structure is sitting lower than the land surrounding it, or you have a retaining wall on a hillside, consider adding a French drain to prevent water damage to your structure.
If your structure is eligible, expect insulation prices to be $1.50 to $3.50 per sq.ft., or $1,500 to $3,500 for 1,000 sq.ft. structure. Insulating the structure takes care of molding issues and improves the home’s energy efficiency at the same time. It’s only done in certain situations, using a very specific type of foam board insulation. The insulation power is measured by the R-value of the panels or foam, and the higher the R-value, the bigger the insulating power.
Tree Removal and Landscaping
When you’re repairing a structure of this kind, landscaping services are often needed, which add up $200 to $500 to the overall project price. Sometimes, you need to have landscaping done to reach the structure being fixed. Other times, your landscaping may cause problems with the structure, such as tree roots causing the structure to crack or let water seep into it. This requires tree removal services to remove the tree and its roots to access the areas that require repairing and preventing future issues caused by overgrown tree roots. You may also need to hire yard cleaning services after the job is done if the project requires machinery and work that produces dust, debris, and scrap.
Lifting a House to Fix Foundation
If you’re lifting the house only to fix the structure, the prices are around $20,000 to $23,000. However, if you’re replacing a structure of this kind, the prices to raise a house ranges between $30,000 and $70,000. When replacing a structure, lifting the house is often needed. This is one of the most expensive parts of the process that is more expensive than installing a base structure, as there is always a risk of damaging the house. Because it’s a big and complex feat, it should always be done by licensed professionals.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- ROI. While you have to disclose any work you have done on the structure at the time of resale, having your base structure reinforced or stabilized is considered an asset.
- Leaks. Make sure any water or sewer lines near your home are not leaking. This leads to erosion, which causes problems with the structure, such as settling.
- Climate. Concrete options need some moisture, so if your climate is dry, make sure to water your base structure when you water your lawn.
- Faulty base. A faulty base structure leads to cracks both in the structure and gaps around windows and doors. Repairing your base structure fixes these issues, making your home more energy-efficient.
- Home structures. Decks, attached garages, and other structures against your home make it more difficult to reach your structure. For this reason, you may want to hire a contractor to assist if these get in the way during the inspection or pose a problem to fix.
- DIY. You can fix some minor cracks on the structure on your own with DIY kits, but if underpinning, leveling, mudjacking, or stabilization is needed, always hire a licensed professional. Repair and replacement projects require experience and knowledge as any minor mistake can cause expensive issues.
- Permits. In most cases, you will need a permit to have foundations fixed. The price for this ranges between $75 and $250.
- Hydrostatic plumbing test. If the repairs are done in areas where there is plumbing, a hydrostatic (leak) test should be done. The test will check if the lines have been damaged and can cause leaks that will damage the structure. Hydrostatic tests can be done before or after the repair (or both cases) and can have a price of $250 to $500 per test.
- Is it worth fixing a foundation?
These issues can lower the house’s value by 10% to 15%. This is why it’s important to take care of any repairs as soon as you notice a need for them. Properly maintaining a structure ensures it will last longer and will not require any replacement sooner than usual. Replacements can be very expensive. By maintaining and fixing the structure, you are also preventing other issues.
- How much does it cost to fix foundation cracks?
Fixing small cracks has a price of $350. However, the price can go up to $4,000 if many walls are impacted.
- What are the signs of a bad foundation?
If you notice the structure has vertical cracks, bowing walls, or uneven floors, it can mean that the structure needs fixing. Horizontal cracks, settling of the soil, crumbling structure, or moisture can be signs of bigger problems that require immediate solutions.
- How much does foundation repair usually cost?
The price varies depending on the method, but average repair price range between $5,000 and $10,000.
- What happens if you do not fix foundation problems?
Eventually, you need to replace the structure because it becomes unable to support your house safely.
- Can a house collapse from foundation issues?
Yes, but the issues have to go unaddressed for a very long time and be very significant before that happens.
- Is it normal for houses to have cracks?
Small vertical or diagonal cracks are common. So are cracks on the corners of a structure. Large horizontal cracks are not common.
- How long does foundation repair last?
This depends on the repair. Some repairs last as long as the structure itself. Yet, others may need to be done again in a few years. It depends on what is causing the issue and whether it was addressed with the repair.