How Much Will it Cost to Fix My Foundation Problem?
How much will it cost to fix my foundation problems is a very common question. There is a very wide range when it comes to the cost of foundation repair While the average cost of foundation repair is around $5000, we commonly quote foundation repairs ranging from $2000 to $15000. There are many factors, which we’ll list below, but the type of foundation repair and the extent of the foundation repair are probably the largest cost factors.
The information in this article is specific to residential foundation repairs. Commercial foundation repairs can have additional factors that contribute to the cost.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Foundation Repair
At Granite Foundation Repair, we base our foundation repair prices on six factors: pier count, pier type, cost of installation and labor, repair method chosen, the extent of the damage, and financial ability of the client.
If you check with different contractors, you’ll notice that their pier counts vary widely. But it’s not because of FHA or VA criteria. There are no FHA or VA approved methods for foundation repair.
What dictates pier count is the extent of the fall. The Foundation Performance Association (FPA) has practical and specific guidelines for pier placement. These guidelines were established by a committee of engineers based on decades of experience repairing foundations.
In the short run, to save cost, a company may skimp on the pier count by placing piers further apart than recommended. In the long run, this method can lead to a sagging foundation.
Another way to cut the cost of foundation repair is to not specify interior piers when they are required. For example, if a house is down 3 inches on the perimeter, and 2 inches 10 feet from the perimeter, after the lift the house will still be 2 inches down on the inside. This is because reinforced concrete is rather flexible. Interior piers are sometimes a firm requirement.
Type of Piers
In terms of total job cost, for a fixed number of piers, the cost of steel is inherently more expensive than the cost of pressed concrete piers. The reason for this cost difference is that the steel system foot-for-foot costs more than pressed concrete pilings.
But there’s a more important factor in the cost equation. Concrete piers are driven to refusal or compressed clay at 10-12 feet, while steel is driven to shale or bedrock at 20 to 40 feet. Obviously, steel is the superior option in terms of durability.
A sneaky installer can achieve concrete pier refusal in the same soil at 4-5 feet and lift the house. These shallow piers can last — but only until the next big rain.
Cost of Installation / Labor
Most installers are subcontractors. They get paid by the pier and not for hours worked. They really don’t care about your warranty or your property. Their goal is to install as many piers per day as they can and move on to the next job.
Some companies incentivize their employees based on production. They pay a small hourly rate depending on the number of piers installed in a day. Sadly, this causes workers to take shortcuts such as a short pier drive or putting in fake-looking piers that have only been driven a foot or two.
Repair Method Chosen
The price to repair a pier and beam foundation is around $2000 for a total shim. The need for piers and wood replacement may alter the price of repair of a pier and beam house.
Extent of the Damage
The cost of foundation repair also depends on the extent of the problem, the type of problem, and on what type of foundation you have. If, for example, the foundation has failed 8 to 10 feet into the interior, interior underpinning may be required. Overall, the price for foundation repair can range from $2000 to $7000 for a typical foundation problem.
How Foundation Repair Costs Are Assessed
Even if you already have an engineer’s report or another estimate, a foundation repair company still needs to make their own assessment of the problem to give you a quote that’s accurate and reasonable for your repair.
At Granite Foundation Repair, we’re well aware that every home and commercial building is different, so we never try to apply a one-size-fits-all pricing structure. In general, however, our process looks like this.
- Assess the extent of the foundation problem.
- Look for the root cause of the foundation problem. It may be a watering or drainage issue.
- Prepare a repair plan that meets the needs of the structure, as well as your objectives.
- Recommend the best possible foundation repair method for your situation.
If underpinning or other complex solutions are required, we draw on standards for pier location as established by the FPA.
The two most common methods of underpinning are to use steel piers and concrete piers. Concrete piers cost a little less than steel piers, but we have found that many installers of concrete piers perform hasty work, which leads to early pier failure.
Also, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, foundations typically either heave or settle. Underpinning or adding steel piers or concrete piers is a good solution for foundation settlement, but may not be proper for a heaved foundation. A foundation will heave or uplift when expansive clay soils get too wet. Solutions for solving heaving problems center around drainage – including slope correction and the addition of a French drain or surface drain.
Effects of Not Addressing Foundation Problems ASAP
The foundation moves up and down with the seasons. During a long hot dry period, the crack will expand a little more than the previous year. Then, in the damp winter and spring, it seemingly closes up, but the gap that remains is a little larger than the year before.
This constant movement puts stress on the foundation, as well as the walls and roofing. There is a strong tendency for the maximum drop, measured in inches, to increase every year, and to begin radiating out across the foundation.
In our experience, 80 percent of the time, the costs of foundation repairs increase when you delay repairs. That’s why, as soon as you spot signs of foundation problems, you need to hire a foundation repair company in Dallas ASAP.
And that’s about it for what you need to know about the cost of foundation repair in Dallas/Fort Worth. If you have any questions or concerns that we can help with, please fill out our contact form, or give us a call at 972-412-2171 or 817-870-1381.