Foundation Repair: How Much Does It Cost? (2021 Pricing Estimates)
Your foundation is the footing of your entire home. It's the 24/7 soldier that keeps your floor, walls, windows, doors, and possessions safe and secure. So, what happens when it starts to fail? You may notice a door that doesn't shut quite right, a section of the floor that seems to be sagging, or even a few cracks in the walls of your foundation.
Don't panic! You have options. Whether your foundation is cracking, crumbling, shifting, or leaking, there are a variety of repair options at your fingertips.
The cost of foundation repair depends on the amount of labor, materials, and the type of damage. But here's a big secret: it costs upwards of $50,000 to replace a house's foundation completely. Fortunately, most repair options don't involve ripping out your foundation and starting from square one. In fact, repairing your foundation may cost less than you think.
So, let's break it down.
In this guide, you'll learn:
- The average cost of foundation repair
- The cost to repair a variety of foundation issues
- The costs associated with specific foundation repair techniques
- How foundations are repaired
- Why you should definitely repair that troublesome foundation
- And some helpful info on homeowners insurance and the overall cost-effectiveness of foundation repair
How Much Does it Cost To Fix Your Foundation Problem?
Foundations are impacted by a variety of issues affecting their original position, including crumbling, bowing, cracking, sinking, shifting, and leakage. Each of these issues requires specific equipment, tools, and labor. So, the price of a foundation repair varies significantly. You could spend as little as $200 for a quick epoxy fill on a minor crack or as much as $25,000 on a complete gutter replacement, reinforcement, helical piers, and sealant.
What is the Average Foundation Repair Cost?
We find the average cost to repair a foundation to be $4,000. However, this price is averaged across a wide range of prices. The truth is, the majority of concrete foundation repairs are simple epoxy fills. In more complex situations, foundation repair costs upwards of $25,000 or more. So, there are plenty of nuances when it comes to foundation repair.
To help, let's break down the costs involved with different types of foundation issues.
Horizontal Foundation Crack Repair Cost
Seeing vertical or diagonal cracks in your foundation can be a terrifying experience. But those types of cracks rarely indicate a serious structural problem, and most repairs involve filling in the cracks with epoxy or polyurethane injections. However, horizontal cracks are a different story.
Many horizontal cracks threaten the integrity of your foundation's structure, and failing to fix these cracks can lead to catastrophic events like total building collapse. Unfortunately, large horizontal cracks may require a total reinforcement of the wall — which can drive the repair costs up.
Cracks that run horizontally against your foundation can be caused by:
- Frost heave
- Soil pressure
- Physical damage
- Stairs, porches, or other anchored objects
- Landslides or other catastrophic events
Luckily, cracks are one of the more budget-friendly foundation repairs. The average cost of fixing a small horizontal crack is around $300. For larger cracks, expect to pay $800 or more depending on their severity, size, and location.
Foundation Erosion Repair Cost
When water slowly eats away at the soil underneath your foundation sometimes as a result of poor drainage, it can cause erosion — which leaves your foundation without a foundation of its own. Over time, this lack of foundation support can lead to cracking, sinking, shifting, and bowing. Depending on the severity of the erosion, you may need to have the area filled with concrete or structurally reinforced.
Soil erosion is almost always caused by poor draining. Properly installed gutters and downspouts should keep the majority of rainwater away from your foundation soil. There are various minor improvements you can make, such as effective gardening and soil hardening to mitigate some erosion damage, but faulty drainage will almost always outpace any fringe lawn improvements you create.
Depending on the severity of the erosion, you may need to fill in the area with concrete, reinforce the walls, or completely redo your drainage system. The pricing for these repairs ranges from around $1,000 for simple reinforcement up to $11,000 for reinforcement and total gutter repair.
Foundation Leak Repair Cost
Leaky foundations can quickly spiral out-of-control, resulting in cracks, bowing, or sinking. Again, the result of poor drainage can really impact your foundation. Typically, homeowners notice leaks when they find water or water damage on or around their foundation. Another tell-tale sign is efflorescence — a powdery white substance left over after water evaporates — around foundation walls.
The easiest way to deal with a leak is to find the source and fix it. If the leak is coming from a single crack, this process is relatively easy, and it should only cost around $300 to $1,000. However, most leaks come from multiple sources and happen when soil shifts beneath the foundation. When this happens, you may need to seal and waterproof your foundation, which can cost between $2,500 and $10,000, depending on the size and scope of the foundation. Additionally, significant leakage may require sump pump installation, which can add an extra $500 to $1,000 to the cost.
Sinking Foundation Repair Cost
Are your doors difficult to shut? Do you notice the floor in a room of your house sinking in a little? If so, you may have a sinking foundation. Depending on the severity of the issue, as well as the soil around your home, sinking foundations are fixed in a few different ways.
Mudjacking — which involves drilling small holes into the foundation, pumping a cement slurry into the holes to make the foundation level, and then filling in the holes and correcting any cracks — is one common method of fixing a sinking foundation. The total cost for mudjacking ranges from $350 to $1,100. Alternatively, you may need to install hydraulic piers beneath the foundation. This process is often reserved for significant sinking, and pricing can range from $1,200 to $2,000 per pier.
Foundation Shifting Repair Cost
Most foundations shift a little when you apply pressure against them, but any significant shifting is an immediate cause for concern. Like other foundation issues, shifting or foundation settlement can lead to cracks, damage, or total collapse. Often times, homeowners notice shifting foundations on the exterior of their home. Doors and windows may seem misaligned, and there may be gaps between the garage door and the walls.
There are a variety of ways to fix a shifting foundation. It may need to be mudjacked, with pricing anywhere from $350 to $1,000. Alternatively, you may need piers installed (i.e., underpinning), which costs around $1,200 to $2,000 per pier. In rare cases, your walls may also need to be reinforced — especially if your issues are caused by certain types of soil or extreme weather events due to your location. Reinforcing can cost between $1,100 and $5,000, depending on the size of your home and type of foundation.
Bowing Foundation Wall Repair Cost
Bowing (i.e., walls that bend forward like a bow) is caused by a variety of factors, like water, pressure, or soil issues. Most often, you'll notice cracks along with the bowing, since the bowing process puts significant strain on your foundation. This is a critical issue. You should contact a structural engineer as soon as possible when you notice your foundation bowing. It costs far less to fix the issue when it's still relatively benign than it does to completely redo a crumbled foundation.
Depending on the cause and severity of the bowing, you may need piers installed, walls reinforced, or even wall anchors and straps installed. Expect to spend between $1,000 and $20,000 to fix bowing issues.
Crumbling Foundation Repair Costs
When it comes to severity, a crumbling foundation is near the top of the list. Most often, crumbling is the end result of bowing, water damage, or other issues that went unnoticed. Typically, crumbling requires complete wall reinforcements and possibly new drainage systems. This can cost between $1,000 and $11,000. However, slight crumbling caused by impact-based events may only require an epoxy fill, which costs around $300 to $1,000.
Check out the video below for the first of a three-part video on fixing your crumbling foundation:
Foundation Sealing and Waterproofing Cost
A significant chunk of foundation issues are caused by water. Often, the problem lies with drainage inefficiencies (poor drainage). But in some cases, water is a natural byproduct of the environment. For example, those who live in a flood-prone area may receive water damage regardless of their drainage systems. To remediate this issue, you should get your foundation sealed and waterproofed. Depending on the size and complexity of your foundation, this process costs between $2,500 and $10,000.
Foundation Damage Repair Methods?
Have you ever wondered how they repair your foundation? What goes into all of these costs? Are foundation repair companies really spending time, energy, and materials on my project? Here are a few foundation repair methods and what they entail.
Reinforce Foundation Cost
There are many ways to reinforce an unstable foundation. A reinforced retaining wall can be poured directly against existing foundation material, concrete strips can be placed in crucial weak zones, and carbon-fiber strips can be leveraged to give your wall extra support. Due to the variability of these methods, reinforcing foundations costs between $2,000 and $15,000. That's a wide range. But the level of damage, type of foundation, and method of reinforcement can vary significantly.
House Leveling Cost
To level a house, which is often performed on shifting foundations, contractors may use slabjacking or mudjacking. Slabjacking uses a polyurethane injection along with slabs to lift your foundation. Since polyurethane foam is a lightweight and nearly permanent solution, this process is often more effective than mudjacking in the long-term, but it also costs more. The average cost for slabjacking is $2,000 to $10,000.
Mudjacking uses a concrete slurry to lift your foundation. This is the "classic" way to fix a sinking foundation, and it costs between $350 to $1,100. Both methods will fix your issue, but one requires more specialized equipment and expertise from foundation repair contractors.
Foundation Underpinning Cost
Underpinning is a process that involves extending a foundation to help it rest on supportive soil. This process often starts by digging out a crawlspace underneath the foundation. Then, various methods (e.g., mass pour, beam and base, mini piled, etc.) will be used to extend the foundation further down into the soil. In a sense, you're adding more foundation. This process may involve piering, concrete slabs, or grout mixtures. The typical cost for underpinning ranges from $2,000 to $15,000 depending on the methods, number of piers, and size of the foundation.
Foundation Stabilization Cost
When most homeowners think of foundation stabilization, they think of reinforcement. But every method discussed above is considered part of stabilizing the foundation. These include:
- Epoxy filling
- Leak sealing
The average cost of foundation stabilization is $4,000, but prices can reach as high as $30,000.
What Happens If You Don't Repair Your Foundation Problems?
Home repairs are pesky expenses. Let's be honest: fixing a foundation isn't the flashiest way to spend your cash. So, many homeowners put off foundation repairs until "later" (which often never comes). Unfortunately, foundation repairs are the last thing you want to avoid. Problems start to compound. Let's say you have a few cracks that would cost around $300 to fix. If you avoid them, they may cause major structural problems like bowing, which could cost between $1,000 and $20,000 to fix.
In the worst-case scenario, you will be forced to replace the entire foundation due to unresolved issues. This costs between $35,000 and $55,000. It's less expensive and less headache-inducing to fix those foundation issues before they become catastrophic situations.
Is the Cost of Foundation Repair Covered by Insurance?
Technically, your foundation is covered by homeowners' insurance. It's part of your home. However, many homeowners insurance policies exclude specific scenarios like floods, sinking foundations, and soil pressure. You should contact your insurance provider to discuss the details.
Is It Worth It To Repair Your Foundation Damage?
The costs associated with foundation repairs are significantly less expensive than a total foundation replacement. Not only does repairing your foundation save you money, but it prevents foundation failure from injuring you, your property, or your loved ones. Additionally, repairing a foundation can significantly boost your home's resale value. In other words, repairing that sinking foundation should be at the top of your to-do list. It may not seem like the most flashy home improvement project, but it keeps your house in tip-top shape.
Have a hole in your foundation?
Ben from Cedar Rapids has a large hole in his foundation. CLICK HERE to read Tim's advise on repairing his concrete foundation.