Foundation repair, a critical piece of home maintenance and value, often flies under the radar. That said, the foundation is the bedrock of your home, and its integrity is essential to the safety and value of your property. Understanding the costs, timelines, and different types of foundation repairs, including water mitigation solutions like French drains and property grading, is vital for any homeowner.
Understand Foundation Repair Costs
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The cost of foundation repair can vary significantly based on the extent of the damage, the type of repair needed, and your geographical location. On average, homeowners can expect to spend anywhere from $2,500 to $7,000, with major repairs costing upwards of $10,000 or more. It’s important to remember that these costs can fluctuate based on the unique circumstances of each case.
What Factors Influence the Cost of Foundation Repair?
Extent of Damage
Minor cracks might need simple fixes, while significant shifts in the foundation could require extensive work. Cracks can often be filled with epoxy solutions or similar methods, and these simple aesthetic fixes (or simple leak plugs) may require minimal amounts of labor and materials.
Type of Foundation
Different foundation types, such as slab, pier and beam, or basement, have varying repair methods and costs. Slab-jacking, for instance, is a low-cost way to raise a foundation, but you’ll need to plan on spending $2k-$3K every several years. Replacing or bracing all of the piers in a crawlspace foundation may cost much more, but it should be a one-time job. Speak with your contractor or structural engineer about these issues – they can point you in the right direction.
Hard-to-reach areas can increase labor costs. Your team may need to excavate around your home, bring in heavy equipment, and more. If the foundation is not accessible, they may need to drive vertical piles through the foundation floor and jack the foundation up with hydraulics.
Areas with expansive soil, high population, and high average home value will be more expensive. Foundation repair in Denver, for instance, will be delivered at a high price point due to scarcity, whereas foundation repair in Arvada may be cheaper if you find a local contractor. Seasonality doesn’t really impact the cost of foundation repair – it really has everything to do with demand.
Common Types of Foundation Repairs
Crack repair is one of the most common and least expensive forms of foundation repair, typically costing between $250 to $800. These repairs are often quick, sometimes completed within a day. Minor cracks that are diagonal or vertical are often not very serious.
Underpinning To Strengthen a Foundation
Underpinning is a method used to strengthen an existing foundation. This process can be costly, ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 per pier, with total costs depending on the number of piers required. This will be worth the investment, as you won’t need to do recurring maintenance for these projects.
Leveling and Slabjacking
For homes experiencing settling or sinking, slabjacking can be an effective solution. This process involves pumping a grout mixture under the foundation. The average cost for slabjacking ranges from $500 to $1,300.
Sealing the Foundation Against Water
Sealing is essential for waterproofing a foundation. The cost for sealing can range from $2,000 to $6,000, depending on the size of the home and the extent of the waterproofing needed.
How Long Does Foundation Repair Take?
Minor repairs can often be completed in a day or two, while major repairs might take several weeks, especially if extensive underpinning is involved. It’s crucial to plan for potential disruptions, particularly for larger-scale repairs. You will also need to plan for weeks, if not months, of ground recovery if the contractors had to tear up your lawn or driveway to grade or install piers. Speak with your contractor about their proposed timeframe before signing any contracts.
Water Mitigation Be the Answer, Not Foundation Repair, Per Se
Water issues can significantly impact the foundation. Addressing these problems early can prevent more serious foundation damage.
French drains are a popular solution for directing water away from the foundation. The installation involves digging a trench around the perimeter of the house and laying a pipe that redirects water. The average cost for a French drain system ranges from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the length of the drain and the complexity of the installation.
Improper grading can lead to water pooling around the foundation. Re-grading your property ensures that water flows away from the house. The cost for re-grading can vary widely, typically ranging from $500 to $3,000, depending on the size of the area and the extent of the grading required.
Remember that repairing or improving your foundation directly adds to your home value, and home remodeling services are never cheap. If at all possible, try to pay with cash and avoid refinancing your home – this can disrupt your quality of life and peace of mind. But waterproofing or improving your foundation is worth the investment.