Calculating the Average Cost of Foundation Repair
Homeowners have many questions when they begin considering foundation repair.
The most frequently asked questions are “how much does foundation repair cost?”, and “How do I know if it’s just ugly cracks or an actual foundation problem requiring repair?”
When told that the price varies based on many different factors, the next question asked is, “What is the average cost of foundation repair”?
This always depends on the extent of the foundation problems. However, the average cost of a foundation repair job performed by Stratum Foundation Repair is $5,284.92.
That means we have repaired many homes for less than that amount, while some homes cost more to repair. Note, this average refers to the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex.
Our objective with this blog post is to help DFW homeowners understand how our pricing is calculated. It is also to give you a good idea of what to look for when receiving bids from foundation repair companies.
Getting a structural report
One factor to consider when calculating the average cost of foundation repair is the cost of a structural report from a licensed engineer.
You may have already detected warning signs, like minor cracks in your outside brick veneer or your slab foundation.
To see whether these or other issues might be signs of something more serious, it’s important to seek out a foundation expert.
A formally completed engineer’s report is also required by most cities in the Dallas area for all foundation repair. Two engineering reports are needed, one before a foundation repair is performed and one after the work is completed.
Before repairs begin, It’s important to have that professional assessment to truly understand any foundation damage.
You should expect these reports to run anywhere from $300 to $800 for both reports. Typically, the initial report is more expensive than the final report.
After the initial report, both the homeowner and the engineer will be able to see if you have a foundation issue. Perhaps, more urgently, you’ll also know whether you have a risk of a foundation failure.
Occasionally the Engineer may recommend less urgent work, like foundation crack repair.
Testing the plumbing after the foundation repairs
The next factor in the average cost of foundation repair is a plumbing test. When you repair a slab, there is always a risk that movement may cause damage to the pipes that run through your foundation. Leaks could exist prior to repairs and indeed leaks typically happen when the original settlement occurs. This is a primary reason not to wait to repair even smaller foundation problems.
It is highly recommended that you have a licensed plumber come out to your home to perform a plumbing leak test after the foundation work has been completed. An undetected leak could undermine your foundation repairs and potentially void your lifetime warranty.
The cost of a hydrostatic plumbing leak test can range from $100 to $300.
Determining which system to use
Many different pier systems are being sold in the foundation repair industry. You may need a standard concrete foundation pier, helical piers, steel piers, or a hybrid system. These piers may be needed on the interior of the house, the exterior, or both.
The main difference between the various systems is the depth achieved by the pier and how that depth is obtained. Typically, the deeper the pier, the better the result. Included in this consideration is information about the foundation soil, the floodplain, and any hydrostatic pressure that may be causing undesirable eroding.
Our pier systems range from $235 to $650 per pier, depending on the materials we use.
How many piers do I need?
This is the biggest unknown and should be determined by a professional. With foundation repair, it’s not the severity of the problem that determines the price, it’s the amount of the area being affected.
When stabilizing a house, we determine which portion of the foundation is settling and then place piers every 6-8 feet under the failing section. Every house has different amounts of damage and different beam placements.
In most cases piers utilizing concrete pilings are installed to support the beams of the foundation. Installing piers under the beams to help stabilize them is the primary purpose of foundation repair. For larger structures, steel pilings may be used as well.
The sample areas we used for our analysis are the Dallas area, including most major suburbs in the Metroplex from Plano to McKinney to Lewisville, and everything in between. The average home needs 12-14 piers installed.
Other cost factors in repairing your foundation
Depending on obstacles encountered while working, additional charges might be necessary. The most common additions include concrete/deck/paver breakouts and replacement or sometimes concrete leveling to correct your concrete slab foundation.
If you have a pier and beam foundation a structural engineer will access your crawl space to detect any issues with the wood supports under the home amongst other things such as adequate drainage and ventilation. If you have a concrete slab there is no crawl space, as the slab sits directly on the supporting soils.
Factors range from minor cracks to more serious structural defects and are sometimes soil-based, causing foundation settlement or a sinking foundation. After gathering more information, we’ll know how and whether to approach concrete leveling.
We’ll document any irregularities we see in the foundation or the interior walls and will follow up on these with the homeowner. Analysis of these factors along with floor elevations help us come to a consensus on the appropriate repair method.
If the home has a basement the analysis will also include a close look at your basement wall, where leaking or uneven floors may reveal further issues.
Occasionally, root barriers may be recommended to protect your foundation from nearby trees.
Also, drainage work around the house may be recommended. There are other items to consider that are site-specific and can be discussed with your foundation repair estimator.
Understanding some of the above elements about the process while also knowing what homeowners typically pay should help you in deciding whether to move forward with a particular foundation repair company.
You should only use the information in this article as an informational guide to help you choose the correct company. Only a foundation repair expert can determine the scope of work needed to perform the repairs on your home. Determining whether the foundation needs minor maintenance or has a major structural problem that needs to be fixed should only be determined by an experienced professional.
A foundation repair contractor should work within the scope of a credible foundation inspection provided by a qualified engineer. Any scope of work that is proposed to make serious changes to your home’s foundation should be authorized by a licensed structural Engineer. You should also ask about a lifetime warranty and ensure that it’s transferable to future homeowners. A transferable warranty provides peace of mind to any future homeowner when the house is sold.
We hope that this gives you an idea of what to expect when it comes to pricing out foundation repair.
If you would like to have an experienced representative from Stratum Foundation Repair come to do a free estimate, please call our office at 214-683-2956 or fill out the form HERE to receive a call from us.