So there’s foundation damage in your home. Maybe you noticed it in the basement along the wall, or perhaps you saw it on the outside of your house. Regardless of how they rear their ugly heads, foundation issues should never be ignored since they can quickly become disastrous – and expensive – problems to fix!
But what is the average cost of foundation repair? What kind of range are we talking? While the long answer is a bit complex, HomeGuide gives us a short (but not so sweet) answer: “The average cost to repair foundation problems is $4,511 with most homeowners spending between $2,318 to $6,750.”
Hold on – before you start cashing out your life’s savings, let’s take a more in-depth look. The earlier the intervention, the better chance you have of an affordable repair.
The Warning Signs
Early signs of foundation damage may not be quite as apparent as a jagged crack in the concrete or water flooding into your basement. There are other, more subtle signs that you may assume are just “quirks” of your house!
If you have walls that bulge or bow, there could be some underlying issues in the foundation. Separation at the corners of doors, windows, and garage doors is another sign, as well as windows that stick when you try to open them. Other “small” things like doors that won’t’ close or stay closed when you shut them and bulges in the floor can also be red flags that something just isn’t right.
If you see one or more of these rather inconspicuous signs in your own home, it’s best to call an experienced, trusted contractor to inspect the foundation.
Repair Options and Cost
As we mentioned before, the type of damage in your home is the primary factor in how much money you’ll have to shell out to have it properly fixed. That, combined with the extent of the damage and how much preventative strengthening you want to add will determine the grand total. Let’s take a crack (see what we did there?) at the average cost of the most common repair options.
Bowed Walls in the Basement
We’ll just get this one over with, like ripping off a Band-Aid. Repairing bowing basement walls is tricky, and can cost between $2,500 and $15,000.
The cost is dependent on the repair method. Since bowing basement walls are typically due to excess moisture, the soil around your home may need a stabilizer added, such as clay. Then, reinforcing strips or braces may be added, costing anywhere from $350 to $1,000 each, or around $5,000 in total.
However, if the wall has shifted over 2” from its original shape, you’re going to need some heavy-duty reinforcement – steel. Steel strips can be anchored to the floor joists of your basement, helping shape the walls back to the correct alignment, but it can cost as much as $15,000.
This kind of damage has layers to it, and the more layers there are, the less fun it may be. A sinking foundation is usually a symptom of improper drainage or soft soil under your home, so you will have to address that issue if you don’t want to repeat the same process in five years.
First, a structural engineer will run tests and create reports based on his findings. A soil report can cost between $500 and $3,000, and the engineer’s structural report will run you anywhere from $300 to $1,500.
Next, the engineer will make a recommendation of how many concrete piers will need to be installed under the foundation to get your house back to the proper level. Each concrete pier costs an average of $1,300 to $1,500 alone. Oh, and there may be some permit costs involved, which may cost $75 to $150.
While some hairline cracks in foundation blocks are common, any cracks wider than 1/8 of an inch need to be addressed as soon as possible. It’s best to call your structural engineer friends again to make sure the cracks are not due to more significant issues like shifting or the dreaded sinking.
The smaller the crack, the smaller the bill. But luckily, it’s a fairly easy process to repair cracks in your house’s foundation with epoxy or silicone materials. Filling all the cracks properly will cost anywhere from $250 to $800.
While these repair options may seem like quite an investment, it’s much cheaper than gutting the whole foundation and starting from scratch! Keep an eye out for signs of foundation damage in your home, and don’t be afraid to be proactive.