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Foundation Repair Cost - Is It a Good Investment?

November 9, 2021

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A foundation repair cost can sometimes seem a bit steep, which is why some homeowners might wonder if this work is a good investment. It’s also not uncommon to question if you should invest in foundation repairs before selling a home or if you should buy a home with foundation damage.

No matter your expected foundation repair cost, a homeowner should never put off scheduling needed fixes! The longer you avoid foundation repair, the more extensive that damage becomes. You also risk expensive secondary damage around your property including wood rot and mold.

Only a foundation repair contractor can give you an exact estimate for repairs on your property. However, it’s helpful to understand some basic foundation repair methods and their average price range, so you know what to expect.

You might also consider what happens if you neglect needed foundation fixes and why these repairs are so vital. Be sure to discuss all this information with your repair contractor, so you make the best decision for your property or for any home you’re considering purchasing!

How Much Does Foundation Repair Cost?

Foundation repair might cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $10,000 or more, on average. To better understand the expenses you might face, note some standard foundation repair methods and their typical costs. Remember that these are just national averages; the cost for your home’s foundation repair will vary!

Underpinning or pier installation

Underpinning or pier installation involves raising the foundation as needed and then inserting piers or pins under or around the foundation itself. These piers or pins are then attached to the foundation with brackets along their tops.

Even if the home’s soil should continue to shift, underpinning or pier installation is typically a permanent solution and should keep the home stable throughout the years. Most underpinning costs between $1000 and $3000 per pier, so your total costs will depend on how many pins are needed to correct foundation damage on your property!

House leveling

Also called slab jacking or mud jacking, house leveling uses specialty slurry mixtures pumped into the space underneath the foundation. The house is then lifted by hydraulic equipment, or this slurry mixture then “floats” it back into position, providing strength and support.

Depending on the materials used and your property’s overall condition, house leveling might last indefinitely or you might need this process repeated in a few decades. Most house leveling services cost from $500 to $1300 or more, depending on the slurry used and labor required to lift the house into a level position.

Basement wall repair or foundation stabilization

When foundation walls begin to weaken, they might then bow or sag. This needs immediate repairs, as those walls risk outright collapsing!

A foundation repair contractor can address this issue with carbon fiber or steel strips that attach to the wall, pushing it back into place and providing added support. These straps might cost anywhere from $300 to $1000 each, depending on their material.

Steel is typically the more expensive option but provides the most support for your foundation. These straps can last for decades if not indefinitely, keeping foundation walls strong over the years.

Foundation crack repair

Hairline cracks can often be patched or sealed with specialty materials injected deep into the crack. This service might cost anywhere from $250 to $800 or more, depending on the number and size of your property’s foundation cracks. You might need to repeat this service every 5 to 10 years, as the materials eventually degrade.

Foundation leak repair

Severe foundation cracks might start to leak, meaning that they’re so deep they allow water to seep through the foundation wall or floor. This repair requires more extensive patching as well as sealing, to keep moisture out of the foundation concrete.

cost of foundation repair needed for leaks

A repair contractor might also note needed drainage for your property, to direct moisture in the soil away from your home. All these repairs together might average between $2000 and $4000 but should last for years if not indefinitely.

What's Added to Foundation Repair Cost

Some foundation repair contractors will prepare a quote that includes labor and materials. However, if they don’t add labor to their quote, this will typically run about $200 per hour, on average. Permits for the job can also add another $75 to $150 to your overall costs, if not included in the contractor’s quote.

A contractor might also need soil and structural engineer reports, to assess your property’s structural stability and note if corrections are needed to the soil itself. These reports usually cost anywhere from $300 to $1500 or more each, also adding to your overall repair costs.

A contractor might also increase their price if the foundation is difficult to access, such as for small lots without room to work or if they will need to remove landscaping. If your property also needs waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, a sump pump installation, and other such fixes, these can add anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars to your overall costs.

Is Foundation Repair Worth the Cost?

To decide if foundation repair is worth the cost, you might note what is likely to happen if you ignore these needed repairs! Your first consideration is that foundation damage is likely to get worse over time. A home’s foundation holds up its weight; that weight bearing down on a weak foundation will result in even larger cracks and leaks the longer you put off needed fixes.

Foundation leaks risk water damage inside the home, including structural wood rot and crumbling drywall and other materials. That moisture can also risk mildew underneath carpeting and mold growth behind walls.

Weak foundations might also begin to sink under the weight of a home, usually becoming uneven along cracked or damaged areas. This sinking can pull on interior and exterior building materials and surfaces including brick walls, drywall, ceiling panels, and floorboards. You might soon notice wall cracks, sagging ceiling sections, buckled floors, or loose floor tiles.

A sinking home can also pull on roofing materials, risking cracks and leaks. Pulling plumbing pipes out of position might also mean water leaks and plumbing clogs. All of these are very costly repairs and they become more expensive to address the longer you ignore a damaged foundation.

Not only does this damage get more expensive the longer you put off foundation repair but a damaged foundation can also affect property values. Addressing foundation cracks and leaks at the first sign of damage protects that value and any equity you’ve built up over the years as well.

Foundation Repair Cost & Homeowners Insurance Coverage

Note that homeowners insurance doesn’t cover repairs needed due to everyday wear and tear. If your home’s foundation is several years old and has simply weakened over time, it’s unlikely that your insurance policy will cover repairs.

company doing foundation repair covered by homeowners insurance

Homeowner's insurance also doesn’t cover damage caused by owner neglect. As an example, clogged gutters allow rainwater to wash down exterior walls and then collect around a foundation, rather than to downspouts and away from a home. In turn, your foundation might suffer water damage caused by that pooling water.

Since it’s a homeowner’s responsibility to keep gutters clean, your insurance is not likely to cover damage in this case. Improper soil grading and other such issues leading to foundation damage might also mean you’re not eligible for reimbursement from your insurance company for repair costs.

Can You Deduct Foundation Repair Cost on Taxes?

In most cases, you can only deduct foundation repair on your taxes for rental property, or if you rent out a certain portion of your house such as a basement apartment. Home repair is not usually deductible if you simply own and occupy your home; however, as tax laws change over the years, it’s vital you consult with an accountant. He or she can give you the best advice and answer on what home repair expenses are tax-deductible.

Can a House Collapse From Foundation Issues?

The quick answer is yes, a home can collapse from foundation issues, but this is very rare. Foundation damage typically increases along one side of the house or the other; in turn, walls or a chimney stack might crack and crumble, but the house isn’t likely to flatten like a pancake!

Also, note that a sinking or settling home might experience damaged roofing and plumbing. This damage often results in water leaks and persistent clogs, as well as water damage in the attic or along a home’s upper levels.

If a home’s basement walls begin to bow, these can also eventually collapse. This exposes the basement space to the outside elements, risking pest infestation and your own safety! Repairing collapsed walls is also quite costly.

repaired foundation cost estimate

All of these issues are one reason why you don’t want to put off needed foundation repair! Never assume that a home is safe simply because it won’t outright collapse, as these other issues can risk injury to anyone in the vicinity and are all very expensive to address.

Signs it's Time to Walk Away From Foundation Repair Costs

If you’re in the market for a new home and find one with foundation issues, don’t assume that you should simply walk away. High-quality foundation repair can last for decades, so investing in needed foundation repairs after your purchase can mean a home in good condition for years to come.

However, a potential homebuyer might also note secondary damage from a faulty foundation, including wall and ceiling cracks, damaged subflooring, and damaged plumbing. Ensure you’ve considered all needed repairs for that property before deciding to buy! You might also need to invest in waterproofing, better soil grading, and the like.

After tallying up the cost of foundation repair and other needed fixes, you can then determine if the home is a sound financial investment. Is the asking price low enough to compensate for those repair costs? Does the home offer other details you need, such as a good location and enough bedrooms and bathrooms?

If your current home has foundation damage, you might wonder if it’s time to sell versus investing in repairs. Note that potential buyers are likely to lower their offers significantly for a house with foundation damage. On the other hand, you might get back at least a good portion of your repair costs in terms of increased interest and offers.

A foundation repair contractor can typically offer a free quote for your needed foundation fixes, and you can then discuss your house with a real estate agent or property appraiser. They can advise on the real estate market in your area and if your home is likely to sell, both with and without foundation fixes. You can then decide the best financial decision for your property.

The Cost to Lift a House and Replace the Foundation

Replacing a severely damaged foundation requires contractors to lift the house and then rebuild foundation concrete. Standard costs might range between $10,000 and $40,000 to lift the house alone, and then another $20,000 to $100,000 to replace or rebuild the foundation.

cost of house leveling

These costs will vary according to the home’s size and the size of the foundation needed. Contractors can even build a basement while replacing a foundation, which puts your costs at the top of that range. This work usually takes around 4 to 8 weeks on average.

This process is actually different from reinforcing a foundation, such as for building an additional story. Most contractors will charge between $5 and $30 per square foot for foundation reinforcement, or around $7000 to $25,000 total.

Moving the house to an entirely new foundation is also a different process! With transportation and other costs, moving a home might cost anywhere from $15,000 to $60,000 on average.

Indianapolis Foundation Repair Experts is happy to bring this information about foundation repair cost to our readers and we hope you found it helpful. Remember that your expected repair costs will vary according to damage extent, the current cost of repair materials, and your home’s foundation construction. To find out more or to schedule your FREE foundation inspection and repair price quote, call our Indianapolis foundation repair contractors today.

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