The cost of foundation repair is determined by the extent of the damage, the method of underpinning, the material used, and the number of piers required to provide adequate support and leveling. In order to get an accurate estimate, a foundation inspection is usually needed. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the structure.
Certain soil types cause foundations to shift. Over time, foundations beneath homes experience stress and fatigue as the soil composition beneath the foundation changes, causing the home to become unlevel. There are several indicators that a structure is out of level and requires repair. Cosmetic, functional, and structural damage are the three types of foundation damage.
Cosmetic damage typically manifests itself first as cracks in the concrete underpinning, exterior brickwork, sheetrock walls, and ceilings. This is quite upsetting for a homeowner whose primary asset is their home. These cosmetic cracks usually make a homeowner call a foundation repair company to look at the foundation and see if it needs to be repaired and how much it will cost.
Functional damage is defined as structural components that have ceased to function properly. Doors and windows that do not completely close or latch properly are signs of functional damage. Massive gaps in the brickwork allow cold or hot air to enter the home. When the foundation is shifted, the framework and brickwork become distorted and out of alignment. Piers or underpinning are usually needed to level the foundation and fix the parts that aren’t level.
Structural damage is the most severe of the three categories. Massive cracks in the foundation, sheetrock, walls, and ceilings indicate structural damage to the point where foundation repair may result in additional damage. If you notice any of these signs on your foundation, you should hire a structural engineer to design a scope of work and piering method. Additionally, you should inquire with the engineer about the best foundation repair companies that he has worked with to repair the foundation. An engineer is one of the best sources of referrals for a foundation repair company.
The cost of foundation repair is determined by the quantity of underpinning or piers necessary to level the foundation. The estimator will establish the pier count. A repair estimate does not include a breakdown of labor and material costs. An estimator or engineer will determine the number of piers required to repair the foundation properly and multiply the number of piers by the cost per pier. A job of ten or more piers will typically have a lower price per pier than a smaller job. The fewer piers, the more money the foundation repair company will charge per pier.
Apart from the foundation repair itself, additional charges for engineer reports, plumbing tests, permits, and concrete breakouts will increase the cost of foundation repair. In Texas, foundation repair is extremely competitive, and a large number of people have foundation issues. While competition benefits the consumer, some contractors who offer extremely low prices deliver exactly what they promise.
To ensure that your foundation is properly supported with the appropriate amount of underpinning, it is prudent to have an engineer determine the number of piers and then have foundation companies provide you with an estimate for foundation repair based on the scope of repair outlined in your engineer’s report. It helps to safeguard both you and the foundation repair company against a poorly or excessively engineered repair plan. Underpinning areas of a home that have risen due to a plumbing leak or poor drainage can occasionally result in additional damage and repairs down the road. This is what happens when you fix a leak or make sure there is enough drainage. When the area under a foundation has dried out, it will be back to normal moisture levels.
Estimates vary in price according to the fees charged by foundation companies per pier. Numerous companies employ a variety of piercing techniques, materials, and machinery. It is not uncommon for a pier to cost as little as $100.00 or as much as $1,000.00 per pier. It is not always the case that the most expensive pier is the best, and it is not always the case that the least expensive pier is the worst. Pier prices are determined by the location and availability of materials, as well as the level of competition in a given market area. In the main city, the average cost of a repair with concrete pressed pilings is around $300.00 per pier, but in other parts of the country, where competition is low and materials are not readily available and must be delivered, pier prices can increase by several hundred dollars per pier.