The Costs Of Foundation Repair

By Brian Dalinghaus
Who put this elephant in the room????
Believe it or not, an estimate for foundation repair is a lot like buying a car.  There are a ton of options that you can choose to add on, various types of repair, warranties, and who you buy the repairs from.  All of these things, just like buying a car, can increase or decrease the overall costs associated with the purchase.
When you do a search for “How much does foundation repair cost?” there are really only a few sites that pop up.  Your larger home improvement sites such as Home Advisor and Angie’s List are are about the only ones that give you values associated with this type of repair.  Diving into these numbers, at least for us in Southern California, show that they are not accurate until you dive a little deeper into their respected sites.  That is were we want to come in and help to provide some additional information to you as a consumer on what the actual costs are and how they are determined in regards to your home or building’s foundation repair project.
Let’s dig a little deeper on what can impact a home’s foundation repair costs.
The average price of a foundation repair in Southern California is $18,000.  We came up with this average by taking all of our thousand of customers and the costs and this is the average we came out with.  Obviously, some of the projects are larger and other are smaller, but this is the average for 2019.
Now that we have a baseline cost associated with Foundation Repair, lets go into the things that can decrease this cost.
 Foundation Repair Costs - White Paper
The biggest factor in lowering this average cost is the amount of area that is in need of repair.  If you only have a small section, or a back corner of your home that is settling then your costs will be decreased, because of the smaller area this is need of repair.  The effected area is determined, typically by the results of a floor elevation survey.  This survey is conducted by measuring the difference in elevation throughout your home.  If a home has a foundation problem, typically has a pretty substantial difference in floor elevations in the effected area relative to the rest of the house.  If you are not receiving floor elevation readings from a company giving you a foundation repair quote, ask for them.  This will provide you useful information to better understand the severity your home’s foundation problem and it will help to validate the repairs being recommended.  
Here is an example of a floor elevation from Dalinghaus Construction.
If you have additional questions about the readings and how we come up with them, you can submit a request here for additional information.
The next thing that can have a significant impact on your Foundation Repair Cost is the type of repair that is being utilized.  Depending on the goal and current condition of your home’s foundation, various repair techniques and materials can be utilized to achieve those goals.  All have their own pricing to go along with the best repair solution.
Our most common foundation repair procedure is utilizing push piers to complete the repairs.  Push piers consist of a steel bracket that mounts to the bottom of your home’s foundation or footing and hydraulically “pushes” steel pipe through the soil to get to dense native soils or bed rock to support your home.  You can learn more about push piers here on our website.
Another repair that is similar in results but differ in installation procedures are helical piers.  Helical piers still require a bracket that is attached to the bottom of your home’s foundation or footing, but instead of pushing pipe through the soil the helicals are hydraulically screwed through the soils to dense native soils or bedrock.  Helical piers are versatile and can be utilized on almost any type of foundation.  They can also be utilized for new construction applications to prevent settlement on structures that are being built on compromised soils.  Helical piers are a little more expensive than push piers, mainly for the equipment that is needed for the installation.  You can learn more about helical piers here on our website.
The last repair recommendation is utilized when a home has minimal settlement and you're looking to stabilize the home in it’s current condition.  Polyurethane Deep Injections are most effective when a home has less than 1 inch of settlement and the native soils are 10’ or less from ground level.  The cost associated with Deep Injection is typically 1/2 the cost of the other 2 methods (push piers and helical piers).  You can learn more about the polyurethane deep injection process here on our website. 
Now let’s look at other items, other than the type of repair that is going to provide you the best results in your home’s foundation repair, are that can impact the cost associate with your project.
Engineering and Permitting
Foundation repair projects can require a variety of engineering needs and services.  They can range from a simple structural repair recommendation and report to a full blown structural set of plans with a corresponding geotechnical report that requires soils borings and slope analysis.  There is no one set requirement when it comes to engineering when you are obtaining a permit for the foundation work to be performed.  Every city and county has their own unique and specific requirements.  Along with these individualized engineering requirements is also a wide range of costs associated with obtaining a permit.  A permit can range anywhere from $750 to $3,500+ depending on where your home is located and the valuation of your project.  On top of the permit fees are the previously discussed engineering fees.  These can range from $1,000-$3,500 for structural engineering and $1,800-$6,000 for geotechnical engineering.  These prices are relevant to the amount of time, investigation, and services required to fulfill the city’s requirements to obtain a permit.  We have been tracking the costs, requirements, and timelines for most of the cities in Southern California.  Feel free to reach out us to get your city’s costs, requirements, and timelines here.
So, now that we have played most of the big items out there that influence cost, we want to share with you how to do a quick assessment of your home and start to get a rough estimate of costs that will be associated with fixing your home’s foundation.  First, diagnose the area that you are notice the majority of the issues with or sloping of your floors.  You are going to want to get the length along the exterior wall for this area.  You will want to get all sides of the house that are impacted by it.  Typically, it will be 2-3 sides depending on your home’s settlement pattern.  Once you have that linear footage amount you can figure that it costs on average about $350-450 a linear foot.  So you will take your measurements and multiply by $350 and that will give you a rough estimate for the repairs.  You will then need to add in permitting and engineering fees.  On average these will be about $5,000 all together for engineering and permitting.  Again, this is just to give you a ballpark on what the costs will be for repairs.  A Foundation Repair Contractor or Engineer will be able to provide you with more accurate data and costs, but this will get you going in the right direction.  
You can request your free foundation inspection here.
If you are wanting to learn more about signs, symptoms, and preventative measures for your home’s foundation, feel free to sign up for our newsletter and foundation repair tips of the day.  We discuss these and other topics to give you a better understanding about your home and foundation repair.

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