How Much Does Foundation Repair Cost?

By Tamara Jude Updated April 30, 2024

Typical costs range from $2,160 to $7,790.

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Foundation repair costs typically range from $2,160 to $7,790, but homeowners typically pay an average of $5,000. Several cost factors, including foundation type and extent of damage, can impact your final costs. Foundation issues can cause devastating structural problems throughout a house, making it imperative to repair them as soon as possible. Although it can be stressful to deal with foundation issues, tackling them early can help avoid expensive future repairs and restore your home’s structural integrity. In this article, we’ll identify common foundation types, how to repair them, and the factors that affect repair costs.

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Foundation and structures of an old, historic house with some landscaping.
Foundation Repair Cost

On average, foundation repair costs can range from $2,160 to $7,790.

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Unfinished basement that has been water proofed and insulated.
Basement Waterproofing

Basement waterproofing, on average, costs homeowners between $3 and $10 per square foot.

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Rain water leaks on the crawl space wall causing water damage.
Crawl Space Encapsulation

A crawl space encapsulation installation costs, on average, between $1,500 and $15,000.

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*Unless otherwise noted, cost data in this article was sourced from HomeAdvisor and Fixr.


Major Cost Factors of Foundation Repair

The amount you’ll pay for foundation repair depends on the foundation’s problem and the best way to repair it.

Factor 1: Type of Foundation Problem

Some foundation problems are less severe than others and require less invasive repairs. No matter the type of foundation you have, minor cracks will cost less to fix than serious issues, such as sinking or crumbling. Here are common problems you might encounter and how the costs to repair foundation issues stack up:

Foundation ProblemCost Range
Cracks$350–$4,000
Erosion$500–$10,000
Crumbling$500–$20,000
Bowing$700–$15,000
Shifting$700–$25,000
Sinking$1,000–$25,000


Factor 2: Type of Repair Method

Depending on the problem and your home and yard’s condition, a foundation repair company will recommend an appropriate repair method. Below are some of the most common repair methods and what you can expect to pay for each:

Repair MethodCost Range
Reinforcement$700–$5,000
Underpinning$700–$25,000
Stabilization$1,000–$25,000
Waterproofing$2,000–$7,000
Leveling$3,000–$25,000
Replacement$20,000–$100,000

Reinforcement

If your problem is bowing walls or minor foundation shifting of less than about 2 inches, it may require reinforcing foundation walls against further movement or damage. Carbon fiber strips installed on interior walls with epoxy and metal brackets are an inexpensive and easy-to-install solution for minor to moderate bowing. They’re unobtrusive, and you can paint over them. However, depending on the cause of the bowing walls, you may need to pair reinforcing strips with an external drainage system to prevent further damage.

Underpinning

Underpinning a foundation is also called piering because it involves installing piers into the ground around the foundation for extra support. Pricing depends on the number and type of piers you need, and piers can range from $700 to $2,100 each. Most homes and soil types will require helical piers, which are hollow in the center and easy to drill into the ground with minimal disruption to the landscaping. Hydraulic piers, on the other hand, are solid, and you’ll need to push them into the ground with a hydraulic pump. They’re more expensive and disruptive to install, but they’re more often required for large commercial buildings than homes.

Stabilization

Foundation stabilization is similar to reinforcement but addresses moderate to severe foundation problems and uses steel support beams instead of carbon fiber. Both the materials and labor required to install steel pilings are more expensive, but they are a permanent solution to shifting foundations with bowing walls.

Waterproofing

Waterproofing alone won’t fix the root cause of severe foundation problems, but it’s important in areas with lots of rain or high water tables. The concrete slab, basement, or crawl space is encapsulated with interior or exterior vapor barriers to keep moisture out and protect the foundation’s integrity. In a basement or crawl space, you may also need to install a sump pump or tile drain system to collect and remove water. The total cost of this process will depend on the extent of the problem and the amount of waterproofing material you need to solve it.

Leveling

For severe foundation settlement or shifting, your only choice may be to lift the foundation and level it off. Of course, the house itself will need a source of support while this happens, so the leveling process is complex and expensive. Once your contractors have secured the house on joists, they’ll need to drill a hole through the foundation and pump mud or polyurethane foam underneath to float and level it. This process is called slab jacking or mud jacking, and the foundation itself must be in good condition if you want to level it off.

Replacement

Total foundation replacement is the most extreme solution, and it’s also the most expensive. Your contractors will need to lift your home, demolish and remove the old foundation, and pour a new one in its place. This is usually only necessary in the case of extreme foundation damage or crumbling, and you may be able to avoid it if you catch and repair moderate problems early on.


Factor 3: Labor Costs

Only around 40% of the total price of foundation repair goes toward materials; the other 60% accounts for labor. A foundation repair contractor typically charges between $150 and $200 per hour because it’s a specialty job that often requires heavy equipment. Alternatively, contractors may quote you a price per square foot of foundation. The cost of labor fluctuates based on geographic location and time of year.

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Additional Factors Affecting Foundation Repair Cost

Depending on the specifics of your foundation repair project, the following may also factor into the cost.

Extent of Damage

Once you’ve repaired your foundation, you may also need to address the damage within your home itself. For example, you may need to realign window and door frames, fix water damage, and repair framing or drywall if the foundation problems are severe. Delaying repair for foundation issues can lead to much higher costs and significant problems for your home.

The longer you wait to address foundation issues and any resulting damage, the more severe the long-term damage can become. Shifting foundations can damage plumbing lines, leading to additional water damage and costly repairs. Over time, accumulated water can cause mold and mildew growth, which could impact your and your family’s health. 

Cracked foundations could allow rodents and pests to enter your home more easily, requiring additional pest control services. As your home becomes more unstable, it may become unsafe to live in. They could also lower the value of your home, making it harder to sell in the future.

Foundation Type

For the most part, the problem you’re encountering is more relevant to repair costs than your foundation type. However, different foundation types are more prone to certain problems, and it’s better to address them with specific repair methods.

Concrete Slab Foundation

The simplest type of foundation is a slab of 4 to 8 inches of poured concrete sitting atop the soil, also called a slab-on-grade foundation. Because concrete expands and contracts with temperature changes and may crack when the ground freezes and thaws, you’re more likely to find these foundations in warm climates. They’re also useful in locations with high water tables since there’s no basement or crawl space for water to leak into or pests to infest. However, concrete often directly encases the home’s pipes, which can make them more difficult and expensive to access and repair.

Concrete slabs don’t require reinforcement, stabilization, or complicated waterproofing, and they’re easier and less expensive to level by slabjacking. However, drainage problems can be more difficult to fix since a contractor usually needs to cut into the slab to access or install pipes or pumps.

Cinder Block and Brick Foundation

You can also use hollow cinder blocks, otherwise known as concrete masonry units, to create a concrete foundation. They cost a little less to install than poured concrete since you can install the blocks in place and mortar them together. Individual bricks also respond better to compression and temperature expansion, and with steel bars installed in the joints, they form a solid foundation.

However, because the mortar degrades before the concrete, block and brick foundations are more prone to leaks and require extensive exterior waterproofing. They tend to form stair-step cracks along masonry joints, and they’re more difficult to jack up as a unit because of the individual bricks. They also don’t provide much insulation to the home above.

Crawl Space Foundation

Homes with crawl space foundations are typically elevated a few feet off the ground on poured concrete footings called stem walls. The resulting hollow space is not big enough to serve as living space, but you can use it for storage or to house pipes, wiring, water heaters, and other utilities. These features are much easier to access if they’re in a crawl space rather than cemented into a slab, and lifting the home above the ground reduces the chance of pest infestation and flooding.

These hollow crawl spaces aren’t connected to a home’s HVAC system, though, which means they must undergo ventilation and encapsulation to keep moisture out. You’ll also need to reinforce the walls so they don’t bow or crack.

Pier and Beam Foundation

A pier and beam foundation creates a specific type of aboveground, open-air crawl space. These foundations are most common in coastal areas prone to flooding, as the ground underneath may shift or erode over time. To create them, foundation contractors drive pillars into concrete footings buried deep in the ground to support the house’s weight. This is an expensive process, but since the area beneath the house is accessible, drainage problems are easier to fix. The crawl space is also naturally ventilated, rendering moisture problems less likely than in an enclosed crawl space.

Pier and beam foundations are rare but can suffer from similar problems to more common foundation types. The piers can weaken or crumble over time, or the concrete footings can erode or crack. If your contractors don’t properly install the pillars, they may sink or shift.

Basement Foundation

Basements are the largest and most expensive foundation type to build. They are most common in colder areas and may be entirely buried in the ground or have at least one wall that opens to daylight. Basements, such as crawl spaces, can face problems with ventilation and insulation, but finishing the basement solves some of these problems.

Basement walls are prone to bowing and cracking, particularly if water seeps into the concrete and affects the rebar. Basements can also collect water, so they may require interior drainage systems.

Permits

Repairing a foundation is a complex project that involves structural changes to a home, so you’ll need a permit to complete the work. Luckily, the cost is low compared to the project’s other expenses—about $75 to $250—but it’s an important part of meeting residential building codes.

Foundation Inspections

If you suspect your home has foundation damage, you should hire an independent structural engineer to complete an inspection. This typically costs $300 to $600, and the engineer will prepare an unbiased report on the foundation’s condition. They won’t try to upsell you on any complex repairs you don’t need. Local realtors, home designers, and builders can often recommend a structural engineer, and there are online directories that list the licensed engineers in your area.

Soil Report

In addition to a foundation inspection, you may want to hire someone to inspect and test your yard’s soil. A geothermal engineer can provide information on current soil conditions, which may have changed since your home was built. The type of soil can make a big difference to a foundation. For example, expansive clay soil can wreak havoc on basements since it swells or shrinks depending on the water content, putting stress on the walls. Different soil tests come with different prices, but a full geotechnical report usually costs $1,000 to $5,000

Several factors affect your final costs, including foundation size, accessibility, and the type of soil test required. We’ve highlighted some cost factors below:

Landscaping

In some cases, tree roots can interfere with the integrity of a home’s foundation. To prevent further damage, you may need to hire landscapers to alter or remove root systems. Depending on the tree’s size, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $2,000 for removal. Additionally, you may need to move trees, shrubs, or flower beds that are close to your home to allow contractors access to your foundation.


How to Reduce Foundation Repair Costs

While homeowners can repair minor foundation cracks themselves, you should hire professionals to address most foundation problems. Even if you can’t DIY it, though, you can still save on the cost of repairs with the following tips:

What to Look for in Foundation Repair Warranties

When reviewing a foundation repair warranty, check for the following details in your protection:

DIY Tips for Minor Repairs and Landscaping

Consider these tips when tackling minor foundation crack repairs or landscaping upgrades alongside professional foundation work:

Minor Repairs

Landscaping 


Signs Your Foundation Needs Repair

Many homeowners don’t recognize the signs of foundation issues until they become substantial. Small signs such as wall cracks, squeaking doors, or soil gaps may seem insignificant but could indicate a bigger problem. We’ve created the guide below that outlines some of the most common signs of a bad foundation

Look for these warning signs that could indicate foundation problems:


Our Recommendation

The most important step to protect your home’s safety and value is to act quickly once foundation issues are spotted, get professional evaluations, and understand that it can be a lengthy and costly process.

 If you notice major issues such as exterior cracks, warped or uneven surfaces, or doors and windows that won’t close, take these necessary steps to protect our home:

  1. Contact foundation contractors when you notice a problem to prevent the damage from worsening. Get quotes from at least three contractors to find the best offers. Most will provide a free inspection and estimate.
  2. Work with your contractor to find a repair method based on the problem. Remember that severely damaged foundations may require additional repairs, such as reinforcement, underpinning, piering, and slab lifting.
  3. Expect to pay around $5,000 for foundation repairs, but remember that costs could vary depending on the extent of your damage and the required repairs. 
  4. Depending on your circumstances, repairs could take several months or longer. During the repair process, you will also experience excess dust, noise, and vibration.

Key Reasons to Act Quickly

When dealing with foundation issues, it’s imperative to address problems as soon as possible for the following reasons:

Although dealing with foundation issues can be stressful, there are foundation repair specialists who can help restore the safety and security of your home. 

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Foundation Repair Cost FAQ

When should you hire a professional to fix foundation problems?

You should hire an experienced foundation repair contractor if you notice any of the following signs:Bowing basement or crawl space wallsDoors and windows that don’t open or close properlyGaps between your home’s floors and wallsLarge cracks in the foundation or basement walls or floor, particularly horizontal cracksLeaks or standing water in basements or crawl spacesLeaning chimneySloping or uneven floors

What is the best foundation repair method?

The best foundation repair method will depend both on your foundation type and the problem it’s having. You can patch or reinforce some cracks, but other foundations will require more extensive support or leveling. Ask a professional foundation contractor about the best repair options.

What should I do if I think my foundation is in need of repair?

If you suspect your foundation has sustained damage, speak to an expert. You can go to a foundation repair company, but you may get a more unbiased inspection from an independent structural engineer. Ask local realtors or home designers for their recommendations.

What is the cost of repairing a foundation?

The national average price for foundation repair is around $4,975, but it may cost as little as a few hundred dollars for simple concrete patching or as much as $25,000 for stabilization and leveling.