No matter what the source of your foundation problems, whether it is water, settlement, heaving or a combination of these factors foundation repair is a problem that must be taken seriously. The signs can be water in the basement, cracks in drywall, cracks in basement or concrete slabs or even misaligned doors and windows. When these signs are noticed your first thought becomes – What are these repairs going to cost me? Where do I start?
Unfortunately, this question is difficult to answer and cannot be answered with one statement across the board. Do you need basement wall cracks filled? Do you need tieback anchors or carbon fiber support for bowing basement walls? Is you slab foundation sinking or heaving? There are many questions that need to be answered and must be answered by a foundation expert like a foundation engineer or a qualified foundation repair contractor. These services can range from free for an opinion to several thousand dollars for a soil boring and a professional engineers full report. Generally foundation repair contractors offer their opinions free or for a nominal charge depending on the detail. Professional engineers can be hired to protect you throughout the repair process for a few hundred dollars to a full report and soils analysis for $2,000 - $2,500.
Now that we have determined the cause of the damage and the method of repair that is best suited for your home it is time to hire a qualified foundation repair contractor. The tendency here is to look for the lowest bid. The problem is that the lowest bid does you no good if the contractor is not qualified or uses inappropriate foundation repair methods. If you hired a professional engineer he can help you with the contractor selection process and may even have a list of preferred contractors.
So, we have our engineer and he has helped select a qualified foundation repair expert. You are now able to determine a cost for your repairs. Below is a list of typical repairs and a range of costs associated with each repair method.
· Crack Injection - $400 - $600 per crack
· Carbon Fiber Reinforcement - $350 - $500 per strap
· Tieback or Wall Anchor - $400 - $650 per placement
· Underpinning Piers - $650 - $2,100 per pier (large range due to different construction standards throughout the country)
· Sump Pump Upgrading - $700 - $1,500
Remember the costs associated with repairing your foundation are relative to the safety issues and decreased value that would be associated with an unrepaired foundation. The overall repair bill may be $1000 - $10,000, but if not repairing your home decreases the value by more you will be money ahead. While having foundation issues may seem overwhelming, the process can be fairly painless unless you do not follow the steps above. Inappropriate repair methods or repairs performed my unqualified contractors can create larger issues than your current state of affairs. Remember, if you hire an independent professional engineer you have an expert on your side who will lookout for your best interests.