Every homeowner dreads foundation problems. Cracks and leaks might not seem like a big deal at first, but they can easily turn into substantial issues if you don’t give them the attention they deserve. Dealing with foundation repairs when they’re relatively easy to handle and inexpensive can save you thousands of dollars down the road compared to ignoring the problem and hoping it will go away — spoiler alert: it won’t.
This article breaks down the cost of foundation repairs, covering the cost of different kinds of foundation repairs, how the type of foundation you have affects the cost, and how to decide when you should call a professional.
How Much Does Foundation Repair Cost on Average?
Below is a quick look at the average cost of foundation repairs.
Average Cost of Foundation Repair
The national average cost of foundation repair is $4,500, accounting for all different types of foundations and repair techniques. The most serious foundation repairs cost between $10,000 and $30,000, while comparatively minor repairs may cost only a few hundred or a few thousand dollars. However, even the most expensive foundation repairs pale in comparison to foundation replacements, which can easily cost upwards of $70,000.
Even if your hands are getting sweaty thinking about how much your foundation repair might cost, keep in mind that it’s better than the alternative. Foundation problems have a way of getting worse quickly, and when things go wrong, they go wrong in a big way. Ignoring the signs of foundation problems almost always winds up costing you more money in the long run.
Types of Foundation Damage and Average Repair Cost
The table below summarizes the most common types of foundation damage and their average repair cost.
|Foundation Issue||Average Repair Cost|
|Cracks||$200 to $1,000|
|Leaks||$2,000 to $8,000|
|Foundation Settling/Foundation Sinking||$10,000 to $30,000|
|Bowing Walls||$5,000 to $12,000|
Cracks in your foundation can be caused by shifting soil, freezing water that’s found its way into an unsealed foundation, and damage from environmental sources like earthquakes. Luckily, not all foundation cracks are a sign of structural issues, so fixing smaller cracks is possible to do yourself.
You should never ignore foundation cracks — even small ones — because they will typically become larger with time, leading to more severe problems and higher repair costs.
Foundation Cracks – Repair Cost
Most crack repairs cost between $200 and $1,000, with the average cost falling around $600. Cracks narrower than ⅛” are fixable with epoxy filler, and it’s generally considered safe to do yourself.
If you have wider cracks — especially long ones or those that go around the corner of your foundation — you’re better off consulting a structural engineer. A professional foundation inspection isn’t cheap but can save you from more extensive repairs down the road and ensure that your home is safe.
Water is the mortal enemy of house foundations, causing countless issues that are often expensive to repair if you don’t catch them early. Like cracks, leaks can be a sign of underlying issues with your foundation and the surrounding soil. Poor drainage can lead to leaks, so you might need a large-scale revamp to your landscaping to eliminate the root cause of a leaking foundation.
Foundation Leaks – Repair Cost
The typical cost of fixing foundation leaks is between $2,000 and $8,000, with an average cost of around $5,000. The price range is wider for leak repairs than foundation crack repairs because some foundation leaks require excavating the soil around your home and redesigning your drainage system. Additionally, a leaky foundation usually needs other repairs since leaks are often a symptom of larger issues.
Most leak repairs also involve sealing your foundation to protect it from moisture once the underlying cause of the problem has been fixed. Waterproofing your foundation isn’t too expensive on its own but adds to the overall cost of fixing leaks. Sometimes your contractor will recommend installing a French drain or new tile drains if your foundation isn’t getting the drainage he needs.
If you have more serious moisture problems, you might also need a sump pump installed to keep them at bay. This is a common solution to moisture problems in basements and crawl spaces.
Foundation Settling and Sinking
Foundation settlement is a common problem homeowners face, especially those who live in regions with expansive clay, a type of soil that expands and contracts dramatically in response to changes in its water content. Settling and sinking can also be caused by a weak fill or poor drainage.
Regardless of what causes it, shifting soil underneath your foundation puts it under intense stress and strain, leading to large cracks, leaks, and a host of other problems like sagging ceilings, uneven floors, and bowed walls.
Foundation Settling and Sinking – Repair Cost
Repairing a sinking foundation is usually pretty expensive, costing anywhere between $600 and $30,000 depending on the severity of the problem and the chosen repair method. In some cases, it’s possible to inject a special kind of grout or polyurethane foam mixture into the ground beneath your home’s foundation. This is an affordable repair option that only costs $600 to $800, but it usually isn’t a long-term solution.
The more robust — and expensive — option uses hydraulic equipment to support and lift your foundation. Each hydraulic support, or pier, costs $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the material it’s made from. Most average-sized homes require 8–10 piers, making the cost anywhere from $8,000 to $30,000. These connect to the support beams that connect directly to your home’s joists, so it’s a delicate process that needs to be done correctly, which adds to the cost.
Another option — that is still very expensive — is house leveling via helical piers, large screw-like supports that take the brunt of the load off your foundation and reduce sinking and sagging. This solution will usually push your repair costs closer to the $30,000 mark.
Bowed walls are another common sign of foundation trouble that you shouldn’t ignore. Foundation walls bow when the soil surrounding your foundation has poor quality, so a complete solution to bowing walls usually involves addressing soil issues.
However, bowed walls can also be supported with steel or carbon fiber mesh to provide lateral support and help straighten them out. When walls flex, they lose some stability, making it important to reinforce them with an external frame. Unfortunately, such supports are expensive and the total cost of repairing bowed walls is fairly high.
Bowed Walls – Repair Cost
Repairing bowed walls usually requires installing steel or carbon fiber strips. A batch of 12 strips costs between $5,000 and $12,000 on average, depending on the material your contractor chooses. Don’t forget that you’ll also have to correct the underlying soil issues that caused your foundation walls to bow in the first place, making the overall cost significantly higher. You could pay in excess of $20,000 for a total solution.
Average Repair Cost by Foundation Type
Foundation repairs vary in cost depending on the type of foundation you have. Below is a table summarizing the average prices to repair basements, crawl spaces, and concrete slabs.
|Foundation Type||Average Repair Cost|
|Concrete Slab||$1,000 to $10,000|
|Crawl Space||$1,000 to $15,000|
|Basement||$1,000 to $25,000|
Concrete slabs are the simplest type of foundations to repair since they’re only made up of a single monolithic pour of concrete. Most slabs are between four and eight inches thick and sit directly on the soil. Unlike basements and crawl spaces, slabs don’t have any open-air spaces around them, making them more resistant to water damage and pests.
Concrete Slab – Repair Cost
The average cost to repair a concrete slab falls between $1,000 and $10,000. However, if you need underpinning or piering, the costs can be two to three times higher. The most affordable way to repair cracks in a slab foundation is to DIY, although this is risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Generally speaking, if the cracks are larger than ⅛”, you should hire a foundation repair contractor.
Crawl spaces are more convenient than slabs since they provide space for running pipes and utility lines, but they’re also more difficult to repair. Unfortunately, crawl spaces are more prone to infestations from termites and other insects than concrete slabs since they provide natural shelter for them to build nests. Homes with crawl spaces are also more likely to have moisture issues, making it essential that your property has proper drainage.
Crawl Space – Repair Cost
Minor repairs to crawl space foundations don’t cost much more than similar repairs on concrete slabs, but the upper limit is a bit higher due to the increased complexity crawl spaces have over slabs. The average repair cost for crawl spaces is between $1,000 and $15,000.
Crawl spaces are more expensive to maintain than slabs as well since you need to clean them regularly and monitor them for signs of pest activity and moisture build-up. Hiring a professional to clean your crawl space usually costs a few hundred dollars, although pest removal can cost more, depending on the severity of the infestation.
Basements are the most complex type of foundation and — unsurprisingly — are also the most expensive to repair. Like crawl spaces and slabs, basements are easy to repair when you’re only dealing with small cracks. However, the range of problems affecting basements is much wider than crawl spaces and slabs. Basements collect water if your drainage is poor and your foundation isn’t sealed, harbor insects and other pests, develop cracks and bowed walls, and are prone to growing mold.
Basement – Repair Cost
Minor problems like small cracks and leaks will only cost you between $500 and $2,000 to fix, but larger problems like bowed walls, larger cracks in your basement walls, and severe leaks can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars up to $30,000 or more. Basements also often require more involved waterproofing than other types of foundations, driving costs even higher depending on the climate where you live and your yard’s natural drainage properties.
If you suspect your basement foundation has a problem, you should contact a professional foundation repair company sooner rather than later. Small issues quickly become large ones when you’re dealing with basements, so don’t hesitate to have someone take a look.
Factors to Consider in Foundation Repair Cost
Budgeting for foundation repairs can be tricky because there are many factors that determine how much one costs. Some are obvious, like your home’s size, while others are more difficult to tell from a glance at your house, like the quality of the soil under its foundation.
Here’s a table that lists the major factors that determine how much a foundation repair costs.
Factors That Determine the Cost of Foundation Repairs
- Type of foundation
- Severity of the problem
- Soil quality
- Type of repair required
- Labor rate
- Materials required
- Home size
Type of Foundation
As discussed in the previous section, what kind of foundation you have plays a major role in determining how much it will cost to repair, especially for larger problems.
Type of Foundation – Cost
Broadly speaking, slabs are the cheapest type of foundation to repair, while crawl spaces and basements are more expensive since they’re more complicated. Crawl space repairs can be especially tricky if they’re difficult to reach, which can raise the cost of a repair due to increased labor rates.
Keep in mind that a severe problem with a slab concrete foundation may cost more to fix than a simple problem with a crawl space or basement.
If you have poor soil quality, it can have a profound impact on your foundation’s health. Shifting soil causes all types of foundations to sink and settle, creating a variety of structural problems throughout your home. Unfortunately, cracks and leaks are often only symptoms of structural issues caused by poor soil quality, and treating them without addressing the underlying problem is a recipe for more problems in the future.
Soil Quality – Cost
Assessing your soil quality usually costs a few hundred dollars since you usually need a licensed structural engineer to do the assessment. Fixing soil quality problems can get very expensive since it often involves excavation and reworking major aspects of how the land around your home is arranged.
Labor, Materials, and Permitting
Labor makes up a significant fraction of the cost of foundation repairs, while materials and permitting vary depending on what kind of repair you need and where you live.
Labor, Materials, and Permitting – Cost
Crawl space and basement repairs are usually more involved and take longer than slab repairs, so they usually cost more. Some contractors charge fixed labor rates regardless of what kind of foundation you have, while others will charge more for work on crawl spaces and basements.
Material costs also vary depending on what type of foundation you have and what kind of problem you’re dealing with. If you just need a few small cracks fixed, materials won’t cost much. But if you need helical piers, jacks, or steel pilings, the materials will make up the bulk of the cost.
Permitting varies by region, so it’s not possible to estimate its contribution to the overall cost. Just be aware that this might be a factor, depending on where you live.
If you’re having trouble with leaks, you’ll probably want your foundation sealed and waterproofed. Your contractor might recommend this even if you aren’t currently dealing with leaks and don’t need a foundation leak repair since it’s generally a good idea. Whether you decide to seal your foundation is up to you, but water damage can wreak havoc on all types of foundations.
Waterproofing – Cost
Sealing a foundation costs between $2,000 and $6,000 on average, but the money and headaches it can save you in the long run make it well worth it. Waterproofing may be enough if your property is well-drained, although you should consult a structural engineer if you’re concerned about drainage.
Hiring a landscaper to help you improve the drainage around your foundation is a good way to keep it safe from water damage, but sealing it and installing a water barrier made of waterproof material is always a good idea.
DIY vs Professional Foundation Repair
Most of the time, hiring a professional foundation repair contractor is the right call. However, it is possible to do small DIY repairs yourself. Repairing small horizontal cracks that are less than ⅛” wide is easy to do with a relatively inexpensive kit from your local hardware store. Most people can handle repairing minor cracks themselves with a few hours of time and some patience.
For virtually all other foundation problems, you’re better off hiring a professional. Your foundation’s health is extremely important for maintaining the structural integrity of your entire home, so it’s not something you want to mess around with.
Most professional repair companies offer lifetime warranties on their foundation work, making it a low-risk proposal. A professional is more likely to offer a permanent solution to your foundation problems while repairing cracks yourself is often little more than putting a band-aid on the problem.
FAQs Foundation Repair Costs
Is it worth it to fix your foundation?
Yes, without a doubt. Foundation replacements are huge projects that cost at least two to three times more than the most expensive foundation repairs. A foundation repair can also save you from an endless stream of other issues around your home, like hard-to-open doors and windows, sagging sealings, and leaks. Never mind that leaving your foundation unfixed can become dangerous as the problem worsens over time.
Another factor to consider is the resale value of your home. If you’re thinking about eventually moving, selling your home will be much more difficult if you leave your foundation unrepaired.
What is the average cost for foundation repair?
The national average foundation repair cost for foundation repair is around $4,500. However, simple repairs like filling small cracks usually only cost a few hundred dollars, while major repairs like mudjacking — sometimes called slabjacking or slab jacking — can cost a few thousand.
The most expensive type of foundation repair uses hydraulic piers to support your foundation. These repairs cost $10,000 to $30,000 depending on the extent of the damage to your foundation and how many supports you need.
What are the most common causes of foundation cracks?
Poor soil conditions underneath your house often cause foundation cracks. Other common causes include water damage from standing water around your home, damage from natural disasters like earthquakes, and damage from tree roots.
Poor drainage is another common issue that leads to foundation cracks over time. Clogged gutters cause water to pool around your foundation, causing water damage and cracks if left untreated.