How the cost of Foundation Repair is evaluated depends on the magnitude of damage, underpinning method, material, and number of piers required for adequate levelling and support. A thorough foundation inspection that can last from 30 minutes to several hours depending on the structure is often required to obtain an accurate estimate.
Foundations can be moved by certain soil types. When the soil composition changes beneath the foundation, the foundations under homes begin to stress and fatigue with time and cause the home to be out of level. When a structure is out of level and needs to be repaired, there are several signs a homeowner can see. There are three levels of foundation damage: cosmetic, functional and structural.
First Sings of Visual Damage
The first sign for cosmetic damage is usually cracks in the exterior brick and the interior sheet rock walls and ceilings. A homeowner whose home is their largest investment can be disturbed by this. A homeowner will be prompted by these cosmetic cracks to take action and contact a foundation repair company to examine the foundation and determine the repairs that need to be done and, most importantly; the cost of the repairs.
Parts of the structure that do not function properly are classified as functional damages. The signs of functional damage are doors that will not close or latch completely, windows that won’t open or close well, huge gaps in the brick and mortar causing cold or hot air to enter the home. The framework and brickwork get distorted and out of level when the foundation gets distorted. Piers or underpinning are usually required for functional damages to correct the distorted areas and level the foundation.
The worst of the three levels is structural damages. Huge breaks in the foundation, sheet rock, walls and ceilings to a point where foundation repair may cause it to damage more are signs of structural damage. You should hire a structural engineer to design a scope of repair along with piering method if you notice these signs in your foundation. You should also ask the engineer for the best foundation repair companies he has had experience with to repair the foundation. An engineer gives one of the best referrals for a foundation repair company.
Determining the Costs of Waterproofing a Basement
The determination of the cost of foundation repair depends on the amount of underpinning or piers needed to level the foundation. The number of piers will be determined by the person estimating it. Labor and materials do not break down a repair estimate. The number of piers that it will take to properly repair the foundation and the cost of all the piers will be determined by an estimator or engineer. A small job will usually be a higher pier price than a decent size job of ten piers or more. The more the number of piers the lesser the money the foundation company will charge per pier to repair the foundation.
Besides the foundation repair itself, additional charges for engineer reports, plumbing tests, permits and concrete breakouts will add to the cost of foundation repair. In Texas, foundation repair is very competitive and many people have foundation issues. Although, competition is good for the consumer, some contractors that give very inexpensive prices give you just what you paid for.
To be sure that your foundation is getting supported correctly with the correct number of underpinning, it’s wise to get an engineer determine the number of piers and let the estimate for foundation repair from the engineers scope of repair as outlined in your engineers report be done by foundation companies. In this way, you and the foundation repair company are protected from having an under or over engineered repair plan. Sometimes, other damages and more repairs down the road can result from underpinning areas of a home that have risen because of a plumbing leak or poor drainage. When a leak or poor drainage that has caused an over saturation of moisture under a foundation is repaired, it will allow the area to get back to the proper moisture content after it has had time to dry out properly.
Estimates Will Differ In Price in Different Locations
Depending on the foundation companies charge per pier, estimates can differ in price. Different companies use different piering methods, materials and machinery. The price range of a pier can be from as little as $100.00 to well over $1,000.00 per pier. The least expensive is not always the worst and the most expensive pier is not always the best. Location and availability of materials and competition in the particular market area are factors that influence pier prices, but in other areas of the Canada, where there is low competition and materials are not as accessible and need to be delivered; pier prices can increase by several hundred dollars more per pier.