The cost of foundation repair varies depending on the cause and severity of the problem. Your geographic location, soil type, size and style of foundation, and the method of repair used are the primary factors. The national average to repair a foundation, according to costhelper.com, is between $8000-$12000 for moderate damage. Of course, as with any average, there are outliers. A house may require only a simple fix or a major overhaul. I’ve experienced an average of 30% less than the national average in the San Antonio market. Again, size, style of foundation, amount of movement and repair method will govern the cost.
It is crucial to narrow down the cause of the problem. Did or do you have a plumbing leak? Do you have large trees and shrubs near the foundation? Do you have negative drainage (draining towards the foundation)? In many cases correcting the cause can reduce future repair costs.
There is some negative buzz in the industry about ‘partial piering’. This means to only underpin and repair the portion of the slab foundation that is showing signs of foundation failure as opposed to underpinning the entire structure. Obviously partial underpinning involves less piers thus less cost than underpinning the entire structure. Facts are, if your home or office has experienced settlement warranting foundation repair, partial underpinning versus underpinning the entire structure is subjective to many factors, namely the age of the structure, location of settlement, the amount of settlement and the desired outcome. Partial failure does not equate to complete failure. Be wise to “hand in pocket” companies who sole existence is to sell you as many piers as they can using fear. How many times have you experienced or know someone who has taken their car to the auto-shop to only find what was just a small problem has now, miraculously turned into an entire overhaul. Underpinning a structure is designed to do one of two things. Lift and stabilize or just stabilize. If one small portion of the foundation has experienced settlement resulting in foundation repair, it does not automatically mean the entire structure has or is going to fail. Partial underpinning a structure is a realistic approach given the situation and desired outcome.
In conclusion, the most beneficial suggestions I can make to help reduce any cost that may be incurred for foundation repair is to be proactive. Generally speaking, those who pay attention to the interior and exterior indicators of foundation movement typically pay far less in preventive measures and/or repairs than those who don’t. If you should have any concerns establish a consultation with a trusted foundation expert that can give you direction and any applicable cost assumptions.