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Foundation Repair: When is it Necessary, and How Much Does it Cost?

When searching the world of real estate for a new home, you probably avoided any home that had something wrong with its foundation. A faulty foundation is no small problem, and is never something that should be overlooked by homebuyers or real estate agents (or sellers, for that matter).

The reality is that foundation faults do occur over time — even if the home was once sturdy and strong. So what happens when these faults are left unchecked? They’ll lead to more visible issues inside the home. Eventually, foundation issues can lead to major structural problems that cost a fortune to properly address.

If you think your house may have foundation issues, here are some things you need to be aware of.

When is a foundation repair necessary?

When a residential foundation is faulty, there are several possible culprits. If the foundation of a house is built on non-compressed soil, or soil that will continue to expand, cracks are more likely to occur. A foundation built on properly compressed soil generally does better over time. Water is the main reason for the shifting of soil — so proper drainage systems around the home are vital.

Signs of a cracked foundation include cracks on the inside of the home, doors not aligning correctly, and floors not lining up with the walls. If you see these signs and suspect your home has foundation issues, don’t wait to get it checked out by a professional. The longer foundation issues go unchecked, the more severe they become — which raises the price to repair them as well.

How much does a foundation repair cost?

As stated earlier, the sooner you fix your foundation problem, the less expensive the repairs will ultimately be. Cracks and bows in the foundation become more severe as time goes on. Why? Because the soil continues to expand, and/or water continues to seep under the foundation.

Although the cost of repairs will differ according to the severity of the problem, average costs for repairing a foundation are usually around $4,000 on average. More minor cracks in the wall or floor cost much less — around $500 on average. There are also bigger repairs that involve hydraulic piers — these can cost as much as $10,000. Reinforcement often becomes necessary when the foundation is bowed or sloped in any way. This reinforcement includes bracing the walls with anchors every 6-8 ft., which often cost around $400 each. If water is the reason the foundation is failing, installing a new drainage system may become necessary to prevent further damage.

A concrete walkway around the home may also be a good idea to help channel water away from the house. Even though the cost for foundation repair differs greatly from case to case, the main thing to remember is that you should hire a professional sooner than later.

A difficult but necessary task

Since repairing a foundation is a difficult but very necessary task, finding an expert who is familiar with the repairing process is key. Many homebuilders and home renovation specialists have the experience and tools to fix foundations. When you find an experienced specialist and allow them to begin working on your home, the process of restoring your home to its best shape should be a smooth one.