Foundation Repair Cost Per Pier
Here we will study the foundation repair cost per pier. For a more generic analysis about foundation repair costs, we have this article here, and specifically, if after a foundation inspection you need specifically helical piers, then for helical pier costs go here. For the comparison between helical piers vs concrete, we have it here analyzed.
I recommend you request always a foundation inspection performed by a structural engineer. In a standard foundation checklist, it is always included the analysis of the leveling and settlement of the foundation. Therefore you will be informed of the requirements and which type of piers can be recommended as there are many types, such as concrete footings, helical piers, and push piers.
Piering is the technique of driving steel pipe pilings to remedy failing building foundations and to correct foundation settlement.
Each pier costs around $1,340 and repairs for an average-size home require 8 to 10 piers. This puts the cost for this method between $10,720 and $13,400. Additional costs may include: $300-$1,500 to hire a structural engineer.
The prices to install pilings vary by market, installation method and foundation type. Below you will find general ballpark pricing per unit.
|Underpinning System||Foundation Repair Cost Per Pier|
|Steel Pier||$950 – $1600|
|Helical Pier||$1400 – $2100|
|Drilled Pier||$700 – $950|
|Pressed Piling||$800 – $1350|
|Cable Lock ST+||$1100 – $1250|
Disaggregation And Influencing Factors Of The Foundation Repair Cost Per Pier
Let´s see now what influences the foundation repair cost per pier and how these prices are formed. It is not just the number of piers required, or the inches that the property requires to be raised.
Cost of Materials Utilized In The Pier Foundation Repair
The list of ingredients in pier foundation repair includes steel rebar, poured concrete, topsoil, concrete blocks, and steel shims. The pricing for each of these materials is constantly changing, especially for steel.
We update these cost articles twice per year what can reflect well any price variation.
The estimated cost for the materials needed to make one bell-bottom pier is around $104. With 1 ½ pieces of half-inch rebar at $15, ½ yard of poured concrete at $60, $10 worth of topsoil, $15 for concrete blocks, and about $4 for 3-4 pounds of steel shims adding up to the total cost of $104.
That is just for one support pier and each foundation repair project will have a different number of piers needed. An average job will need between 15 and 25 piers. Doing the math on that, you get between $1,560 to $2,600 for the base cost of materials alone.
Cost of Labor for Pier Repairs
Labor costs are all about time and rate of pay. We know that it takes a certain amount of time to prep and install piers, raise a home, and complete finishing services for bell-bottom pier repairs. This particular method of foundation repair is not the fastest method available, taking around 21 days to complete, with 7 to 10 days of concrete curing time in between.
Creating bell-bottom piers requires higher skill levels and craftsmanship finesse. So the crew working on repairing your home would be a team of professionals with solid experience. You want people with seasoned knowledge on this job so that the work is efficient and well-done. These skilled team members get paid skilled-level wages.
We approximate around $240 per fully installed pier for labor costs. Again, an average job might include between 15 to 25 piers, which translates to between $3,600 to $6,000 in labor costs.
Other Overhead Costs that Contribute to The Foundation Repair Cost Per Pier
Driving hours, permits required, fuel costs, dirt haul away, driveway and foundation cleaning, installation of required signs to inform that a construction project is taking place, etc. also form the foundation repair cost per pier and actually also for any type of foundation repair cost, even something simple as a concrete lifting or raising in the driveway.
There are many costs associated with work of this nature that a homeowner might not realize (because some of them are not happening right in front of you on your property) also contribute to project pricing.
Location Of The Property And Its Contribution To The Cost Per Pier
Depending on if you live in a city or farther out in the country will contribute to the cost of foundation repairs. Concrete mixing truck transportation, dirt, steel rebar, and concrete block delivery are all supply services that must be used during pier construction.
These third-party vendors have their own costs and limited service areas. They will typically charge more the farther out the repair location is from their headquarters.
The higher the transportation and delivery costs for the foundation repair contractor, the higher the cost becomes for the homeowner.
As an example using a basic concrete delivery, 5 yards of concrete delivered to an urban location would cost about $490. While a rural supplier and location would cost $650 or more for the same amount of concrete. That’s about a 33% increase in concrete costs for a rural location.
Finishing Services That Influence The Repair Cost Per Pier
Once piers are installed under the home in the right locations, then the home will be raised to its original elevation and secured in place. Some contractors will then complete extra steps to ensure the longest lasting and most stable repair possible.
Those steps are to pressure test the plumbing system of the home to check for leaks and to fill in the voids now underneath the home by a process called mud-pumping.
To explain a little further in the meantime, mud-pumping maximizes the support under your home and minimizes the opportunity for future settlement. The plumbing must be checked before mud-pumping is done.
Sometimes a hydrostatic pressure test is required, especially if you have a basement, if the water table in your zone is high or becomes high sometimes, or if you have a history of water in the crawlspace always standing in puddles. If you just have a water heater leaking or water in the crawlspace only when it rains, then you should not worry much because there are foundation problems that are not severe.
A hydrostatic pressure test costs approximately $300. Mud-pumping to solidify the support under the home can add around $2,000 to the total cost if it is done.
Depending on the contractor and how they charge, they could also add fees for removing and replacing landscaping, dirt delivery or haul away, or clean-up.
These finishing services are sometimes billed in a line item along with “labor costs” or separately in a different line item.
Accessibility To Support Pier Installation Spots
Not every pier takes the same amount of time to install, which contributes more to labor costs when it takes longer. Different general price points are dependent upon where the support pier is needed on your home and how hard it is to access that location.
The standard cost is for regular piers without accessibility challenges located in the perimeters of the foundation of the real estate object: a house, in our case.
Foundation repair cost per pier elevate when the installation spots are located in places that have accessibility challenges or are within the perimeters of the property, namely, under the interior of the house.
Let´s see these cases together.
Foundation Repair Cost Per Perimeter Pier Without Access Challenges
In the most regular of foundation repairs, a home will only need support piers installed on the perimeter i.e. under the outside walls of the home. These are the lowest cost piers because all the work remains outside the home and takes the least amount of time.
Foundation Repair Cost Per Perimeter Pier With Accessibility Difficulties
Access limitations can also have to do with the home’s physical location or layout on the property like very long driveways, many gates, or a long way to get around the house from the equipment location. These kinds of access issues add more time to the project.
Common access limitations around a home are things like: sidewalks next to the home, driveways, porches, decks, trees next to the home, plumbing drain lines, chimneys, and large air conditioning units. In the case of a chimney, it adds extra weight and calls for more piers in closer proximity than usual.
Basically, any pier placement that is hard to get to in some way or requires the removal and replacement of something will add to the cost of those piers. In general, you can expect to add 6 to 8% cost to any pier locations with any type of access limitations.
Perimeter piers can have access challenges, making it take longer to prep, install, and return the area to proper condition. Each hole that needs to be dug for pier installation is 2 by 2-feet in size. Anything (other than dirt) that is in the way of that 2’x2’ square of space is an access limitation and that pier will cost more due to the extra time.
Sidewalks might have to be broken up to place a pier and then patched back up, and the same for driveways or porches. Decks are deconstructed and rebuilt, pavers and irrigation lines must be moved and returned. Retaining walls, underground drainage systems, elaborate landscaping all need to be dealt with by removing and replacing or working around them somehow.
Trees or plumbing drain lines might be in the way of the easiest access to pier placement, which means that a repair team would have to choose a more difficult and time-consuming entry point where there is a sidewalk or porch.
A foundation repair team would always choose the most efficient entry point to place a pier unless there isn’t an easy one. Then a decision has to be made to either break up another concrete surface or move or remove something like a tree or large a/c unit.
Foundation Repair Cost Per Interior Piers
Sometimes a home needs support underneath the inside areas of the home too, not just along the perimeter. In the case of interior piers, the foundation repair team will need to work inside the home. Interior work includes much more prep, installation, and cleanup time because they are being careful inside your home.
Interior piers are needed in about 10 to 15% of foundation repair projects. So it doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen. Interior pier work takes longer and the cost per pier could be 20% more.
Push piers consist of sections of galvanized or epoxy-coated steel pipe that are driven into the soil with a hydraulic ram.
Helical piers use screw piles with steel shafts.
Underpinning your basement costs $200 to $400 per pier, including costs to raise the house, excavation, and installation. Piering is placing supports underneath the house at several different points and is considered a permanent solution. Contractors dig underneath the home and place hydraulically lifted piers to support the foundation. An average size house has 8–10 piers.
This is, in most cases, a more expensive repair method as it requires raising the foundation, excavation, and installing hydraulic piers. However, when the installation is performed by certified professionals, it is considered a permanent solution that will not be compromised by further settling of the house or shifting of the earth.
Underpinning requires raising the foundation and installing piers underground. Piers lift and support the concrete foundation. Contractors dig many feet into the ground, place multiple piers at different locations under your foundation, and raise them back into place with hydraulic lifts to stabilize the entire structure.
Also known as underpinning, this involves installing piers underground which lift and support the concrete. For this method, the foundation professional will need to dig many feet into the ground. The pier is then placed under your foundation and raised with hydraulics to lift it back into place and stabilize it. This method requires the use of multiple piers placed at different points.
Foundation Repair Type
At its most basic, foundation repair often relies on piers. Piers are used to fix sinking foundations. Placed underneath the foundation, they are lifted into place with hydraulics. Piers are roughly $300 a pier, and the total cost of the foundation repair is based on how many piers are needed to best repair the foundation correctly. On average, piers alone can cost about $2500.
The process of fixing a foundation can be anywhere from two to five days depending on what other steps need to be taken in order to get the piers into place. Allied offers two kinds of piers to best suit the needs of any foundation repair. Both piers are created from concrete and put in place with the process mentioned above, but Allied’s Pile Guard Piers, with positive alignment and interlock guards made from mold-formed polymer, has a lifetime guarantee.
Additional Cost Factors for Foundation Repair
Crawl Space Type
The cost of the complete repair of a foundation, using the pier method, goes up depending on what is needed to put in the piers. Houses that sit above a crawl space of wood are usually more expensive, simply because they take longer to fix. Sometimes the structure of the wood crawl space is not up to par, which could put the entire operation at risk. This can result in extra charges to ensure that the crawl space itself is sound and secure before any other repairs begin. Another cost that can be accrued when it comes to working within a crawl space, is, well, space. If contractors do not have enough room to operate within the confines of the crawl space, they may be forced to make more room for themselves which can add time and money to repairs.
The Extent of Foundation Damage
Other than crawl space limitations, there are other factors that can increase the budget of a foundation repair. Foundations can often begin suffering damage long before anyone notices. Sometimes, signs of foundation issues such as cracks in walls or doors that no longer close, can be ignored. Ignoring or not seeing the signs can mean that foundations sink into deeper levels of damage, which at the end of the day is going to increase the cost of repair.
There are many causes of foundation damage, but often, it is what the foundation was built on. Poor quality soils are a large culprit for causing foundation damage, and if neglected for long enough time, the entire home can become unsafe.
Hydraulic piers are a long-term solution for stabilizing foundations that have shifted. Each pier costs around $1,340 and repairs for an average-size home require 8 to 10 piers. This puts the cost for this method between $10,720 and $13,400.
Additional costs may include:
- $300-$1,500 to hire a structural engineer
- $500-$3,000 for soil reports from a geotechnical engineer
- $75-$150 for a building permit
- $3,000-$4,000 for seismic work (if you live in an earthquake area)
- $1,000-$2,500 for hidden obstacles (tree roots, old repairs, deep footings)
Costs will vary depending on your location. If the cost of foundation repair seems high at first, keep in mind that your home is a big investment. In the end, the cost will be worth it because your property will be safe and marketable.
WILL MY HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE COVER FOUNDATION REPAIR?
It is rare for foundation repair to be covered by your insurance if the cause was normal settlement. However, if your foundation problem was caused by accidental flooding of water from household plumbing, or you’ve purchased special supplemental coverage, you may be in luck. Read your policy or contact your provider.
FOUNDATION REPAIR FINANCING OPTIONS
There are a variety of ways to get the money you need for repairs. Often you can arrange financing directly through your contractor. Here are some common options:
- Same-as-cash payment plans
- Reduced interest home improvement loans
- Home equity lines of credit
- Cash-out refinance loans
- Government grants for those that qualify
DOES FIXING FOUNDATION DAMAGE INCREASE HOME VALUE?
A house with signs of foundation trouble can be difficult to sell. Buyers may ask you to pay for repairs before closing or reduce the price of your home significantly, while others will walk away.
However, having your foundation repaired before you put it on the market will recoup much of its resale value. Plus, it will help give buyers confidence that it is structurally sound.
The cost to repair your foundation is a wise investment, since a sturdy foundation is necessary for your home to be competitive in the housing market. Speak to a local real estate agent to learn more about what buyers expect in your area.
Foundation Raising Is Not Always Considered In The Repair Cost Per Pier Analysis
The analysis of foundation repair cost per pier does not always include the raising of the foundation, simply because it is not always needed. Sometimes only a “leveling” or “stabilization” is required. Just prevention of the future settlement of the foundation.
There are some cases where support piers are added under a home to prevent further settling, but the home is not raised, only secured in place as is. This is called “stabilization.”
Since the home is not raised up, there are no voids to fill in under the home and the two steps above would not be completed. When a home is stabilized, a pressure test and mud-pumping are not needed. So in that case the costs do not apply.
Also, the raising process is not applicable to stabilization jobs. There is about a 20% reduction in the labor costs for installing the piers because there is no time used for raising the home.
Why would a home not be raised during foundation repair? The main reason would be in a home that has already been extensively remodeled and the raising process would mess up the newly renovated finishes resulting in damage.
Additional Costs Per Pier After The Foundation Repair Is Complete
There might be repairs that a homeowner needs done that are not within the scope of repairs of the foundation contractor. Things like drywall repair and repainting walls would need to be done separately and are not included in foundation repair services.
If any interior flooring was affected in the case of interior pier work, new flooring surfaces or more extensive floor repairs would also need to be completed by another contractor.
If there are plumbing issues that need to be addressed, those are extra costs not included in the foundation repair bill. The plumbing contractor will have their own bill.
Structural Report Before A Foundation Repair
Just remind you that before any consideration of the foundation repair cost per pier installed, you have to obtain a structural report, a foundation inspection performed by a structural engineer, and then address the contractors with this information in hand to guide you through the quotation process.
In order to determine exactly how safe the structure is, many contractors will recommend getting what is called a structural report. These reports are created by engineers and given to the repair team so that all of the damage can be addressed in the most efficient and safe way possible. It is important for any contractor to have a full idea of what they are looking at. It ensures, as well, that any foundation repair estimates will be more accurate with no scary surprises or high-cost unexpected charges later down the road.
After the report, it is easier to go to a contractor and get a full, sound estimate. With the report and a little investigation of the property, foundation repair workers will be able to layout the best case scenario with an accurate estimation of where on the range of costs the repair will fall.