What Factors Affect The Cost Of My Foundation Repair?

We get it! No one wants to go through repairing a damaged home. To know your home is settling is quite, for lack of a better phrase, unsettling. And repair is not a cheap process.

You could be looking to fix your home, but are unsure what components you’re paying for. Or you might be in the repair process, but unable to understand what goes into the repair costs. Both are completely fine. These are reasonable concerns. It would be like paying for a new laundry detergent without knowing the chemicals mixed in. It could be the latest detergent made with a mix of Mentos and diet coke. That’s cruel and dangerous. And counterintuitive. 

You don’t want anything to be counterintuitive. That and humans are curious beings. It’s a natural instinct to want to know things when invested in the outcome. Regardless, if you want to figure out what factors contribute to your foundation repair cost, this article is perfect for you. 

What are the main factors I should expect to pay for?

Inspection

The bright side about the inspection process is it’s free! You don’t need to worry about a charge to bring one of our inspectors out. That is unless your house is on the market or in Escrow, for which we charge $1000. We provide a home inspection survey as well as a floor elevation survey. Due to our reports being more in-depth, it requires more labor and resources to create, develop and design them. 

Again, if your home is not on the market, and if you might be looking to put it on the market, your inspection can be done for free!

Engineering

Dalinghaus has better rates for engineers since we work with them. Not to say you can’t find an engineer or engineer friend for a lower price. And the engineers know what we do and create appropriate plans for the betterment of your home. And in most cases, you’ll find better rates with us versus if you go with an engineer directly.    

Permitting

It’s a requirement for your project to have a permit. Thankfully, we don’t mark up. So whether you decide to go to your city or have Dalinghaus Construction do it, you’ll be paying the same price no matter what.

Also, keep in mind many general contractors work closely with cities. They have a good idea of how the permitting process works with certain cities. 

Production

Your home has to be repaired by someone or groups of people–our production teams typically consist of three people. Though there are more than people performing the repair. Here are what factors into production:

     Labor

We typically have three people out on a crew. It’s no surprise we compensate them for their work (I know. Shocking.). The crew will be excavating, installing the required material to make the fix, and lifting the home if you decide that’s what you want.  

To understand the problem with your foundation settlement, we must get to the bottom of it. Literally. Through the excavation process, we need to dig to the bottom of your foundation’s footing.   

Depth usually doesn’t factor in with the cost. However, there are sometimes unforeseen circumstances. Depth usually isn’t a factor in the cost, unless, say, a foundation’s footing is deeper than expected. If it’s four or more feet deep, it will take the production team a longer amount of time compared to an 18-inch footing.  

     Equipment

It would be nice if a crew could have powers from Greek mythology to be a modern-day Hercules, lifting a home with one finger and compacting the soils with their second hand. To perform herculean tasks, equipment is necessary, whether it’s the tools for excavating, attaching brackets to the home’s footing, hydraulically driving piers down to the desired depth, or the devices necessary to start lifting your home. 

     Material

And of course, there is the material needed to lift your home. There are:

  • The brackets that are attached to the footing.
  • The bolts that keep the brackets attached to the footing.
  • Push or helical piers installed underground. 
  • Polyurethane to inject under slabs to fill voids created while lifting. 

Can the size of the property affect the cost? 

It’s easy to think so, though this isn’t a direct factor. If you only broke your left ankle, would you get a cast for your whole body, including your head? Probably not. The part that matters is the amount of area your home is affected by settlement. It could happen that a larger home will have a larger area affected, though that’s not always the case.

Does the type of foundation affect the cost?

Funny enough, no. The repair processes are a little bit different if we’re lifting the home. Installing the piers is still the same for both Slab-on-grade and raised foundations. What is different is what happens after we lift your home to prevent settlement in the future.

For Slab-on-grade foundations, we will often do a polyurethane injection to fill in any voids in the soil. 

Raised foundations will require a crew to navigate through your crawlspace to do repairs. There is a chance of shimming or replacing posts and pads, girder beams, and anything else that needs to be accommodated for. 

How do you simplify the cost?

Dalinghaus Construction simplifies the cost for you as much as possible. You will receive a proposal with everything for the job. When we put in the items, the labor included for their installation is already there. You will not see us adding labor costs. They’re already there. 

Everything is factored into each line-item, instead of being separate. Do you know the receipts you get at the grocery store? We don’t want to overwhelm you with anything that long. Labor, material, and equipment are all factored in. And we want you to know exactly what you’re paying for.  

Short, sweet, and to the point. 

The average repair cost. 

The average repair cost is around 30 thousand dollars. It all depends on the area of the home affected by foundation issues. This is the biggest variant in costs. Lifting is generally more expensive than crawlspace repairs or seismic retrofitting. 

What constitutes a Change Order?

Before answering this question, one thing needs to be made clear: we try to avoid Change Orders at all costs. Pun intended. 

We know you don’t want to receive a notice letting you know things will be more expensive. Everything is stressful as it is, whether financially or with your home. And we HATE giving that news. What’s important is for your experience to be as positive as possible. We want to be as accurate as possible with the initial proposal we provide for you. 

Some companies are shallow enough to entice you with a cheaper price, only to surprise you with a Change Order. 

That said, there are plenty of companies that are honest and avoid change orders, too. Dalinghaus Construction is sincere, honest, and transparent. If a Change Order does happen, it’s not something we want to do to you. 

What does constitute a change order is when we run into unforeseen things in the ground we have no way of knowing beforehand. This will be when we notice things underneath the soil such as what was supposed to be an 18-inch footing is five feet. This will need more excavation and time, which, unfortunately, will constitute a change order. 

The brackets need to be able to fix themselves to the bottom of your footing, holding your home to lift it and match the rest of your home. You don’t hold a baby from only the side of the arms. You go under the armpit to make sure everything is stable and you have a firm grip. Being delicate and careful is essential. And we know your home is your baby.

Now if we mess something up, we take care of that. It’s not right to charge you for something we did. 

Change Orders suck. Everyone knows it. Want to know what can be done for you without any Change Order or charge? Book a free home evaluation through us. We can have one of our inspectors look at your home for no charge. If you’re seeing signs of your home settling into the ground depressed as though it received a change order (not through us), you can call us with any questions or book your free appointment at (877) 360-9227, or schedule your appointment online!

WRITTEN BY

Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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