What Factors Determine the Cost of Underpinning a Residential Foundation?

Foundation underpinning is the process of repairing damaged foundations. During the procedure, your contractor excavates the foundation, repairs it and lifts the house back into place. Underpinning improves the integrity of the structure and extends its lifespan. Below are the key factors that will determine the cost of underpinning your home's foundation.

The severity of foundation damage

Foundation damage can range from minor cracks in the walls to settling of the entire house. If only a small section of your foundation requires repairs, you will pay less for underpinning services. However, if your house has settled due to extensive foundation damage, the project may cost more money. 

Note that the cost also depends on the size of your home. Repairing the entire foundation of a 1600 square foot home will cost less than underpinning a 2500 square foot home. Your contractor can conduct a thorough assessment of your home and provide an accurate quotation.

Underpinning techniques

There are various underpinning methods suited to different conditions. For example, if you have a shallow foundation, your contractor may use the mass concrete technique. This method involves extending the old foundation to stabilise it. The project is cheap as it does not require extensive excavation work.

If you have a deep foundation, you have to employ techniques such as the pile method or the pier and beam underpinning method. These techniques involve using piles or piers to transfer the load from the weakened foundation beams. The procedures are more complex; therefore, they cost more than the traditional underpinning methodologies.

Underpinning procedures such as the cantilever pit method are ideal for repairing one section of the foundation. Thus, the process is cheaper than underpinning the entire foundation. Note that foundation repair is an incredibly invasive and costly project; thus, it's important to get it right the first time. Don't cut corners, as you may end up spending more money on future foundation repairs.

The cause of foundation damage

Foundation damage occurs due to various reasons, with the common ones being water damage, soil movement, invasive tree roots and unsuitable soil conditions. Some factors complicate the repair process and necessitate costly remediation to prevent future foundation damage. 

For example, if you built your foundation on expansive soils such as clays, there's a risk of future problems. Therefore, you need to use proven techniques such as the steel pier method. With this method, steel piers are driven deep into the soil to stabilise the foundation. Therefore, even if the subsoil expands, it won't affect the stability of the structure.

Foundation underpinning can save you from costly structural repairs. For an accurate underpinning service quote, contact your contractor.