Issues with your foundation can be one of the most serious things you can face as a homeowner. Sometimes, a concrete slab can slope, and leveling the house may be required to ensure that the structure on top of the slab can be safely supported.
There are many house leveling techniques that are specific to concrete slabs and other types of foundations. Each of these techniques comes with its price tag, varying based on a combination of other factors.
There are many reasons why a homeowner may want to pursue house leveling. In addition to restoring a concrete foundation to its original state, house leveling may be needed to build a basement, to keep the foundation from settling in poor soil conditions, or to raise the home above the flood zone.
Obviously, this is not a small project and will cost a lot of money to execute. Coming up with exact figures is not a straightforward process because there are many factors that will determine the total amount you will be spending.
Factors that Determine the Cost of House Leveling
A lot of factors come into play when calculating the cost of leveling your home. Some of these factors include the size of the home, the foundation type, the severity of the damage, the age of the home, the typical costs of excavation and labor, etc.
Size of the Home
The size of your home remains one of the biggest determinants of the cost of leveling the home. A large house is going to weigh more, and this will make leveling the house more complicated. Your foundation contractor to execute this kind of repair will be able to furnish you with an estimate based on your home’s square footage.
You should note that costing will also vary based on other determinants such as the current condition of your foundation and how old your home is. The fact still remains that consulting a professional foundation contractor is the best way to get accurate estimates of what you will be spending on your particular project.
Nailing down how much you will be spending on labor is not an easy task. Different foundation contractors will come up with different quotes. So, it would be great to contact at least three different contractors to have a better idea of the cost of labor. You should expect the costs to vary depending on how complex the project is and the expected wages in your area.
Most contractors will charge you by the hour, the national average rate being $16/hour. Heavy equipment operators may charge up to $22/hour
The Condition of the House
When dealing with older structures, extra care and reinforcement will be needed during the house leveling process. This is mainly because the materials used to build older homes are heavier. The implication of this is that more equipment and time will be needed to get the job done. Your contractors will have to work at a slower pace when working on older homes because they are more vulnerable.
Average Cost of House Leveling
According to Home Guide, piering and underpinning a single corner may cost you between $3,500 to $6,500. If the damage is an extensive one, you may be spending between $10,000 and $20,000. Generally, the cost of releveling your house will be determined by the type of the foundation, what caused the damage, the severity of the damage, and how many piers are required.
It is important that you consult with a structural engineer to give you an inspection report, after which the best repair solution for your foundation will be recommended. Some of the common causes of a settling foundation include concrete deterioration, shifting soil, poor draining, seismic tremors, soil heaving, or shrinkage.
Some extra costs that you may want to put into consideration include:
- The cost of a building permit. This is between $75 and $150
- The cost of an inspection report and plan (which are to be done by your structural engineer). This will cost between $300 and $1,000.
- You may need to get a soil composition report. You will be needing a geotechnical engineer to get this and it costs between $500 and $2,000.
- The cost of a French drain installation. This is between $4,000 and $12,000 for an interior perimeter drain, or $1,000 to $4,000 for an exterior yard.
- Reinforcing your foundation with anchor bolts may be necessary if you are in an area that is prone to earthquakes. This can cost between $1,500 and $4,000.
Piering and Underpinning
While it may vary based on the type and the depth that is needed for the structure’s stability, the cost of underpinning may cost you between $1,000 and $3,000 for each pier. The use of piers is the most common underpinning approach to level and strengthen a foundation that is not even.
In this process, hydraulic jacks are first used to raise the foundation to a certain level, after which piers are driven deep into more stable soil at intervals of six to eight feet. In severe cases, up to eight to ten piers may be required.
Mudjacking is a process that involves drilling holes with the aim of lifting concrete slabs that have been affected by settlement. It is a non-invasive approach of injecting a combination of soil, cement, and water underneath the concrete slabs that have settled with the intention of raising them back to their ideal level.
Note that this is not a DIY procedure. Special tools and expertise are required to get the job done. Therefore, it is important that you engage the service of a professional foundation contractor on this.
Depending on a combination of some other factors, you can expect to spend between $3 and $25 per square foot. The national average cost ranges from $3,000
Having read this article, you now see that there are many factors that determine the cost of leveling your house. The most effective approach to arriving at a specific figure is to consult structural engineers. An inspection will be scheduled, they will come up with a report and a plan, with a recommendation of the most suitable approach to be adopted for your foundation type.
Do due diligence to get quotes from different structural companies, so you can compare prices and results.