Foundation issues may seem overwhelming. There's no doubt that it's a big job - it's not something a single handyman can take care of. But there is no reason to stress too much. There are ways to fix even the worst foundation issues, and many companies are open to financing or payment plans.
Hopefully, your next step after finding your foundation issues was to do some self-educating. You may want to go to the internet and read about others experiences, or ask friends and family if they have gone through the same thing and how they handled the situation.
Once you have a direction to move in, then you can find the best professional for the job. Once you have reached this point and realize you need expert help, the actual work on your home can begin. The foundation expert will examine your home and determine the extent of damage and the type of repair that needs to be done.
It is perfectly normal to be anxious about the process. How much will the repair cost? How long will the repairs take? Will there be any demo? Take a breath. We'll dive into what you can expect:
For slab foundations:
A slab foundation is one of the more difficult repairs to make. The home is sitting directly on top of the foundation and for this reason there is no room to maneuver under the house. Slabjacking is the less invasive choice. In this operation, grout is pumped beneath a slab or beam to produce a lifting force under your home.
This will restore your home to its original elevation. The second option is called piering. Steel posts are driven through the unstable soil and hydraulic jacks are used to raise and stabilize the concrete foundation. This method of repair will depend on the extent of damage being treated.
For basement foundations:
The repair to a foundation that has a basement underneath it will be much easier. There is room to do the repairs without having to jack up your home. One repair method is to use adjustable posts to fix sagging, springy floors above a crawl space. Helical piers can also be installed like giant screws to repair settled foundation walls.
Push piers are sometimes installed beneath sunken foundation walls to stop settling. This will restore the proper leveling of your home. The other option is to use power brace repairs. They utilize I-beams to strengthen and stabilize bowing or tilting foundation walls. These repairs are all done under the home where the crawl space is located.
These are the repair methods that are used with average sized homes. There are more extensive repairs that are considered for larger buildings.
The most nerve-wracking question: what is the cost?
Now what can you expect as far as cost to repair your foundation? Unfortunately there is a wide range of possible costs associated with foundation repair.
The cost is determined by the amount of damage to the foundation. There may additional cost to your home that result from the foundation issue. You can expect to spend anywhere from $4000 -$6000 on average. This is not to say that you won't spend twice or three times this amount if the foundation repair becomes extensive. This is why you are encouraged to educate yourself - so you are not taken advantage of.
You need to know that the job will be done well and you will not be charged more than the job is worth. The time that a repair takes can vary. Most repairs can be done in 2-3 days. However, that is not always the case. The expert you hire will be able to give you an estimate on cost and time after the initial inspection. Know that this is only an estimate.
The time and money it takes can change once the work has started. Even the professionals do not always know everything about the repair until they get started. Be leery if the cost goes up drastically. You may want a second opinion if this happens. Foundation repairs can be time consuming and costly.
Preparing yourself for a project of this size is the best way to curb anxiety. A good company will keep you informed and comfortable through the process.