How much does pier and beam foundation repair cost?
$1,500 – $15,000 average cost
Average cost of pier and beam foundation repair
Pier and beam foundation repairs cost $1,500 to $15,000, on average. Foundation leveling is the most common repair and costs $1,500 to $10,000, depending on the method and materials. Pier and beam foundation repairs often include several methods, such as pier reinforcement, beam replacement, and moisture management.
|Repair method||Average repair cost|
|Shimming and leveling||$1,500 – $10,000|
|Pier reinforcement||$1,500 – $3,000 per pier|
|Beam replacement||$1,500 – $4,000 per beam|
|Moisture management||$3,000 – $8,000|
|Support jacks||$5,000 – $10,000|
|Piering / Underpinning||$10,000 – $20,000+|
Shimming and leveling
Shimming and leveling costs $1,500 to $10,000 for labor and materials to correct settlement issues caused by soil compaction, moisture changes, or natural aging. The materials and methods used will depend on the foundation type and severity of the settling.
This repair involves adding steel, concrete, wood, or composite shims under the low or sagging areas to support and raise the foundation to its original level. The contractor adjusts the shims incrementally to ensure the foundation is level and stable.
Pier reinforcement costs $1,500 to $3,000 per pier to straighten and stabilize the support piers when they have deteriorated, settled, or cannot support the weight of the home. This repair involves installing extra piers or reinforcing the existing ones with steel or concrete.
The location, extent of damage, and specific repair methods affect the repair cost. Working in tight spaces may increase labor and equipment costs, especially if reaching the piers requires excavation.
Beam replacement costs $1,500 to $4,000 per beam when the existing beams are damaged by moisture exposure, pest infestations, or aging. This repair involves taking out the damaged beams and putting in new ones in their place.
Addressing moisture issues is a common repair that can extend the life of your pier and beam foundation. Steps to prevent issues like rot, mold, and structural damage may include:
Installing gutters costs $750 to $2,300 for a typical one-story home.
Regrading a yard costs $1,000 to $3,000 to grade around the entire house to fix drainage issues.
A drainage system costs $1,000 to $4,000 for a shallow exterior yard drain.
Installing a French drain costs $1,200 to $4,500 for an exterior French drain along one side of the foundation.
Sump pump installation costs $600 to $2,500, depending on the type, size, and difficulty.
Crawl space encapsulation costs $3,000 to $8,000 to install a vapor barrier and proper insulation. Encapsulation helps to prevent moisture intrusion and protects the wood components from decay.
Piering and support jacks
Piering or underpinning costs $10,000 to $20,000 or more, depending on the depth of installation and the number and type of piers. Piering is a permanent solution to stabilize a settling or sinking foundation. The repair involves installing metal or concrete posts deep into the ground beneath the foundation.
Support jacks cost $5,000 to $10,000 for materials and labor and are a temporary solution that involves using hydraulic jacks to lift the foundation back into place. Support jacks are quicker and less invasive than piering, which saves on labor costs. Severe foundation problems require a more permanent solution.
Pier and beam foundation repair cost factors
Pier and beam foundation repair costs can vary significantly based on several factors, including:
Repair type – Simple repairs cost less than more complex and extensive repairs.
Size & complexity – Larger foundations or those with irregular shapes and numerous supports require more materials and labor for repairs.
Damage cause & extent – Damages caused by soil settlement, water damage, or structural issues require different repair methods with varying costs. More severe damage requires more extensive and costly repairs.
Repair method & materials – Some repairs involve simple methods like shimming with wooden or steel beams. Others require sophisticated methods like hydraulic lifting or underpinning, which cost more.
Access & site conditions – A foundation that is difficult to access or has obstacles like trees, utility lines, or landscaping requires more time and effort, increasing the total repair cost.
Labor & permit costs – The level of expertise required for the repair can influence the cost of labor. Some repairs require permitting, which adds to the overall cost.
Contractor reputation – Experienced contractors with a good track record often charge higher fees for their services but provide a higher quality and more reliable repair.
Geographic location – Areas with high labor and material costs, as well as those prone to specific geological issues, tend to have higher repair costs.
Pier and beam foundation repair costs by material
A new pier and beam foundation costs $7,000 to $24,000, with costs dependent on factors such as the foundation's size and the choice of materials. Similarly, repair costs fluctuate due to varying materials, as some are easier to repair than others.
|Foundation type||Average repair cost||Details|
|Concrete block piers||$1,000 – $4,000||
|Masonry piers||$2,500 – $5,000||
|Wooden piers||$1,000 – $3,000||
|Steel piers||$3,000 – $7,000||
|Drilled caissons||$5,000 – $15,000||
Common reasons for pier and beam repairs
Pier and beam foundations are typically very durable, but a variety of factors can damage them, including:
Poor soil conditions – Areas with poor soil conditions, such as clay soil, can shrink and swell with changes in moisture levels.
Excessive weight – A large home addition or excessive weight can overload a pier and beam foundation.
Water damage – Poor drainage, leaks, or flooding can damage the soil and piers, leading to foundation repairs.
Seismic activity – Earthquakes can cause post or beam cracks or failure, foundation settling, or even collapsing.
Age – Pier and beam foundations can deteriorate over time due to natural ageing or poor maintenance.
Termites & pests – Termites and pests can damage the wooden parts of the foundation. The cost of termite treatment adds $500 to $2,000 to your foundation repair cost.
Poor building practices – Using improper materials and construction methods can lead to foundation issues:
Low-quality materials rot faster and cannot withstand the local climate.
Undersized piers or beams cannot support the weight of the structure.
Piers that aren’t deep enough and beams that aren’t properly supported can lead to foundation failure.
Failing to account for soil conditions can lead to foundation settling.
Failing to obtain a building permit or using unqualified contractors can increase the risk of foundation problems.
How to prevent pier and beam foundation damage
Preventing pier and beam foundation damage extends the life of your foundation and the structural integrity of your home. There are several steps you can take to help prevent pier and beam foundation damage, including:
Maintain proper drainage – Install gutters, downspouts, and proper grading to direct water away from the foundation.
Monitor the plumbing – Regularly check and maintain your plumbing system to prevent leaks that could saturate the soil under the foundation.
Control soil moisture – Avoid over-watering or allowing the soil to become too dry.
Inspect the foundation – A periodic foundation inspection costs $300 to $750 to look for signs of damage such as cracks, settlement, or unevenness. Catching issues early prevents more severe and costly repairs.
Control vegetation – Trim back or remove any trees or large shrubs planted too close to the house to prevent invasive roots.
Install a moisture barrier – Install and maintain a crawl space moisture barrier to prevent moisture from rising into the wood structure of the foundation.
Seek professional advice – If you notice any signs of foundation damage or have concerns about the stability of your pier and beam foundation, hiring a structural engineer costs $150 to $1,000 for an inspection and report.
Pier and beam foundation repair FAQs
What is a pier and beam foundation?
A pier and beam foundation supports a building using a network of vertical piers, horizontal beams, and joists to support the home. This type of foundation is common in areas with expansive clay soil or regions prone to flooding.
How long does a pier and beam foundation last?
A well-constructed pier and beam foundation can last 75+ years. The lifespan depends on the quality of the construction and the materials used, the soil type, the area climate, and the maintenance and care the foundation receives.
Are pier and beam foundations good?
A pier and beam foundation is a good choice in areas with expansive soils, sloping terrain, or in flood zones. The foundation is raised above the ground, reducing the risk of moisture issues and termite infestations. The crawl space also allows for easy access to plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems.
How do you level a pier and beam house?
The primary method for leveling a pier and beam house is to adjust the piers supporting the beams. Hydraulic jacks or other lifting equipment are used to raise the house. Shims of steel, concrete, or other materials are placed under the beams or piers incrementally to support and maintain the desired level.
Getting estimates from foundation repair contractors
Follow these suggestions to pick the best foundation repair contractor near you:
Get multiple bids to compare repair methods and costs.
Confirm the company’s experience with pier and beam foundation repairs.
Ask if they’re licensed, bonded, and insured, with years of foundation repair experience.
Look for companies with positive customer feedback on HomeGuide and Google.
Ask for a list of references to contact for their opinion on the work quality.
Confirm the estimate includes labor, materials, and cleanup costs.
Ask for a contract in writing that includes the costs, repair timeline, and warranty details.
Negotiate a payment plan, with the final payment due upon completion of the work.
Questions to ask a foundation contractor
A damaged pier and beam foundation requires a professional contractor. Ask these important questions when choosing the contractor for your repair:
Are you licensed, bonded, and insured to repair my foundation?
How long have you been repairing pier and beam foundations?
What repair method will you use to fix my foundation?
How much will the repair cost?
How long will the foundation repair take?
Will I be able to live in my house during the repairs?
Will you prepare a written estimate, contract, and timeline for the repairs?
What happens if the damage is worse than you estimated?