cost of foundation repair

Cost of Foundation Repair with Bell-Bottom Piers: 6 Factors

Maybe you are researching because you have no idea what approximate foundation repair costs are reasonable to expect. Maybe you are buying or selling a home and need to know about foundation repair pricing. Maybe you are planning a major renovation and need to estimate foundation repair costs into your budget. 

Or perhaps you are checking to see if your brother’s father-in-law’s friend’s son is correct on what he told you about the cost of foundation repair? There are many misconceptions out there and you want to get to some matter-of-fact information.

The BIGGEST #1 top question anyone honestly has about foundation repair is: How much is this going to cost me?

The next question coming to mind that you may or may not admit that you have is probably: Why does foundation repair cost so much?

Anchor Foundation Repair

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been specializing in matter-of-fact information about foundation problems and foundation repair for over 35 years in the Brazos Valley area. Our goal is always to share 100% honest and transparent professional opinions on the foundation repair needs of your home.

The Bell-Bottom Pier Method of foundation repair is the only method we provide. We can tell you how we price this service as well as how bell-bottom foundation repair is generally priced in the industry. 

Although there are other methods of slab-on-grade foundation repair, this article specifically outlines 5 cost factors and pricing only for the bell-bottom pier repair technique.

Before we get to concrete *pun intended* pricing details, first it helps to understand what all the cost factors are that contribute to the cost of bell-bottom pier repairs:

  1. Cost of Materials
  2. Cost of Labor
  3. Other Business Costs
  4. Home Location
  5. Pier Locations
  6. Finishing Services

Let’s dig in *pun intended* and get a greater understanding of the cost of the bell-bottom pier system of foundation repair.

foundation repair costs

What affects the cost of bell-bottom pier foundation repair?

You might think that pricing for foundation repair has something to do with the square footage of your home, the number of cracks you have in your walls, or the number of inches the home needs to be raised. It doesn’t. 

The examples above are not the true factors that contribute to the final pricing on bell-bottom pier foundation repair. This section will outline 6 things that DO contribute to determining the cost.

1. Cost of Materials Used in Bell-Bottom Pier Foundation Repair

The list of ingredients in bell-bottom pier foundation repair includes steel rebar, poured concrete, topsoil, concrete blocks, and steel shims. The pricing for each of these materials is constantly changing, especially for steel. It is difficult to give a solid and consistent price using ever-changing costs but we will try.

As of today, March 2021 the estimated cost for the materials needed to make one bell-bottom pier is around $104. With 1 ½ pieces of half-inch rebar at $15, ½ yard of poured concrete at $60, $10 worth of topsoil, $15 for concrete blocks, and about $4 for 3-4 pounds of steel shims adding up to the total cost of $104.

That is just for one support pier and each foundation repair project will have a different number of piers needed. An average job will need between 15 and 25 piers. Doing the math on that, you get between $1,560 to $2,600 for the base cost of materials alone.

2. Cost of Labor for Bell-Bottom Pier Repairs

anchor foundation

Labor costs are all about time and rate of pay. We know that it takes a certain amount of time to prep and install piers, raise a home, and complete finishing services for bell-bottom pier repairs. This particular method of foundation repair is not the fastest method available, taking around 21 days to complete, with 7 to 10 days of concrete curing time in between.

Creating bell-bottom piers requires higher skill levels and craftsmanship finesse. So the crew working on repairing your home would be a team of professionals with solid experience. You want people with seasoned knowledge on this job so that the work is efficient and well-done. These skilled team members get paid skilled-level wages.

We approximate around $240 per fully installed pier for labor costs. Again, an average job might include between 15 to 25 piers, which translates to between $3,600 to $6,000 in labor costs.

how much does foundation repair cost

3. Other Business Costs that Contribute to any Foundation Repair

We don’t want to “outnumber” you with every accounting detail (that’s what accountants are for), but keep in mind that every small ticket item purchased and every second of time spent is part of the overall foundation repair cost.

Drive time hours, permits, fuel costs, dirt haul away, driveway cleaning, etc. also go into the costs of any foundation repair work being performed. There are many costs associated with work of this nature that a homeowner might not realize (because some of them are not happening right in front of you on your property) also contribute to project pricing.

4. Home Location and How it Contributes to Costs

Depending on if you live in a city or farther out in the country will contribute to the cost of foundation repairs. Concrete mixing truck transportation, dirt, steel rebar, and concrete block delivery are all supply services that must be used during bell-bottom pier construction. 

These third-party vendors have their own costs and limited service areas. They will typically charge more the farther out the repair location is from their headquarters. 

Bryan College Station Foundation Repair

Just as a gallon of milk costs more outside of the common supply chains, the same is true for the cost of construction materials. The higher the transportation and delivery costs for the foundation repair contractor, the higher the cost becomes for the homeowner.

As an example using a basic concrete delivery, 5 yards of concrete delivered to a BCS location would cost about $490. While a rural supplier and location would cost $650 or more for the same amount of concrete. That’s about a 33% increase in concrete costs for a rural location.

5. Support Pier Locations and Accessibility to Repair Points

Not every pier takes the same amount of time to install, which contributes more to labor costs when it takes longer. Different general price points are dependent upon where the support pier is needed on your home and how hard it is to access that location.

There is a base price for regular piers with no access issues, then a price for piers with access limitations, and a higher cost for piers that need to be done under the interior of the home.

bell-bottom pier foundation repair

Perimeter Piers

In the most regular of foundation repairs, a home will only need support piers installed on the perimeter i.e. under the outside walls of the home. These are the lowest cost piers because all the work remains outside the home and takes the least amount of time. 

An average estimated cost (including “parts” and labor) to install one perimeter pier is between $650 to $750.

Perimeter Piers with Access Challenges

Perimeter piers can have access challenges, making it take longer to prep, install, and return the area to proper condition. Each hole that needs to be dug for pier installation is 2 by 2-feet in size. Anything (other than dirt)  that is in the way of that 2’x2’ square of space is an access limitation and that pier will cost more due to the extra time. 

Common access limitations around a home are things like: sidewalks next to the home, driveways, porches, decks, trees next to the home, plumbing drain lines, chimneys, and large air conditioning units. In the case of a chimney, it adds extra weight and calls for more piers in closer proximity than usual.

Sidewalks might have to be broken up to place a pier and then patched back up, and the same for driveways or porches. Decks are deconstructed and rebuilt, pavers and irrigation lines must be moved and returned. Retaining walls, underground drainage systems, elaborate landscaping all need to be dealt with by removing and replacing or working around them somehow.

Brazos Valley Foundation Repair Solutions

Trees or plumbing drain lines might be in the way of the easiest access to pier placement, which means that a repair team would have to choose a more difficult and time-consuming entry point where there is a sidewalk or porch.

A foundation repair team would always choose the most efficient entry point to place a pier unless there isn’t an easy one. Then a decision has to be made to either break up another concrete surface or move or remove something like a tree or large a/c unit.

Basically, any pier placement that is hard to get to in some way or requires the removal and replacement of something will add to the cost of those piers. In general, you can expect to add 6 to 8% cost to any pier locations with any type of access limitations.

How the Home is Situated on the Lot Can Also Be an Access Challenge

Access limitations can also have to do with the home’s physical location or layout on the property like very long driveways, many gates, or a long way to get around the house from the equipment location. These kinds of access issues add more time to the project.

cost of foundation repair

We are not sure if this is true of other contractors, but for Anchor Foundation Repair we work hard to not cause damage around your home with heavy equipment. So we keep concrete trucks off your driveways, and dirt piles near the road. That way big trucks don’t have to drive on surfaces not meant to carry the weight and cause other problems.

The same 6 to 8% higher cost would also apply to access challenges created by the way your home is situated on your property and it’s proximity to the road.

Interior Piers

Sometimes a home needs support underneath the inside areas of the home too, not just along the perimeter. In the case of interior piers, the foundation repair team will need to work inside the home. Interior work includes much more prep, installation, and cleanup time because they are being careful inside your home. 

Interior piers are needed in about 10 to 15% of foundation repair projects. So it doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen. Interior pier work takes longer and the cost per pier could be 20% more.

6. Finishing Services that Affect to Bell-Bottom Pier Repair Costs

Once piers are installed under the home in the right locations, then the home will be raised to its original elevation and secured in place. Some contractors will then complete extra steps to ensure the longest lasting and most stable repair possible.

Additional Services of the Foundation Repair Team After Raising is Complete

Foundation repair for the Brazos Valley

Those steps are to pressure test the plumbing system of the home to check for leaks and to fill in the voids now underneath the home by a process called mud-pumping. These services deserve their own article for a full explanation so be sure to click the links in this paragraph for more info on them.

To explain a little further in the meantime, mud-pumping maximizes the support under your home and minimizes the opportunity for future settlement. The plumbing must be checked before mud-pumping is done.

A hydrostatic pressure test costs approximately $300. Mud-pumping to solidify the support under the home can add around $2,000 to the total cost if it is done.

Depending on the contractor and how they charge, they could also add fees for removing and replacing landscaping, dirt delivery or haul away, or clean-up. We don’t have extra fees for those things (we account for the cost under labor) but other contractors might set up their pricing that way.

Sometimes Raising is Not Recommended

There are some cases where support piers are added under a home to prevent further settling, but the home is not raised, only secured in place as is. This is called “stabilization.”

Since the home is not raised up, there are no voids to fill in under the home and the two steps above would not be completed. When a home is stabilized, a pressure test and mud-pumping are not needed. So in that case the costs do not apply. 

foundation repair in Bryan College Station

Also, the raising process is not applicable to stabilization jobs. There is about a 20% reduction in the labor costs for installing the piers because there is no time used for raising the home.

Why would a home not be raised during foundation repair? Good question. The main reason would be in a home that has already been extensively remodeled and the raising process would mess up the newly renovated finishes resulting in damage.

Additional Services of Another Contractor After the Foundation Repair is Complete 

There might be repairs that a homeowner needs done that are not within the scope of repairs of the foundation contractor. Things like drywall repair and repainting walls would need to be done separately and are not included in foundation repair services.

Anchor Foundation Repair cost

If any interior flooring was affected in the case of interior pier work, new flooring surfaces or more extensive floor repairs would also need to be completed by another contractor.

If there are plumbing issues that need to be addressed, those are extra costs not included in the foundation repair bill. The plumbing contractor will have their own bill.

While we cannot estimate the costs coming from other contractors, there are still other potential costs that a homeowner might need to consider and pay for in the end. So we want you to keep it in mind in case those situations apply to your home.

What is the average cost of bell-bottom pier foundation repair?

We’ve covered all the factors that contribute to the total cost of bell-bottom pier foundation repair. You know that materials, labor costs, home location, pier locations, and finishing services all add up to make the total you will see on a proposal and invoice.

Now you are dying to know about the actual cost to you, so here’s the moment you have been waiting for (or actually reading this article for)! Taking into account all the factors, the estimated total cost of bell-bottom pier foundation repair is broken down into three levels of repair: minimal, average, and extensive sized projects.

estimated cost of foundation repair

A minimal project that only touches on a small part of your home would be around $8,000. A more average-sized foundation repair project that needs partial work around the perimeter of the home would run you about $18,000. An extensive foundation repair job that needs both perimeter and interior piers will be upwards of $40,000.

*Disclaimer Alert* These prices are estimations for educational purposes only and may change depending on the extent of repairs and underlying issues. This pricing also applies to our area of Central Texas but may or may not be estimable in other regions or states.

What about other methods of foundation repair?

Now that you know the estimated cost of bell-bottom pier foundation repair, you’re probably wondering about other methods and perhaps what their costs would be. Rightly so. We completely understand that homeowners want to know all their options, and we want you to know them too. 

Another method of slab-on-grade foundation repair in our area is called the “pressed pile” method. Both the bell-bottom pier method and the pressed pile method of foundation repair have their own characteristics, costs, pros, and cons.

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we choose to only do the bell-bottom pier method of foundation repair for a reason. We know it is the best value if you are looking for a lasting repair that comes with a lifetime warranty and service agreement

The bell-bottom pier method offers the highest resistance to uplift and settling. More importantly, Anchor brings the most stability to your home for the money spent and our goal is to ensure your concerns are addressed in full with full transparency and 100% honest business practices. 

But we are getting ahead of ourselves talking about methods . . .
The best place to start in understanding bell-bottom vs. pressed pile methods better is to read a bit more about them in comparison with one another first.