You’ve got some signs of foundation problems with your pier and beam home and you know that house leveling or foundation repair is in your future. But how much is this kinda stuff going to cost anyway?
It sure would be nice to see some estimated pricing for house leveling, but most foundation repair contractors don’t list costs on their website for some reason . . . *sigh*
With 35+ years in business, Anchor Foundation Repair believes in 100% transparency and honest information about our services and your costs. We can totally give you some approximate cost scenarios for the Central Texas area on pier and beam foundation repairs aka house leveling.
This article will review 6 *levels* of possible repairs for crawl space home foundations. Then we will also go over average costs for small, medium, and large-scale repair projects. Get ready for a price check on pier and beam foundation repairs!
How Much Does House Leveling Cost?
So how much is it going to cost you to do some house leveling? To give you the most complete answer, we will break things down into degrees of repair from simplest to most complex.
The amount you end up paying depends a lot on how complicated the repairs are. From 75 to 85% of a homeowner’s cost comes from labor for pier and beam foundation projects. If it takes longer to repair due to complex, labor-intensive work, it will cost more.
Additional home factors that contribute to the cost of house leveling and repairs have to do with the size of the area needing repairs, and ease of access or clearance i.e. “headroom” in the crawl space. Now let’s check out these *levels* of repair, shall we?
Ongoing, preventative care for your pier and beam home is just like changing the oil in your car. Regular maintenance is something that we recommend being done regularly on crawlspace homes. Not enough homeowners do this and they end up *paying the price* later with more costly repairs.
Yes, it costs money every so often, but maintenance helps keep things in check and prevents bigger (i.e. more expensive) problems from developing. The cost of routine maintenance is less than waiting until you have a really major issue that has been neglected for decades.
Periodic maintenance every 5 to 8 years would include some basic overall reshimming, adjustments, and securing your home’s position in places where it has become loose or slightly unlevel. The typical cost for a regular maintenance visit ranges from $800 to $2,000 for a returning customer who has already had an initial repair completed.
Straightening or repairing any type of pier under your home is a fairly straightforward process. Expansive clay soil can push piers out of alignment. Piers can also crumble or degrade.
Let’s say you need some piers straightened up or some base block combos replaced or added for primarily a pier work project. To replumb, adjust, and repair piers will cost somewhere around $3,000 to $4,000.
Sill beams are the horizontal wood pieces distributing the weight on a crawlspace home foundation structure. There are different kinds of sill in pier and beam homes and they are all made out of wood. Sills can decay or get wrecked by termites, moisture, or plain old age.
Even if no soil settlement has occurred, old sill beams can warp and bend when there was not enough support for the weight of the home in the first place.
Removing and replacing degraded sill beams, along with adding a few piers and extra support from shaker sills when needed would likely cost around $4,000 to $6,000 in the Brazos Valley area.
In older homes, sometimes floor joists have been spaced too far apart (as that was the construction method of the time) and are simply not sufficient to support the weight of the home. Boards become loose and bouncy over time. Floor joists can also degrade or get damaged like any other wood.
To add in additional joists where needed, beef-up existing joists, and maybe some sill work might run you $5,000 to $7,000 to repair your crawlspace home.
A Bit of Everything
The most common scenario for pier and beam foundation repair or house leveling is for the repair team to need to do a little bit of everything: shimming, pier work, sill replacement, and general raising. About 70% of the crawlspace homes we repair are this type of project.
The most common house leveling project that includes “a bit of everything” will usually cost between $5,000 to $8,000 to complete.
An extensive rebuilding project of a pier and beam foundation is the least common type of repair. Usually, dry rot or termites have destroyed much of the wood material under the home and you basically have to start over and this can be more costly to repair.
Damage could be isolated to one area/room like for a bathroom that had a long-term leak, or throughout the home. For a full rebuild of a crawlspace type of foundation, the house leveling project could cost anywhere from $5,000 for a small area to $20,000+ for a full home.
How Much Should Pier and Beam Repairs Cost on Average?
Leaving out the regular maintenance homeowners who are *existing customers* doing a check-up, let’s look at the typical costs for most first-time crawl space home repairs. This is the “what do most people end up paying for an initial repair” section organized by job size.
- For a basic house leveling project, where the crawl space has easy access and minor work is needed, expect the cost to be around $4,000 to $5,000.
- The most common pier and beam repair project will cost between $7,000 to $9,000 with more widespread/complex work needed and a more restricted crawl space.
- Extensive house leveling projects can cost $24,000+ when access is limited and/or termite damage or wood rot are present requiring rebuild work.
*Keep in mind that this pricing is estimated and based on what we typically see in our area of Bryan, College Station, and surrounding Brazos Valley communities here in Central Texas.
The only way to get exact costs for your home is to request a quote and get an In-Home Assessment from the foundation repair contractor of your choosing.
What Other Factors Affect House Leveling Prices?
Some cost factors don’t have anything to do with your house or its condition but have more to do with what foundation repair contractor you choose. Take into account the size of the crew that will work on your home as well as the approach they use for repairs.
Time always equals money. If a contractor has a smaller crew of 3 or fewer, it’s going to take them longer than a team of 6. But a crew that is half the size isn’t necessarily going to cost you less. It might actually cost you more because it could take more than twice as long to get the job done.
Working on a pier and beam home is labor-intensive and efficiency can work in your favor. Team size and experience levels directly impact the cost. A contractor with a larger, more seasoned crew might just end up saving you some money because there are more hands on deck that know exactly what they are doing.
How a contractor chooses to approach your repairs is important and can impact pier and beam repair costs. They can go in from underneath or they can cut out your floors and work from above. Working under your home is harder and might take more time, but can save you on the cost of materials and doesn’t damage your flooring.
Cutting out floors can be faster and easier for contractors in some cases, but it requires more materials and your flooring finishes are at risk. Plus, you can’t live in your home, or parts of your home will be off-limits and a major construction zone. This adds alternative living costs and inconvenience.
There are times when the top-down approach to pier and beam repairs is inevitable (like for subfloor damage, extensive wood rot, or termites requiring a major rebuild). But when the contractor can do it either way and they choose the easier method for them, it might also be the more expensive and more intrusive method for you.
Looking at how a contractor approaches repairs to your pier and beam foundation problem is a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, things that take more time cost more. On the other hand, more materials and more intrusiveness can cost you more too.
So many factors can turn the expense dial up or down. This is why it’s great to get comparative bids on your foundation repair project as well.
What Else to Consider in Pier and Beam Foundation Repair?
Now that you know a lot about the cost of house leveling, usually, the next big thing homeowners want to know is how long things will take. In other words, you’re okay with the price, now you need some more info on how long stuff like this will take so you know what to expect as far as project time is concerned.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we want to make sure that the time is right for you to move forward with house leveling and foundation repairs. We believe in arming you with all the information you could possibly need before you pull the trigger on repairs.
Check out this article for *all the deets* on approximate job times for house leveling foundation repairs: “House Leveling: How Long Does Pier and Beam Foundation Repair Take?”