tutorial on estimating foundation repair costs

How to Estimate Your Slab Foundation Repair Costs (Tutorial)

You’re in the market for foundation repair because your slab home has some signs of foundation issues. How much will foundation repairs cost for your home? Can you figure out a ballpark estimate on your own *without* having to talk to someone?

Sometimes it’s hard to make those phone calls and appointments during the day because you’re at work. Right now you’re just doing some research and don’t want to engage with a contractor just yet. Seems like this should be possible in this day and age, right?

Anchor Foundation Repair Bryan College Station

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we offer fair and impartial assessments, empowering education, and a fully transparent repair process. After 35+ years in business, we want you to know as much about foundation repair as we do and we’ve got no pricing secrets to hide from the Brazos Valley community.

In the spirit of transparency, we can share the basic process used to price out a foundation repair project. By the end of this article, you’ll know what it takes to estimate foundation repair costs on your own and calculate a ballpark figure for your home.

Figuring Out Your Foundation Repair Costs

Foundation Repair Solutions for the Brazos Valley

We understand the need to know approximate pricing for bigger repair projects. You’ve got to get used to the idea of how much money something is going to cost before you bother with the process of hiring a contractor. Makes perfect sense to me!

Here are the basic steps you need to determine foundation repair costs for your home:

  1. Identify exterior walls showing any signs of foundation problems
  2. Measure the linear feet of all affected exterior walls
  3. Add up the linear feet of the affected exterior walls to get a total perimeter
  4. Divide the grand total affected perimeter by 7
  5. Round up and add 1 to get a total number of supports
  6. Multiply the total number of support by the per-support cost range
  7. Add more to account for variations in contractors, materials, and labor services
  8. You did it! Now you have your very own self-calculated estimate.

Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through each of these steps next . . . or if you’re re-thinking that whole *tutorial* thing and the prospect of math is starting to scare you, check this out instead.

Steps to Calculate Foundation Repair Costs on Your Own

Following these steps will help you understand the general pricing process to help you arrive at an estimated cost range. This range should cover the differences in companies and also the variations in methods of slab foundation repair.

calculate foundation repair costs

1. Identify Exterior Walls Showing Any Signs of Foundation Problems

Start by drawing a simple diagram of the footprint (i.e. shape or aerial view) of your home. You can get the basic outline of your home from Google Earth, or by checking your survey paperwork from when the home was purchased. You can also just wing it with a rough sketch but it helps to have something on paper.

Look around your home for typical signs of foundation settlement like:

signs of foundation settlement
Some typical signs of foundation settlement

Mark on your diagram (with an X or something) where any of these signs are present on exterior walls. Any walls that have a mark are affected by foundation movement. 

You can also note any signs that appear on non-exterior walls, but it starts to get complicated. Focus mainly on exterior walls for now. And yes, it’s possible to have every exterior wall of your home affected.

2. Measure the Linear Feet of All Affected Exterior Walls

Measuring linear feet of exterior walls is where online mapping tools or your survey can come in handy. Google has a measuring tool that helps estimate distance and your survey will have accurate wall lengths marked on the diagram already. 

estimating foundation repair costs
Measure the linear feet of the affected walls

If you don’t have access to those, just whip out your trusty measuring tape and get to measuring how long those walls are from the outside. Enlist the help of a spouse, child, or friend to help you hold the measuring tape and write down the lengths of the affected walls.

3. Add Up Linear Feet of Affected Exterior Walls for a Total Perimeter

This is probably the easiest step of the process. Simply add up the linear feet of all affected exterior walls to get a total affected perimeter. 

If you have two affected walls, then add the two wall lengths together to get one number. If you have three affected walls, then add the three wall lengths together to get one grand total perimeter. You get the idea, right? 

calculate foundation repair costs

4. Divide the Grand Total Affected Perimeter by 7

Okay, this step is fairly easy too, especially if you’ve got a calculator on hand. Divide your total perimeter by 7 and this gives you the number of supports (aka underpinning, i.e. piles or piers) you need under your home. 

The number of supports needed is one of the biggest determining cost factors for foundation repair. You need the number of supports to finish calculating your costs.

If you don’t get a whole number that’s okay, we’ll tell you what to do about that in the next step.

5. Round Up and Add 1 to Get a Total Number of Supports

Foundation Repair Plan
Simplified repair plan diagram

If you didn’t get a whole number already, round up to the nearest whole number. You can’t ever round down even if the decimal is small. If you need support under a home that weighs tons, the last thing you want to do is *short* your support. Always round up.

Then after you round up, add one more to your number. This is to account for corners of your home. It’s hard to explain but just do it. Add one. Now you have a total number of supports needed to repair your foundation.

6. Multiply the Total Number of Supports by the Per-Support Cost Range

cost for foundation repairs

I don’t know about you, but this is starting to get cumbersome, amirite? Anyhow, let’s keep going. . . 

So you’ve got the number of supports, but how much does each support cost? Well, that’s different for different companies and different methods of foundation repair. Individual foundation supports (piers or pilings) can run anywhere from $500 to $1200 per support.

Take your total number of supports and multiply it by $500 and then also multiply it by $1200. Now you’ve got pricing that ranges from the low and high ends of potential foundation repair cost. What did you get?

Yes, this probably sounds like a lot of money. Foundation repair is a big job and it’s priced as such. I mean, people are basically digging under your house and trying to lift up a very heavy concrete slab with a house on top of it all without damaging the rest of your home. 

Yet, homeowners still sometimes wonder why foundation repair is so expensive, here’s an article that might help you put it in perspective.

7. Add to Account for Variations in Contractors, Materials, and Labor

Remember those old commercials that said, “But wait . . . there’s more . . .”? Well, there’s more.

If you want to get a truly realistic estimate, you should plan to account for variations in foundation repair contractors and the way they do things. 

Not every contractor does things the same way. They might have some costs that are based on the number of supports and other costs that are per job. Materials and labor cost more in different geographic areas. You’ve got to account for all that stuff if you want an accurate price range.

foundation repair costs
Better add a bit more just in case . . .

This is the *expect the unexpected* or *add a few more for good measure* or *if they say will cost this much, budget this much more* kind of thing.

Honestly, I would add $700 to the low end of your range and $2,000 to the high end. Don’t ask me how I came up with these numbers, it’s just an anecdotal feeling. But I want you to have a realistic price range. 

As a rule, it’s always better to expect higher numbers and be pleasantly relieved when it ends up being less. When your actual quote is less than expected, you’re more satisfied. You know it’s true!

An Easier Way to Estimate Your Slab Foundation Repair Costs

Now that you’ve gone through all that calculating, maybe you want to check and see if the numbers that you got are even close to right. You’re in luck, we actually have a Slab Estimator Tool™ that eliminates more than half of the steps above to get you to a ballpark figure for our services much faster. You can use it to check against your own calculations.

estimate your foundation repair costs with Anchor

Sure, I could have shared our estimator tool with you right off the bat. But I think that you needed to go through the steps on your own so that you could understand how it’s done.

Ready to validate your calculations and get a more specific Anchor price? Check out our *NO OBLIGATION* foundation repair cost calculator now. Play around with it and enter different numbers as many times as you want!

*Please note* The instructions above give you an estimated price range that accounts for different companies and methods of slab foundation repair. But our cost calculator is specifically calibrated for our price points here at Anchor. The estimator should narrow the range over your calculations.

Why You Still Need a Foundation Repair Contractor for a Quote

Listen, walking a homeowner through the estimating process is just covering the basic concept and idea. There’s a lot more to understand about foundation problems and what it takes to repair your home. We can’t cover everything you need to know in an overview article when years of experience are required.

looking for signs of foundation issues

Homeowners often overlook important details that only a foundation repair expert can detect. You still need a foundation repair contractor to do a formal inspection and quote for you because they know and understand:

The bottom line is that your home and situation are unique and there are things that you will miss. There are always scenarios that require a customized approach and expert evaluation that can’t be factored into a quick online tutorial or tool.

Getting an Inspection and Quote for Foundation Repair Costs

You’ve gone through the calculation process, and maybe even played around with our Slab Estimator Tool™, and now you’re comfortable moving forward. The next step if you live in our Brazos Valley Service Area is to get a foundation inspection and quote for repairs from Anchor. You need to schedule an In-Home Assessment.

get a quote for foundation repairs

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we don’t fix things that don’t need fixin’, and we don’t try to sell you stuff you don’t need. We’re here to help guide you through the foundation repair process, but you’re the one in charge. That includes making sure you understand how your pricing is determined.

Ready to make an appointment for an estimate? Use our easy online contact form available 24/7 here.