You think you are seeing early signs of a foundation problem and are poking around trying to see if you can figure out costs. When you get carpet, the cost is based on how many square feet of carpet. When you get walls painted, the cost is calculated by square feet as well. Tile installation costs are calculated by square feet too.
So you’re thinking that maybe it’s the same for estimating foundation repair. You’re doing some quick research to see if the square footage of your home affects the cost of foundation repair. Great question.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we estimate foundation repair jobs on a weekly basis and have been doing so for the past 35+ years for homeowners in Bryan, College Station, and other Brazos Valley communities like Madisonville and Brenham. We can certainly fill you in on how square footage affects the cost of foundation repairs for your home.
In this article, we will explore the principles of home size and square footage and how they might impact the pricing for foundation repairs. We will also quickly review factors that contribute (and list some that don’t) to the cost of home foundation repair.
How Does Home Size or Square Footage Affect Foundation Repair Costs?
The full size of your home does not really affect the cost of foundation repair. You could have a big home but only part of it is being affected by foundation settlement. You could have a small home and need the whole darn thing raised and leveled due to foundation problems.
The overall size of the home doesn’t generally matter. It’s really just the portion of the home that is directly affected by foundation settlement that determines a large part of the cost of foundation repair.
Just like the size of the home, the square footage (or area) of a home also does not help much to determine the cost of foundation repair either.
The shape of the settled part of the home is more of a factor than size or square footage. We will explore this shape vs. size concept further in the next section.
What Matters More than Size or Area in Foundation Repair Costs?
One of the primary factors that go into calculating the cost of foundation repair is the number of supports needed to raise the home.
Supports are spaced apart when placed under the home, like underground stilts lifting and holding your home in position. Costs are determined per support, i.e. each support has a price and you would multiply the number of supports by the price to get a grand total price.
A home can have about the same square footage and be a completely different shape. The overall shape and length (linear feet) of each wall will greatly impact the number of supports needed under the home.
A picture is worth a thousand words to illustrate this concept . . .
Examples Showing Square Footage vs. Linear Feet
In these simple examples above, the square footage of each home is nearly the same at (or about) 2,100 square feet, but each home has sides of different lengths.
We know that most homes aren’t shaped like any of these, just bear with us while we illustrate this principle.
The home with the longest sides and longest total perimeter needs the most total number of supports. This is because the number of supports needed is dependent upon the linear feet of the repair area. The total linear feet is the perimeter of the home aka adding up the length of all the sides together.
The linear feet of home A is 184, and needs 26 supports.
The linear feet of home B is 192, and needs 28 supports.
The linear feet of home C is 242, and needs 34 supports.
You can see the pattern that more linear feet = more supports needed, while the square footage of each home is nearly the same. The home with the longest linear feet needs 8 more supports than the home with the shortest linear feet. That’s about 30% more supports needed.
That’s a pretty big deal when we get into the cost per support. Which we will do in a separate article!
The shape of the home and its total linear feet are more important than the square footage in determining the cost of foundation repairs.
Also, most of the time it’s just one part of the home affected, not always the whole home that requires support. This was just a simple illustration to clearly show that the linear feet determine the number of supports needed and thus the pricing, not the square footage.
What Else Doesn’t Contribute to the Cost of Foundation Repair?
Besides home size and square footage, there are a few other things that don’t really contribute to the cost of foundation repair. Some homeowners ask if the number of inches a home needs to be raised or the amount of damage seen in the home determines the cost.
Why Number of Inches Raised Doesn’t Matter
Some homes need to be raised 5 inches in some areas, while other homes only need to be raised 2 inches or less. The distance a home has sunk makes no substantial difference in calculating the cost of repair.
A foundation repair team will go through the same actions in about the same amount of time for a home that needs to be raised 5” or 2”. The raising part of the foundation repair process doesn’t take as much time as some of the other steps and therefore doesn’t affect the cost because the work time is not greatly impacted in this step.
Why the Amount of Damage Doesn’t Matter in Foundation Repair Costs
The amount of damage you see in your home does not affect the cost of foundation repair. The size of the cracks in the walls doesn’t matter, the length of the stair-step crack line in your brick doesn’t factor into the cost. The number of doors affected by foundation settlement doesn’t contribute to costs either.
It’s not about the extent of damage or how bad something looks visually. It’s still about the linear feet of the damaged area and how many supports need to be installed to hold it up.
There Could Be More Costs, But Not on the Foundation Repair Bill
Now, this is not to say that more damage doesn’t have more OTHER costs. The extra costs won’t be on your foundation repair bill though. But there could be more costs on other bills like the cost to repair drywall or repainting if you want that done after the foundation repair is completed.
There are certain things that foundation repair companies don’t do, it’s not in their scope of work and homeowners have to pay for them separately. Drywall repair, plumbing repair, and paint contractors are paid separately. So if you have more extensive damage to those things, then those bills could be more.
You know what, we’ve got a whole article about this topic that you can check out called, “Do Other Costs Come Up with Foundation Repair? What Else Will I Pay For?“
What Really Contributes to the Cost of Foundation Repairs?
So you now know that home size and home square footage aren’t good indicators or measurements to use in determining foundation repair costs. You also know that the linear feet of the settled section of the home is what really affects the cost the most. But there are more factors too.
Other factors that contribute to the cost of foundation repair include:
- Number of supports needed
- Repair method
- Access limitations
- Home location
- Additional finishing services like mud-pumping and hydrostatic plumbing tests
Figure Out How Many Supports You Need for Foundation Repair
Maybe now you want to figure out how many supports you need based on the linear feet. Good news, we’ve got an article for that too!
Anchor Foundation Repair has been serving the Brazos Valley since 1985. Our goal is to educate and inform homeowners about foundation repair and provide 100% transparent and honest home assessments and repairs.
To help you fully understand how we figure out our foundation repair quotes, we aren’t afraid to share our pricing methods. Check out this article to estimate how many supports you need and take the next step in calculating foundation repair costs for your own home.