Here Are Foundation Repair Costs for Actual Jobs Completed

In foundation repair, every job is different. Often you do not know the final foundation repair costs until the project is complete. The best way to bid a foundation repair job is to write a script including each and every task in the order it is to be performed. With the script in hand, do a quantity take-off on the entire job using the appropriate units. Then apply your unit costs to each task in the script. Where do the unit costs come from?

Experience is the key: Keep detailed records of each job. Try to keep track of each task and the actual quantities, whether it be cubic yards, square feet, lineal feet, etc. Try to keep track of the actual number of man-hours devoted to each task- not just the labor or subcontractor costs. As your database grows, so will your ability to figure your foundation repair costs more accurately.

The following is a list of some of my projects with the contract amount for each project. When negotiating a new project, I would often provide this list to my prospective customers so that they would not go into “sticker shock” when they got the bid. This list also serves to give my visitors some idea of my range of experience in the foundation repair business:

Drainage Correction Job: $26,000.00

Addressing slope instability, install surface and sub drains at the toe of a 1.5 to one (horizontal to vertical) slope and waterproof the back of an existing retaining wall using miraclay and miradrain systems in limited access trench. Install tightlines for roof and site drainage and perimeter sub drains with perforated pipe, gravel and geotextile with storm system connections, Single family residence in La Costa. All excavation was by hand. Foundation repair costs include an initial drainage inspection. The owner fixed treats for us on a daily basis.

Replace Tower Foundations: $337,300.00

Demolish existing caisson and grade beam foundations, temporary pipe & board wall, access bench on steep slope, drill nine (9) holes 24-inch diameter and three(3) holes 36-inch diameter with LoDrill, obstructions included existing crib wall, cobbles, depths to 25 feet, utility reroutes, install new reinforced caissons, grade beams, structural beams, structural deck, and install column bolts for new moment frames for two stair towers, Hotel Complex, construction management and site supervision. Foundation repair costs do not include soils investigation, structural engineering, special inspections, and architects fees. Also not included in the above figure are significant extra charges for changes and unanticipated subsurface conditions. I could write a book about this job!

Helix Piers for Room Addition: $4,000.00

Foundation repair costs to install four (4) screw anchor piers with embedment termination into reinforced concrete gradebeam foundation for a new room addition to a single family residence. We used the Char Lynn drive with about 4,000 foot-pounds maximum installation torque. Dollar figure is for anchor installation only.

Landslide Shoring & Soldier Beam Wall: $131,150.00

Install four(4) screw anchor underpinning piers and three(3) screw anchor tiebacks to protect existing two-story building immediately adjacent to near-vertical landslide scarp. Using portable “Mini” drill rig on slope, drill seven (7) vertical holes 24-inch diameter to depths averaging twenty feet and install steel "H" beams and treated wood lagging for a soldier beam wall extending approximately ten(10) feet tall from the base of the scarp. Drainage improvements, flatwork and slope grading, Condominiums, construction management, anchors, drilling. Steel beams were set in position by a crane set up at the base of the slope. Earth from the slide was loaded onto ten-wheel trucks and hauled to a nearby construction site importing fill. Foundation repair costs include fence replacement, asphalt resurfacing, engineering, plans and permit. We considered many drilling options but the Mini Rig saved the day!

Hotel Retrofit: $21,250.00

Install sixteen (16) screw anchor underpinning piers for structural columns, design-build, special inspection, Hotel. Four piers were used at each of four existing columns. Work was performed in the hotel basement using our high-torque Tortuga rig. Foundation repair costs include engineer design and special inspection fees but soils investigation was by others.

Foundation Underpinning: $75,135.00

Install thirty-six (36) underpinning piers, reinforced pier caps, demolition, excavation, structural concrete, flatwork for single-family residence, three-phase project. Foundation repair costs do not include engineering, plans and permit which were provided by the owner- a professional engineer.

Tiebacks and Piers: $50,700.00

Foundation stabilization of hillside residence, seven (7) screw anchor tiebacks, seventeen (17) screw anchor underpinning piers, leveling.

Wall Reinforcement & Waterproofing: $69,760.00

Install poured-in-place concrete "skin walls", horizontal drilling for anchors, vertical drilling for anchors, sandblasting and waterproofing, Chemical Factory. This job was designed by others and required an innovative forming system against the face of the existing defective walls which were left in place.

Foundation Repair and Keystone Wall: $67,900.00

Underpin residence with hand-excavated piers, grade beams, leveling, slope repair, keystone wall, drainage improvements, flatwork. Foundation repair costs included soils investigation and engineering. We lost money on the keystone wall but made it up with the underpinning.

Pipe pile Wall at Slope: $442,000.00

Structural repair of swimming pool, leveling of bond beam, structural flatwork and drainage, replacement of 1100 LF masonry-glass wall including addition of vertical pipe pile and grade beam foundation, tieback testing for retaining wall reinforcement, associated landscape and cosmetic repairs, backfill of tieback reaction blocks, install new trench drain, remove and replace damaged masonry retaining walls, auger drilling for drainage installations, miscellaneous repairs, Condominiums. This was a large project with large slope stability problems. Foundation repair costs do not include engineering and extensive tieback work which was performed by an independent drilling contractor.

Landslide repair: $84,600.00

Remove and re-compact approximately 3,000 CY on 1.5 to 1.0 slope at existing residential complex. Install geogrid soil reinforcement and back drains. Install approximately 350 LF of brow ditch and down drain, cosmetic and miscellaneous repairs, Residential Complex. Foundation repair costs do not include soils investigation and compaction control which was by others. Heavy wet clays and wet weather made compaction a real challenge. We brought in a big hydraulic excavator which proved more efficient than the dozer at moving and spreading the soil for drying.

Screw Anchor Piers: $71,000.00

Underpinning of existing condominium complex, 162 screw anchor piers installed, Residential Complex. Foundation repair costs do not include soils investigation and engineering. Also not included in this figure is extensive excavation and concrete grade beams which were provided by the general contractor on the job.

Underpinning, Leveling, Drainage for Restaurant: $76,000.00

Screw anchor underpinning, grade beams, hand excavated underpinning piers, sub drain dewatering, lift and level slab, epoxy grouting of slab cracks, grouting beneath floor slab, Restaurant. This was a turn-key job, done mostly at night but while the restaurant remained open for business during the day. We did our own inspection, plans and permit. We determined that building distress had resulted from poor backfill compaction during placement of underground utilities when the site was originally developed. I could never eat in this restaurant after the job, having seen the unsanitary conditions in the kitchen!

Exploratory Drilling: $2,900.00

Use tight-access rig, soil sampling, Residential Complex. This work was done after the Northridge Earthquake as part of a soils investigation. We used a split-spoon sampler and tripod.

Trench Drain: $37,000.00

Backhoe trenching, pipe and gravel sub drain for groundwater testing and dewatering, Residential Complex. This drain, about eight feet deep, was installed in the road easement and required shoring boxes and trench plate protection.

Pressure Grouting: $24,925.00

Foundation underpinning of condominium building, screw anchor piers, pressure grout slab, lift and level.

Underpin and Re-level: $40,800.00

Foundation underpinning of two condominium buildings, screw anchor piers for reinforced pier caps and re-leveling. This job came from a Realtor who was trying to sell the buildings.

Hold Downs: $34,585.00

Foundation stabilization of three condominium buildings, screw anchor hold-downs. Anchors embedded in new perimeter reinforced concrete grade beam. Foundation repair costs were for anchor installation only. This job, in the SF Bay Area, I bid without ever going on site. I gave myself lots of “wiggle room” in the proposal. Engineering, grade beams and related work was by others.

Expansive Soils: $15,125.00

Foundation stabilization of a one-story residence subject to expansive soil heave and settlement. Install screw anchor piers at the building perimeter, fastened to the existing foundation.

Design Build: $143,250.00

Foundation stabilization and lifting, two-story condominium units, screw anchor underpinning and screw anchor tiebacks, new reinforced concrete grade beams and structural slabs, design-build. Foundation repair costs included a detailed foundation and structural inspection for the large complex. We handled all plans and permits. Repairs were only performed on buildings with significant damage.

Anchors and Grade Beams: $25,525.00

Underpin and level balconies of condominium complex using screw anchor piers and reinforced concrete grade beams.

Northridge Earthquake Repair: $83,500.00

Foundation reinforcement, install new structural slab and underpinning grade beams, perimeter sub drain, Northridge earthquake. We removed the entire slab and several feet of the underlying soil from inside this large custom home. Spoils were stockpiled in the street and removed with ten-wheel dump trucks.

Slope Stabilization: $192,000.00

Underpin existing condominium building, concrete caissons, concrete grade beam, screw anchor piers. Foundation repair costs include distress analysis, engineering and permit. A special drill rig was required to drill through the dense cobbles while working up the side of a steep slope. Rebar cages were constructed on site and placed with a hydraulic crane. Work included removal and replacement of access stairs and landing.

Sea Bluff Stabilization: $149,600.00

Concrete caissons, grouted tiebacks, concrete gradebeam. We used our own tight-access mini stemming rig to drill 50 feet deep holes which were two feet in diameter. A temporary platform was constructed to support the drill rig and workers. Workers wore special safety harnesses during work on the near-vertical bluff. Rebar cages were constructed on site and hoisted over the top of the residence for placement. Foundation repair costs did not include geology, engineering and plans.

Re-grade Failing Slope: $88,150.00

Use Dozer and Loader to remove 2,000 CY and flatten existing slope, install cantilever soldier beam and wood timber retaining wall, design-build, Self-Storage Facility. We were able to drill from the parking lot above the slope using a wheel-mounted Watson 2000 drill rig. All earth was loaded onto end dumps at the toe of the slope. Foundation repair costs include soils, engineering and plans.

Cantilever Caissons: $87,500.00

Underpin existing single-family residence and stabilize slope with 2-ft diameter cantilever concrete caissons, screw anchor piers, concrete grade beams, structural concrete slab, leveling, and pressure grouting. This was a turnkey design-build project on a high-end custom home. The lady of the house was pretty to the point of distraction and always wore spandex pants. Foundation repair costs included distress analysis, engineering, plans and permit.

Landslide Stabilization: $293,300.00

Install 3-ft diameter concrete caisson/shear pins and 2-ft diameter tiebacks with grade beam to stabilize landslide beneath existing church, grading, hydraugers, screw anchor piers, design-build, Church. Original grading of this site did not resolve the problems created by an ancient landslide. A lawsuit generated more engineering analysis and my engineer Chester created the final plan of repair. A large bench was needed at the top of the slope to provide access for the track-mounted Watson 3,000 which would drill the tiebacks. Rebar cages were fabricated on site and two cranes were required to hoist them into the holes. Foundation repair costs included removal and replacement of lots of exterior flatwork.

Allan Block Slope Repair: $6,000.00

Install vertical and diagonal anchors to support reinforced concrete foundation for a segmental retaining wall (Allan block) slope stabilization project, Chester Ranch. We used the Char Lynn lightweight driver on the slope face of a fill pad. After the vertical and diagonal anchors were driven into place, the reinforced concrete foundation was poured and provided a base for construction of the retaining wall. Foundation repair costs are for the anchors only.

Weak Clays: $58,400.00

Foundation underpinning for existing single-family residence, weak clays at depth, screw anchor piers, leveling, slab pressure grouting, design build project. Weak clay and peat soils at depths of over 60 feet required multiple helices, including extensions with helix. Test anchors were driven to determine the empirical torque factor so than anchor capacities could be calculated.

Creeping fill: $4,200.00

Install screw anchor piers through creeping fill for hillside deck for existing single-family residence. We used our Char Lynn driver which was easier to move up and down the hill.

Active Landslide: $45,000.00

Foundation underpinning for existing single-family residence on active landslide, screw-anchor piers and tiebacks, hand-excavated caisson. This was an emergency job after a landslide activated to cause a head scarp to develop beneath the slab and concrete porch of an up-scale custom home. Special brackets were fabricated and attached to the top of the screw-anchor piers to support the edge of the porch. Once emergency support was in place, further engineering called for complete re-grading of the site and the house was torn down.

70-Kip Anchors: $85,750.00

Foundation underpinning for two-story masonry dining hall building, proof test anchor to 70 Kip, screw-anchor piers, cathodic protection. Foundation repair costs did not include geotechnical investigation and monitoring which was by others. Work was completed on a fast track to accommodate scheduled events.