- Does your home have cracks in the walls? Can you see into the room next door?
- The doors either don’t close properly or are sticky, producing a horrible shriek that makes you grimace when you force them open
- Are you experiencing a constant cold draft that’s making your feet feel cold due to a window that doesn’t close properly?
- Are your doors self-closing due to uneven floors?
- Don’t ignore these signs and consult underpinning experts. The earlier, the better.
If you’re a homeowner, the idea of foundation repairs can be overwhelming. Not only is it a significant expense, but finding the right underpinning experts and getting an accurate quote can be daunting.
Foundation repairs and underpinning costs vary widely depending on factors such as the severity of the issue and the size of your home. Repairs typically range from $3,500 to $25,000, with extreme cases exceeding $60,000.
Before any cost can be determined, there are factors that need to be considered that will all play a part in formulating an accurate quote.
Is There an Obvious Cause?
- Broken/damaged stormwater or sewer pipes, leaking water pipes all of which can over saturate the soil.
- Large trees and tree roots.
- The soil condition. Is the house built on fill or reactive ground such as clay?
- Has there been any significant work around the home that may have caused settlement? For example, excavation work, building extensions or additions to your house or changes in water content?
It is important to keep in mind that subsidence in foundations is typically caused by multiple factors rather than just one. For example, the presence of a large tree with roots penetrating or cracking the stormwater pipe can allow water to infiltrate the soil around the foundations, leading to subsidence.
The Type of Foundation
- Is it a raft slab?
- Waffle pod construction
- Is it a strip footing with a subfloor (timber floor on stumps)
- Strip footing with infill slab.
Typical floor components on a Raft Floor Slab. The stiffened raft slab is the simplest and most common slab construction. The stiffened raft configuration can be used on all classes of sites (expect problem sited – Class P)
Waffle POD Slab:
Waffle Pod is a concrete footing and slab system that is constructed on the ground. It consists of a perimeter footing and a series of narrow beams. These slabs work well on sites that are mostly flat and have good surface strength. Waffle pod slabs achieve their strength from varying heights above the ground. The reason is that the height of the slab is dependent on how deep the beam is, and the deeper the beam, the stronger the slab.
Strip Footing with Subfloor
The type of footing or construction is a crucial factor in determining how the foundation is treated during underpinning and any necessary preparation work. For example, a strip footing with a subfloor may require cutting access holes to repair the foundation.
The most significant cost factor is the extent of damage to the foundation.
The extent of the affected footing is a critical factor in determining the scope of necessary repairs to address foundation issues. It is crucial to assess whether only a small corner or multiple rooms are affected and whether internal repairs are required. In rare cases, the entire house may be affected by foundation issues.
It is important to address foundation issues as soon as possible, as delaying repairs can lead to a more extensive problem and more significant costs for necessary repairs.
Things that you can do to help get a more accurate quote.
- Act promptly by engaging underpinning experts as soon as you suspect there may be a problem with your foundation.
- When consulting with experts regarding your house, it is important to provide any available structural drawings and soil reports. These documents can help eliminate any unknown factors and provide crucial details about the type of construction, size, and depths of foundations, aiding the experts in their assessment and repairs.
- Look for contractors who offer no-fee inspections and quotes.
It’s important to ask questions when discussing the problem with the experts to ensure that you fully understand the issue’s extent and the proposed solutions. Additionally, clarify the cost and timeline involved in the repairs. This will provide you with a better understanding of the situation and enable you to make informed decisions.