Cost of Underpinning a Foundation

Just imagine being a foundation repair expert that works with us, the foundation repair experts in Charlotte and the surrounding areas, and getting a quote from some other company with an exorbitant repair cost. How do you know it is a ridiculous price? Because you’re an expert in the field. We said this to make this point; it is less likely for you to overpay for a service if you have knowledge of the specific field. This article is to ensure you have knowledge of the costs of underpinning a foundation, so you never overpay.

This article serves another purpose though. If you can determine a price that is way too high for the job that needs to be done, then you should be able to determine when the cost is way too low. Extremely low costs aren’t deals, they’re ‘brow raisers’ at best. As experts, we know a ‘too good to be true’ price is, well, you know, too good to be true. Clearly, you’re cutting some corners right? No one wants to cut corners when it comes to anything, but especially the foundation of the home that houses your precious family.

So, before you even start searching for quotes, or book a foundation inspection, let’s get you up to par so no one tries to ‘sucker’ you out there.

Types of Foundation Underpinning

If you were thinking, we were going to delve into this everlasting long list of possibilities; put your mind at ease my friend. We have two options we would use to underpin your foundation.

  •       Push Piers
  •       Helical Piers

These methods both use steel pipes to underpin the foundation but there are some key differences. Push piers are installed using a hydraulic ram, can utilize only one or two contractors, and is generally less complicated than the installation process for helical piers. These use instead, a hydraulic torque motor to install the piers and is at the least, a three-man installation job due to the complexity of the installation process.

There is also a price difference between the two options. Based on the information we have already given to you, can you tell me which is the most affordable option? No, really, pause and guess.

Only a licensed contractor can determine what is best for your home, push or helical piers. The engineering put into the process is no simple feat, the ‘math won’t math’ if you mess up the numbers. It is not simply about the more affordable of the two options. Weight, number of piers needed, story/ height of the home, etc. all play a vital role in the success and longevity of the installation. If you’re really into all the details of the process you can visit The American Society of Civil Engineers to get more details. However, we think, this article will tell you all you need to know.

Cost of Push Piers

Push piers cost approximately $2500 per pier location. The number of pier locations would be determined by your contractor after your foundation inspection was complete. This depends on the weight of your home as well as the amount of damage that the foundation has sustained.

Do you remember earlier when we explained that the number of piers you needed would depend on the weight of your home? Well, just another reminder on top of that, the weight of your home may prevent you from having the option of using push piers. You see, these types of piers depend on skin friction in order to support your home; if you have a single story, your contractor will have to determine if it is heavy enough to use the push-pier option. If it isn’t heavy enough, we go to the next option, helical piers.

Cost of Helical Piers

Helical piers are a better option for lighter homes. Your single-story home might just be too light for the use of push piers. Helical piers tend to be more expensive than push piers due in part to the machinery that is used in the installation process, the number of additional hands, and the amount of additional time that is needed to get the job done. As you might guess, the bigger the team of contractors the more you would pay in labor costs across the board.

Push piers require fewer hands to get the job done; fewer hands, less labor costs, and lower overall cost. This typically means it requires less time to get the job done; the longer the job takes to be done, the more you can expect to pay in labor costs. So, now you have an answer to the question we asked you earlier, ‘Can you tell me which is the most affordable option’. Definitely push piers.

Helical piers are going to run you around $3500 per pier location; the pricing is due to the complexity of the installation process. We can go into detail about the installation process in another article, just let us know.

To wrap this session up we can add that you should not be taken off guard if your contractor recommends you use a combination of the two popular options to get the solution your home needs. These things are so dependent on your specific situation so it is hard to tell how things might turn out. What we are happy to know is, our young apprentice now knows what the pricing margins might be like so they know if their quote is reasonable after the initial inspection.

I don’t know if you noticed we said, ‘popular options’. If you did, we can tell you right off the bat that there are other ways to underpin a foundation. Some are outdated, some are still relevant but these are the popular methods. If you want us to dive into those other options, feel free to let us know by interacting with our social media accounts.


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