The Cost of Pier & Beam Foundation Repair (What to Expect)

August 30, 2021

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Your cost of pier and beam foundation repair is well worth that investment, as neglecting needed foundation repairs and waterproofing only allows damage to get more extensive over time. Your home could also then suffer secondary damage, including interior and exterior wall cracks, structural wood rot, and mold.

Your cost for pier and beam foundation repair might average between $900 and $1600 per beam and pillar. However, high-quality repairs or pier and beam replacement should last for decades if not indefinitely, and especially when coupled with a vapor barrier or crawlspace encapsulation.

As with any home improvement, renovation, or repair project, pier and beam foundation repair costs will vary according to the materials chosen and the amount of work involved. While higher grade, more durable materials might cost more for installation, they can also last longer and prevent future foundation damage!

cost of pier and beam foundation repair

If your home has a pier and beam foundation, consider a bit of added information about this construction, what causes damage, and what you might face by way of repair costs. You can then discuss this information with a foundation repair contractor as needed, and ensure your home is always in good condition and safe for occupation!

Cost to Repair a Pier and Beam Foundation

A pier and beam foundation consists of long crossbeams, installed under the home’s structure, which are then set on piers or posts. This foundation typically lifts the home off the ground by 18 inches or more, creating a crawlspace. Your pier and beam foundation repair costs will then depend on how many beams and posts need repairs if you can repair them versus having to replace those pieces, and if your home needs secondary repairs such as for wood rot and mold growth.

What adds to your pier and beam foundation repair costs

Rotted joists and severely damaged foundations need replacing, not just repairs. If the damage is not severe, a foundation contractor might recommend shims. These are wedge-shaped pieces that are worked into the space under a beam, to provide support and compensate for a sunken area of the foundation.

Some pier and beam foundations have a concrete pier running all the way around the home’s perimeter, providing added support for the structure. If this pier is damaged, it might need separate underpinning or concrete patching.

Added cost of pier and beam foundation repair

If you’ve neglected needed pier and beam foundation repair, your home might suffer secondary damage that needs addressing and that will add to your overall costs. Excess moisture in the crawlspace can risk wood rot to the structure’s underside, as well as damage to plumbing pipes and wiring. Mold is also not uncommon in crawlspaces with untreated moisture, and this needs cleaning and removal.

home foundation repair in dayton

Termites and rodents are also often attracted to crawlspaces, and these will then chew on and damage wood posts and beams, wood structural materials, electrical wiring, and other parts of a home’s underside. Fumigation is often needed if your home has suffered an infestation, as well as repairs to those damaged structural materials.

To protect your home from future damage, a foundation repair contractor might suggest a vapor barrier, which blocks moisture from the ground. Full encapsulation also protects a home’s underside and provides a clean, dry space for easier access to pipes and wiring. A sump pump or dehumidifier installation also ensures the home’s foundation stays in good condition over the years.

Cost to Install Foundation Piers

If you’re planning a new construction project or if the existing foundation needs a complete replacement, you might want to note the cost of new foundation piers. Steel piers usually run between $950 and $1600, as said.

Drilled piers are shafts drilled into the ground and then filled with concrete; these might run between $700 and $950. Pressed piling is premade concrete piers which are then inserted into the ground. These usually cost between $800 and $1300 per pier.

Steel piers are usually the most durable choice and these can last some 75 years, if not indefinitely. Concrete piers will also last for decades but are more prone to cracking and other damage over the years.

Are Pier and Beam Foundations Good?

High-quality pier and beam foundations, installed by a reputable contractor, can last for decades before needing repairs or replacement. Pier and beam foundations are also preferred in areas prone to flooding or overly moist soil where concrete might absorb that moisture and then crack and soften.

commercial building with pier and beam foundation

Pier and beam foundations also allow for easier access to plumbing and electrical fixtures under the home, and for reworking those fixtures as needed. You won’t need to break through a concrete slab to run new plumbing pipes for a bathroom installation if you choose a pier and beam foundation, for example. Some crawlspaces also provide room for storage!

As with any foundation choice, homeowners will need to ensure they protect piers and beams over the years. Proper grading of the soil, to ensure water doesn’t collect around the home, is needed for every property, and some might also require a drainage or irrigation system. Vapor barriers, encapsulation, sump pumps, dehumidifiers, evaporators, waterproof coatings, and other such solutions also protect that pier and beam foundation over the years.

Are Piers Considered a Permanent Foundation?

Depending on the construction, piers and beams can be considered a permanent foundation. Steel or drilled concrete piers are installed deep into the ground and are not designed to be moved or relocated.

Note, too, that a home’s structure doesn’t typically just sit on a set of piers but is connected with a metal head assembly. This assembly provides added stability to the house and keeps it in place even through strong storms, earthquakes, and the like.

While high-quality piers are permanent foundations, homeowners should use caution about assuming that all posts and beams are equally reliable. If you’re planning on tackling home construction or repairs yourself, avoid using items like railroad ties or concrete blocks for a foundation, as some materials are not strong enough or durable enough to support a home’s weight and to withstand moisture in the soil.

How Deep Are Pier and Beam Foundations?

If you’re considering DIY home construction or repairs, it’s also vital for homeowners to realize that local and even federal building codes dictate the overall construction of a foundation! These codes will typically take into account the soil’s grade and frost line, and if there are unusual circumstances such as an overly heavy structure, if the property is on a floodplain, and the like.

foundation repair services being done

For local regulations, contact your city or county office that issues building permits, as they will know local codes that affect your construction or repair project. A construction company or foundation repair contractor will also know local and federal codes applicable to your property and project, which is a very good reason to invest in professional construction or repair work!

Cost to Build a Pier and Beam House

Most pier and beam new construction costs are figured per linear or square foot. Average prices are around $9 per square foot, or $7000 to $13,000 in total. In comparison, a concrete slab foundation might cost up to $16 per square foot or $10,000 to $15,000 on average, while basement foundations cost from $10 to $15 per square foot or around $20,000 on average.

Your costs will increase if your property needs grading or a drainage solution before construction begins and if you decide on encapsulation, a sump pump, or other such solution during construction. While these will increase your construction costs, they will protect your home’s foundation from damage over the years.

The Best Foundation Type for a Home

To choose the best foundation type for your home, note some vital differences between pier and beam foundations, concrete slabs, and basements. You can then discuss these options with a builder or foundation installation contractor near you as needed.

Slab foundations

concrete slab foundation

Slab foundations are affordable and easy to install. Most builders will need to perform just a small bit of excavation or ground leveling for slab foundation installation. Concrete slabs are especially recommended in areas with overly moist soil, where basements are not necessarily a good option. However, slab foundations are not recommended if you’re building on a sloped lot or if there is poor drainage along the property.

Basement foundations

The most obvious advantage of a basement foundation is the added storage or living space! A finished basement is an extension of your home, and even unfinished basements can be used as rec rooms, for appliance storage, and the like. Basements are usually the most expensive option and are not recommended for overly damp soil conditions.

Pier and beam foundations

Pier and beam foundations allow for construction on sloped lots. Since they elevate the house from the ground, are a better option for overly damp soil. Crawlspaces also allow for storage and easier access to pipes and wiring under the home. Costs for pier and beam foundations are typically in the mid-range, making them a viable option for just about anyone.

Dayton Foundation Repair Experts is happy to provide this information about the cost of pier and beam foundation repair to our readers. Call our experienced Dayton foundation repair contractors if you need a foundation inspection, installation, or repairs. We offer FREE consultations and stand behind all our work with a full, written guarantee you can trust!

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