Foundation Cost Guides

Foundations cost $4 to $20 per square foot, averaging about $9 per square foot. Slabs run $4 to $7 per square foot, compared to $6 to $15 per square foot for a crawl space and $15 to $20 per square foot for a basement. Repairs cost $2,000 to $7,000. You can expect to pay $3,000 to $9,500 to raise a foundation and $2,500 to $7,000 to seal it.

Find out how much your project will cost.

Updated February 22, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Your home's foundation is the basis for everything else, so it may be the most important part of the structure. Whether you need to install one, repair it, raise it or level it, you’ll want to know the costs before you can set a budget. Consider these common projects as you research.

Select your Foundation project

basement of house sealed against water damage
Seal a Basement or Foundation
(5,616 projects)
$5,195 Average National Cost
professional repairing the foundation of a home
Repair a Foundation
(4,049 projects)
$5,021 Average National Cost
concrete slab leveling using mudjacking
Level or Mudjack Concrete Slabs
(2,555 projects)
$1,212 Average National Cost
raising the foundation of a home with a house lift
Raise a Foundation
(1,065 projects)
$7,301 Average National Cost
Empty basement with new concrete floor and white walls
Install a Foundation
(796 projects)
$9,425 Average National Cost
construction permit application being filled out
Get a Building Permit
(163 projects)
$1,665 Average National Cost

Build, Pour or Add a New Foundation

Foundation installation costs for labor are $2 to $3 per square foot of the total estimate. Your price depends on the soil, your geographical area, and the type of foundation:

  • Slab: Least expensive, most appropriate for the South.

  • Basements: Great for Northern areas.

  • Crawl Spaces: Better for middle America.

  • Pier & Beam: Ideal for coastal or riverside homes.

  • Blocks: More common in older houses.

For this project, you might need to pay for an architect, landscaper, and delivery and installation for materials.

Foundation Comparison

The cost to install a foundation is $4,500 to $13,500, or $4 to $20 per square foot. Basements tend to be the most expensive, while a concrete slab usually runs the least.

Price Per Square Foot
Crawl Space$6-$15
Pier & Beam$5-$10

Slab vs. Crawl Space Cost

The cost to pour a concrete slab foundation is $4 to $7 per square foot, compared to $6 to $15 per square foot for a crawl space.

If you’re debating slab vs. crawl space, keep these factors in mind:

  • Slab: Good moisture control, not ideal for graded land.

  • Crawl Space: Great for uneven ground, prone to moisture problems.

Slab vs. Basement Costs

The price to build a basement is $15 to $20 per square foot, which is about three times as expensive as a slab at $4 to $7 per square foot. The cost difference relates to the increased depth and concrete needed for a basement.

Cost of a Crawl Space vs. Basement

A crawl space costs $6 to $15 per square foot, which is less than the $15 to $20 per square foot you’ll need for a basement. Each type gives you a little extra room under the house, but only one provides living space.

The cost to turn a crawl space into a basement ranges from $60,000 to $150,000. This project runs more because you have to support the house while you excavate and rebuild the foundation underneath.

Slab vs. Pier & Beam

At $4 to $7 per spare foot, a concrete slab is a little cheaper than $5 to $10 per square foot for a pier and beam foundation.

Slab foundations can be a good choice in most environments. Frost heave, which pushes soil upward in freezing temperatures, can cause them to crack or shift. Pier and beam constructions are most appropriate in regions where flooding is common.

Block vs. Poured Concrete Foundation

A cinder block wall costs $9 to $12 per square foot including labor. This estimate runs higher than a poured concrete foundation, which ranges from $4 to $7 per square foot.

With professional installation, cinder blocks can be just as effective as poured concrete. Homeowners usually prefer them for older houses as a way to preserve the historic charm.

Waterproofing or Sealing

Waterproofing a basement or foundation costs $2,500 to $7,000. Homeowners can expect to do this once every 10 years. Although the service prevents water from permeating the concrete, it won’t fix existing damage.

Foundation Raising and Leveling

The price to raise a foundation is $3,000 to $9,500. You’ll need this service if you’re replacing the existing one or moving the house to a new location.

Concrete leveling costs $600 to $1,400, depending on the surface. Fixing a sidewalk or driveway usually runs less than mudjacking a foundation.

Common Foundation Repairs and Costs

Foundation repair costs $2,000 to $7,000. The total estimate relates to the type of damage and the size. Many cracks are relatively simple to address. But if your home is sinking or bowing on one side, you can expect to pay more.

Price Per Square Foot
Leveling or Jacking$600-$1,400

Foundation Draining

The price to install foundation drainage ranges from $2,000 to $5,500. This project prevents moisture accumulation and water damage, particularly during a flood.

Cleaning or Encapsulating a Crawl Space

Crawl space encapsulation costs $1,500 to $15,000. The project may include:

  • Surrounding the area with a protective barrier.

  • Adding moisture control, like a dehumidifier.

  • Installing a sump pump or other drainage.