15-20 Minute Assessment

Pier Foundation

Piers are sunk into the earth, often to bedrock. They provide a stable, level surface for the beams that are the base of the house.

Piers tend to settle over time, which can cause floors, doors, and windows to sag. Standing water can also cause them to move. Depending on the material they’re made from, rot, corrosion, or cracking can also be issues.


Every spring

Repair and replacement costs

Typical Costs

  • Repair minor issue: $2,500 – $3,500
  • Repair major issue: $4,000 – $6,500
  • Consult structural engineer: $300 – $600

Life span


  • Concrete piers: 80 – 100 years
  • Metal piers: 100+ years
  • Wood piers: 40 – 60 years

Steps to Assess Your Pier Foundation


Step 1: Begin inside your home. Check for cracks in the walls, slanted floors, and windows or doors that don’t open properly. As you walk around, check for bouncy floors. These issues could be signs of shifting piers.


Step 2: Look for water. Wood piers are especially susceptible to water damage, though water can cause any pier to shift. Standing water may indicate a drainage problem. If water doesn’t drain after a couple of days, contact a professional.


Step 3: Crooked or buckled piers are a problem. Replace cracked or rotted wood piers. With cement piers, have a pro inspect any crack wider than 1/8 inch. While surface corrosion on metal piers is normal, have a professional inspect anything worse.


Step 4: Check the beams that sit on the piers. Cracked, warped, or rotted beams may need to be replaced. Any gaps between piers and beams may need to be shimmed.


Step 5: Discoloration along the beams could be mold or mildew caused by dampness in the crawlspace. Remove anything growing on the piers or beams. Moss, lichen, mold, and vines can damage them.