How much does it cost to fix a bowed basement wall?
Bowed basement walls are structural defects observed when basement walls cave in. When such situations are observed, it’s a clear sign that there are factors that need to be taken care of.
Of course, this includes rectifying the defect while also implementing preventive actions to forestall a repetition.
If you have a bowed basement, you might be concerned about the cost implications of having it fixed. If so, this article discusses that and more. You’ll be learning what causes such and also how the problem is solved.
For these details and more, all you have to do is read along.
Causes Of Bowed Basement Walls
When a basement wall is said to be bowed, it simply refers to caving in or inward curved walls that can be visually observed.
Bowed basement walls are caused by several factors ranging from frozen soil, hydrostatic pressure, expansive soils, and heavy objects. So, how do these factors cause or result in the caving of walls?
Depending on the volume of moisture in soils, freezing weather conditions result in frozen soils. Because water is known to expand, it pushes or exerts pressure on a basement wall which results in its caving in.
Saturation of soils with moisture means increased pressure against basement walls. Expansive soils which tend to be mostly clay become heavier due to their waterlogged condition.
This eventually results in the inward caving of basement walls as such walls succumb to the built-up hydrostatic pressure.
Expansive soils act like sponges in the sense that they expand when water is absorbed, and contract when dry. The soils adjacent to your basement wall may consist of expansive soils.
These the expansion due to moisture pushes against the basement wall causing it to cave in.
Lateral pressure also contributes to bowing basement walls.
This happens when heavy objects are allowed to rest on the soil adjacent to the basement wall. As the lateral pressure builds, it tends to cause an inward push on the basement wall, thus resulting in bowing or caving.
Cost Of Fixing Bowing Basement Walls
When a bowed basement wall scenario is noticed, you’re expected to call for its immediate repair.
Most times, such repairs come at a financial cost to you. This is what we’re interested in finding out. So, how much will it cost you to have such a wall fixed?
The cost of such a project will be largely determined by the condition of the bowed wall. Speaking of its condition, we are referring to the severity of caving that needs to be addressed.
This will put the cost of the project at low, medium, and high price ranges.
Low Range Repair Cost for Bowed Basement Wall
At the low range, repair costs aren’t expected to be high due to the minimal level of bowing noticed. Here, walls might be slightly bowed.
Having them fixed may attract a fee within the range of $4,000 and $8,000. Sometimes, costs could be lower if a small section of the wall is all that’s affected.
You’ll typically pay around $8,000 for fixing bowed basement walls when wider sections of the wall are affected. Other factors may also influence pricing outcomes.
These will be discussed shortly.
Medium Range Repair Cost for Bowed Basement Wall
Bowed basement wall repair costs under this category are considered medium due to more extensive repair work that needs to be done. Such fixes are more compared to those attracting low range costs.
Here, expect to be charged anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000.
Depending on tools and techniques to be used for fixing bowed walls, you may end up spending considerably more. Repair costs could range anywhere from $18,000 to $20,000.
Such costs will mostly cover labor costs which make up a significant amount of the total.
High Range Repair Cost for Bowed Basement Wall
As expected, extensive repairs on bowed basement walls will attract higher costs. Such costs usually start from $25,000 and above.
Here, a complete replacement of the basement wall may be necessary. This is significant construction work that will require using quite a several heavy tools.
It’s also delicate and requires a careful approach. All of the risks and work being put into the process are captured in the cost which is normally higher compared to both low and medium costs.
Other Cost Influencing Factors
To further understand costing for projects like this, you’ll need to consider additional costing-influencing factors like the wall size, the contractor hired, the extent of damage, as well as the city you live in.
All of these play a role in determining repair costs.
Let’s have a brief look at each factor for more clarity.
Basement Wall Size
The area of the basement wall that’s affected will play a role in determining how much repair costs you’ll incur.
When more than one wall is affected, it automatically means increased costs to fix the problem. The reverse is true for situations where smaller wall sections are affected.
Who you hire for this type of project will determine how much cost is incurred.
When seeking a competent contractor to carry out the fix, it’s important that pricing is also one of the points used to pick a contractor. You must strike a balance between pricing and competence to be satisfied with the outcomes.
Extent of Damage
The extent of damage is one of the primary influencing factors that affect pricing. To what extent is your basement wall bowed? Severe cases of caving-in might require having certain sections completely replaced.
This tends to hike up the cost of repair. The only way to find out the extent of damage is when the bowed wall is assessed by a contractor.
The city you Live in
Due to varying costs of living across geographical boundaries, certain basement wall repair tasks will tend to be costlier in certain locations than others. Cities tend to have higher living costs.
So, if you live in a city, expect to pay more for the same job than someone in the suburbs.
The cost details provided above are only an estimate and do not represent the actual costs of fixing bowed basement walls. However, pricing for your particular job shouldn’t be far off from the figures given.