Written by Andy Gurczak

June 11, 2021

Fire Damage Restoration Average Cost: What Will My Fire Restoration Cost Be?

Fire Damage Restoration Cost: Learn Everything You Need To Know About Fire Damage Restoration Cost

How Much Does Fire Damage Restoration Cost?

Fire damage restoration cost for even a small house fire can be devastating. It could result in extensive fire and smoke damage, as well as water damage from putting the fire out. For this reason, quick and decisive action is necessary to prevent further damage. This is especially true if the home’s structure has been compromised. Primarily, fire damage restoration cost depends mostly on the range of the fire and the location of the damage. For instance, a kitchen fire usually tends to be a more costly restoration than a smaller fire in a bedroom. Moreover, homeowner’s insurance coverage or the lack of it, can have a huge impact on out-of-pocket expenses. Some factors are universal for knowing the average fire damage restoration cost.

Fire Damage Restoration Cost: Hiring a Fire Damage Restoration Company

Firstly, fire damage restoration costs often depends on the professional hired for the job. Most professionals don’t charge by the hour to repair a fire damaged house. More likely, a fire restoration contractor will give you a flat rate. A contractor’s rate can range between $6,000 and $20,000 for the total project cost. However, for those that do charge by the hour, hourly rates are around $65 to $90 per hour. In all cases, a professional must be secured for safety reasons. Homeowners need to hire a company that knows how to safely enter a building that has been affected by a fire. Most professionals recommend immediate service, usually within 48 hours after the blaze. This timeframe permits contractors to salvage as much of the structure as possible. Any soot, water, and chemicals remaining inside can cause further damage if the issues aren’t addressed promptly.

Simple vs Complex Fire Damage Restoration Cost

Complex versus simple fires also impact the fire damage restoration cost. Simple fires burn pure fuels such as dry grass and wood; they usually occur outside of the home. Complex fires are associated with home fires. Low amounts of soot is a simple fire quality. Meanwhile, complex fires produce large amounts of soot and smoke.

Fire Causes Impact Restoration Costs:

The cause of the fire impacts the fire damage restoration cost. For instance, a kitchen fire damage could be more costly to fix because of the source. If a grease fire led to the blaze, it might leave behind oily soot, which is harder to remove than dry soot. Similarly, fire damage in the attic could be costly. Ensuring structural soundness is extremely important in order to protect the rest of the house from collapse. This is because the space is at the top of the home. The fire damage may have also spread from the top down, causing issues on the floors below. Plus, any wiring and vents running through the attic can be damaged by the fire.

You Might Need More Than Just Fire Restoration:

After a fire, a home may need different types of restoration to be in livable condition again. A fire restoration professional may need to remove and dry the water used to put out the fire. Additionally, they might have to salvage furniture and draperies, as well as remove soot and odor from fabrics. HVAC system ducts may also need cleansing from smoke debris. All of these factors have an effect over the fire restoration cost

Average Fire Damage Restoration Costs

On average, homeowners pay between $3,500 and $5,000 to recover after a small fire. Of course, replacing a roof or restoring a kitchen cabinets, can rise the cost up to as much as $50,000.

Fire Damage Restoration Cost
National average cost$2,500
Average range$3,000-$40,000
Minimum cost$2,500
Maximum cost$46,500

Fire Damage Restoration Cost per Square Foot

Fire restoration companies will likely ask for the square footage of your home before providing a cost estimate. You’ll probably pay more if there is damage to a larger section of the home than for a fire that only affected a room or two of the home. On average, you’ll pay between $4.00 to $6.50 per sq. ft. The following costs reflect the price for burnt material removal, water damage restoration, and soot cleanup per square foot.

Average House SizeAverage Fire Restoration Cost
1,000 sq. ft.$6,500
1,750 sq. ft.$8,750
2,000 sq. ft.$12,000
2,500 sq. ft.$13,500
3,000 sq. ft.$15,000
4,000 sq. ft.$20,000

How the Type of Damage Impacts Fire Damage Restoration Cost

Costs can range from $250 to $6,000 for different types of fire damage. House fires are the most common types of fires that lead to significant property damage. The type of work needed plays a big part into how much it will cost to repair a fire damaged house. Fire flame damage isn’t the only type of damage you’ll find after the disaster. For instance, when you repair a fire damaged house, you may also need to fix issues caused by the extinguishing process as well as fix smoke damage, odor removal and some other unexpected damages.

Fire Damage Restoration Cost: Image of Firefighters putting out the fire

Water Damage

If hoses or sprinkler systems were used to put out the fire you’ll most likely need immediate water restoration services. This is to prevent mold, disintegrating drywall, and damage to wood and similar materials. Water damage restoration starts with surface water extraction. Secondly, comes large-scale dehumidification measures for proper structural dry out. Thirdly, comes deodorization. Taking similar measures for your possessions might be necessary. As a very crude guide costs are typically $2-4 per square foot for water extraction alone. Altogether dealing with water damage is usually around $1,000 to $5,000.

Fire Damage Restoration Cost: Smoke and Soot Damage

Soot and smoke removal are a big part of fire damage restoration cost. Removing soot involves getting rid of the ash left behind from the fire. Meanwhile, smoke removal concentrates more on remediation of the smell. Soot and smoke contaminate building surfaces, furniture, carpet, air ducts, and more. Additionally, it causes toxic odor, stain many materials, and contain strong acids that can deteriorate just about anything. On average, this process cost ranges from $2,000 to $6,000. However, pricing differs between oily soot and dry soot. Oily soot cleanup will be more costly since this type of byproduct comes from grease fires. In contrast, dry soot does not smear like oily types of soot. Dry soot cleanup costs around $400 to $700, while oily soot cleanup will be upwards of $1,000.

Odor Removal is Part of the Fire Damage Restoration Cost:

Chemical contamination and odor removal adds on an average sum of $1,000 to $3,000. Additionally, counteractants may be necessary to break down odorous and hazardous compounds besides the special cleaning for the structure and its contents:

  • Ozone Treatment Cost: The cost of ozone treatment for houses is about $300 and $600 per floor. An ozone treatment uses high levels of oxygen within an enclosed area to rid the area of odors. Instead of two atoms of oxygen, ozone treatments use three. As a result, the ozone released by the generator breaks down airborne molecules and bacteria found in a fire-damaged home to remove strong smoke odors.
  • Thermal Fogging Cost: Thermal fogging has a similar price point between $250 and $550 per floor. In thermal fogging treatment, a deodorizing agent is heated before it is misted across furniture and textiles. Thermal fogging gets rid of lingering odors in even hard to reach areas. The way that it works is the agent in the fogger attaches to smoke particles and absorbs them. Consequently, the process neutralizes the odor permanently.

Removal of Burnt Materials influences Fire Damage Restoration Cost:

A fire restoration company needs to come out to remove any burnt material before any structural repairs are made to the home. This is another factor that affects your fire damage restoration cost. Contractors have several methods to provide an estimate on burnt material removal. Some professionals provide a “per pound” quote starting at $60 per pound. However, you may be subject to a flat-rate of $300 to $1,600 to get rid of any fire-damaged materials. Fire restoration contractors take out unsalvageable items, from your home. Furthermore, they will dispose of them properly.

Chemical Damage Restoration

Chemical restoration could also be necessary after a home fire. These services include the cleanup of any residue left behind after a fire. Expect to pay between $600 and $2,000 to have chemical residues cleaned up by a professional. Fire extinguishers are the main reason for chemical damage remediation service. They are also resposinble for leaving behind chemical residue on surfaces. Consequently, using fire extinguishers can impact the air quality in the room. The burning of toxic chemicals during a fire is another issue that can arise during a fire.

Fire Damage

Finally, there’s the costs of actually replacing damaged materials. This may go as far as reconstructing sections of the building. For example, a typical kitchen fire with minimal damage can be in the range of $2,000 to $5,000. However, extensive damage can go into the $10,000 to $30,000 range, and can be more than $80,000 for an upscale kitchen or significant reconstruction.

Structural Damage After a Fire

Structural repairs for a fire damaged home, including wood replacement, sheetrock installation, and new insulation, could average anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000 per room. The first thing assessed by professionals after a fire, is the structural damage of the building. The structural damage needs close review to determine if it’s safe to work inside the home. Otherwise, if a building is condemned or certain rooms unsafe, placing caution tape around the off-limits areas is the way they’ll go. If so, an inspector will let you know what types of repairs the building needs before entering.

However, demolition may be necessary in some cases of major structural damage due to dangerous conditions. Structural engineers look at the soundness of a building. Equally important, they check other potentially broken components such as missing doorways and broken windows. There could be holes in the ceiling and flooring.

Other

There are a couple of other items you should be sure are included in the estimate. First, there are city permit and inspection fees. These typically run for several hundred dollars and even to a few thousand for major reconstruction. Secondly, is management fees. These usually can go up to several hundred dollars for small fire & smoke damage projects, but upwards into the thousands for major efforts. They’re worthwhile in avoiding having to coordinate multiple home contractors yourself and often are completely offset by cost savings from their experience and economies of scale.

Fire Damage Restoration Cost: Image of the Elements that can cause a fire

Fire Class also Influences Fire Damage Restoration Cost

The “Fire Equipment, Manufacturers’ Association” classifies fires into five categories. Fires can be labeled into multiple categories depending on the materials involved in the blaze. For this reason, the fire damage restoration cost is largely based on the type of fire that occurred on the property.

Class A fires are the most common. These types of fires involve solid materials. They also involve typical combustibles such as wood, paper, and plastic. Meanwhile, Class B fires occur when flammable liquids catch ablaze. Gas, petroleum, oil, and oil paints all fall in this category. However, fires caused by cooking oil and grease are not Class B fires. Instead, the categorization for this type of fire is Class K. Along with cooking oil, any animal and vegetable fat is a Class K fire. Moreover, the classification of electrical fires is Class C. Computers, motors, and appliances may all cause a Class C fire. Class D fires are the rarest and occur when certain metals combust. Combustible metals include sodium, potassium, magnesium, and titanium.

The byproducts impact fire damage restoration cost. For example, Class A fires won’t leave behind the same type of debris as a Class B fire. The following are the prices you could expect to pay by fire type from a remediation company that plans to clean and deodorize a 2,500 sq. ft. home.

Fire ClassAverage Cleanup Cost – 2,500 sq. ft.
Class A$8,000 – $13,000
Class B$12,000 – $18,000
Class C$10,000 – $20,000
Class D$15,000 – $25,000
Class K$11,000 – $16,000

Cost to Rebuild a House After a Fire

Rebuilding a house after a fire takes a significant amount of time. Depending on the extent of the rebuild, it could take anywhere from weeks to months before the house is safe for reoccupation. Damage of structural components is possible. For this reason, restoration after a fire can be costly. A professional will assess each room and determine if repairs are necessary to the sheetrock, insulation, electrical systems, and HVAC. This could also require cosmetic changes. You will likely have to put in new flooring and paint all the rebuilt rooms in the home.

Professionals try to salvage as much structure as possible. However, if the home is a total loss it could require demolition. Furthermore, if the cost of repair is more than the total home value, then the insurance company may write your claim off as a complete loss. The following are the prices you could expect to pay for home restorations following a fire based on your property’s square footage. Professionals are likely to charge around $50 per sq. ft. for rebuilds after a fire.

Emergency Fire Restoration

All fires are usually considered in need of emergency attention. Although the service provider may book an appointment within 48 hours of the fire, an emergency appointment may be made within a day of the blaze. However, in some cases, emergency fire restoration may not be necessary. For example, if you’ve had a small, contained fire in a single area of the home. You may have had a grease fire that was put out quickly but resulted in some cosmetic damage. Surcharges for emergency fire and water restoration differ from company to company. Nevertheless, a same-day or next-day visit may add $200 to $500 to your final bill for remediation.

Fire Damage Restoration Cost: Image of your Insurance paying for the Fire Damage Restoration Cost

The Fire Damage Restoration Cost Can Be Covered by Insurance

Fire damage falls under homeowners insurance, but the value of the claim depends on the terms of each individual insurance contract. For instance, if the policy covers the “face value,” the insurance company compensates the homeowner only up to the original value of the damaged or lost item. In addition, homeowners can be compensated for the cost of repair/restoration of salvageable, damaged goods or parts of the home or the cost of replacement of completely lost items.

Filing a fire damage insurance claim can be a stressful process. No homeowner wants to worry about not getting coverage from homeowners insurance after a fire loss. Always contact an agent after a fire to go over what steps will be necessary to avoid delays in processing your claim. Document all phone calls and emails with the insurance company. In the same way, ask for copies of all important documentation to start a personal fire claim. You should also ask your agent about any issues like fire damage legal liability. For example, someone else may be responsible for damages if the fire started because a product had a manufacturing defect. Equally important, ask about any uncovered items by insurance companies, like personal effects.

Above all, never move any items following a fire. Keep the home in its present state when taking photos for the insurance company. Also, the insurance company may want to approve any cleaning methods used on the property. Never begin remediation until you have the provider’s express approval.

Additional Considerations and Fire Damage Restoration Costs

  • First, to receive the home insurance’s approval, a contractor a license as a fire remediation specialist. Permits may be necessary by the company depending on what type of structural repairs needs the building.
  • Second, fire restoration is never a DIY project. Fire damage restoration is a dangerous undertaking. Additionally, it may void any insurance coverage by performing any cleanup independently.
  • Thirdly, other costs can arise from paying someone to keep a “fire watch” for several hours after a fire. The watcher’s work is to check and recheck for sparks, smoke, and hidden embers anywhere in and on the house. Owners can expect to pay $25 to $50 per hour for the service.
  • Fourthly, cigarette smoke remediation can cost an average of $600 to $2,000. This depends on the number of rooms that need odor removal.
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