What Does it Cost to Add a Walkout to an Existing Basement?

Basement Walkout Costs for Salt Lake County

Hello everyone, Caleb Dansie here with Dansie Design Build. Today I want to discuss basement walkout entrances and what they cost. There are two types of basement walkout entrances. One resembles a rock wall with stairs that come down, and the other is a concrete retaining wall with a footing underneath in conjunction with concrete steps. In this video, I’m going to discuss the concrete steps and footing on foundation type.

Basement Engineering

Most city authorities require structural engineering for any structure over 48 inches tall, furthermore, this counts as an addition to the home. Most walkouts are over 48 inches in depth or height. Engineering is the first cost to impact the budget. An engineer should look at your project for a few hundred dollars. This usually includes evaluating the house, soil, and slope of the ground to determine what is needed. This is normal on a basement walkout and something that an engineer would probably have to stamp for your city. In Herriman, it is required. That’s the first cost.

Underground Utilities

The next cost to evaluate is the underground utilities. We schedule the Blue Stakes to come out and spray paint on the ground the locations of the phone lines, power and gas lines, water lines, etc. That’s a free service that they perform for any project. We make sure there’s no utilities in the area before we have the engineer draw up his drawings.


Moving on from there is the actual excavation. The available access to your property can impact this cost due to accessibility. For example, a small gate to enter the backyard may limit us to the machine size that we can fit into the backyard to excavate.

Left over dirt also impacts cost. What are we going to do with this dirt? It might not seem like a ton of dirt, but dirt becomes fluffy and multiplies into a huge pile when excavating. Sometimes we can spread the dirt around your property. Other times, such as when you have a completed yard or don’t want to raise the elevation, that surplus can become a problem. Trucking that dirt offsite adds more cost. After we resolve the dirt, the footings on foundations are pretty standard, which include rebar, reinforcement, and things like that.

Basement Finishes

You also need to consider the type of entry door. Do you want a solid exterior steel door? Maybe you’re looking for a wider door with sidelights? I often recommend sidelights when the entry door is on the south side of your home, where the sun shines more. That could be a nice option, but that door cost could multiply by three times the amount. I discussed permits and fees in another video, and we often lump those in with a basement finish, but keep in mind the permits and fees when planning a project.

Consider the Location for the Basement Walkout

Remember to consider the actual location for the walkout. We have turned existing windows into the entry door. When the window height is above 83 and a half inches for the rough opening, converting a window becomes favorable. We can fit a full-sized door with full-sized egress height requirements into that opening.

A lower height window requires additional concrete cutting to accommodate a full-height door. Extra concrete cutting can add $500 to $1,200 depending on what is needed. If we can’t simply cut into the foundation, but must cut the concrete above the door, we’ll need the engineer to specify a reinforcement schedule to bolt on a piece of steel or make a wood header reinforcement so that the concrete is strong enough to withhold the weight of the home above. Each home is unique, and that’s the reason why an engineer must physically come out to examine the home and determine what requirements are going to be there. We can discuss many of these things on an initial site walk of your home.


One last thing to consider is the railing cost. Every city requires a handrail along the stairs as well as a guardrail on top of any wall above 32 inches in height. Typically all basement walkouts exceed 32 inches, and therefore guardrails are necessary. Vinyl guardrail is usually a lot cheaper. Powder-coated steel with just a standard four-inch sphere spacing costs more. Custom guardrail will increase the budget even higher.

Rough Costs to Complete a Basement Walkout in Herriman, Utah

There are many costs that go into a typical walkout entrance with an eight-foot basement ceiling height. A rough ballpark on costs currently ranges between $30k-$40k and averages $36,733 (in 2023). Adding roughly 60 feet of sidewalk could add another $5,000, which would bring a sidewalk from the backyard around to the front of the home.

These figures are averages from our recent projects, and include excavation, concrete, the drain, powdercoated railings, concrete plaster, the steel header, concrete cutting, framing, demolition, backfill, electrical, drywall, and paint. 

If you’re looking for a shorter walkout with a concrete foundation type and perhaps a four-foot tall wall with maybe six steps or so, those can range around $24k. That includes engineering, permits and fees, materials and labor, and then everything else that goes along with the project.

Basement Walkout and Other Basement Finishing Resources

If you have any questions about adding a walkout to your home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to talk to you and see how we could help you. You can also review our website. We have lots of resources that help price and estimate a rough cost of your basement. Check out a few of our other projects that we’ve uploaded too. I’m excited to hear from you, and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.


Have you wondered what it costs to finish a basement in Salt Lake and Utah Counties?  Our basement finishing cost guide will give you everything you need to know.

  • Pricing for 1000 and 1500 square foot basement finishes
  • Pricing to include a bathroom, a kitchen, or open square footage
  • Pricing for Basic, Average, and Luxury Level Finishes
  • Basement walkout entrance pricing
  • Real project costs for basements we have finished
  • How to avoid the most costly mistakes while finishing a basement




Download the basement finishing cost guide

Download our FREE basement finishing cost guide. Inside we go over everything you’ll want to know.

  • Pricing calculation for any sized basement
  • Pricing to include a bathroom, a kitchen, a laundry room, or open square footage
  • Basement walkout entrance pricing
  • How to avoid the most costly mistakes while finishing a basement