So you want to buy or replace your basement egress window and wonder how much it might cost? The price depends on several factors, such as the type of window, its size, location, and material.
All these factors can influence the cost, meaning it can be cheaper or more expensive. When you deal with any window installation, you need to consider also installation cost, which can vary depending on the complexity of the task.
In addition, if you have any specific preferences and wishes regarding the basement egress window, that will also raise the price of this project. Ultimately, adding an egress window will add value to your home besides providing an additional exit.
Before we go into details regarding the cost, let’s first check out what is an egress window and why you should install it.
What is an Egress Window?
Egress windows are large openings (usually larger than regular windows) with a specific purpose. Have you ever wondered how people escape from a basement on fire when the main entrance is aflame? Well, the answer is -an egress window.
These windows are usually installed in basements or below the grade space to provide an exit in case of an emergency, such as a house fire.
Installing egress windows, which can be a patio or skylight, is essential for your safety, which explains why it is regulated in the US by the International Building Code. What does that mean?
All rooms and basements below the fourth floor must have an emergency exit or escape. Even though there are different types of egress windows, they must meet the minimum clear net opening of at least 5.7 feet.
Essentially, the window must be large enough so a worker can use it as an escape route. Besides providing an escape route in emergencies, the window is also a great addition that will bring natural light into a dimly lit basement.
Do I Need to Think About the Size Requirement for Egress Window?
The answer is yes! Even though every state, county, and municipal government has a specific requirement for egress window placement, the International Residential Code (IRC) established some standards to help you choose the appropriate size window of proper size.
As mentioned, these windows are bigger than the usual ones, meaning that the minimum height must be around 24 inches while the minimum width is 10 inches. The opening or net clearing is 5.7 feet, and the maximum sill height is 44 inches.
The sill height can be crucial when buying and installing an egress window because it must have a net clear opening of 820.8 square inches or 720 square inches for a grade-level door.
In simple words, if a window is 20 inches wide, it should be 36 inches high to meet the requirements set by the IRC.
When talking about egress windows, the most crucial factor is their functionality- one must be able to use them from the inside, and they mustn’t need any tools or special keys to be opened.
You can add grates or bars if you want, but the window must be easily accessible. Otherwise, it will beat the purpose of the window. Similarly, if you want to install an egress window in the basement, there are also specific requirements.
The window must offer at least 9 square feet of floor and the ability to be fully open without obstructions. Talking of the width and length, it should be at least 36 inches.
Influencing Factors of Cost
1. Prefabricated vs. Custom Egress Window
When comparing the price between a prefabricated and a custom egress window, it is logical to conclude that the custom-made window will cost more because it is specifically created for your needs and requirements.
Prefabricated egress windows can be purchased in-store or online, and they come in different colors, dimensions, and materials so that you can choose the right one.
However, if you have something special in mind and a bigger budget, go for a custom-made egress window.
- Custom Window
The price of a custom widow ranges between $500 and $2,000, but it can cost even more. The great thing about custom egress windows is that you can choose from various colors and materials, such as vinyl, fiberglass, or wood.
Most prefab egress windows come with unique shapes with angled or curved frames.
- Prefabricated Window
Prefabricated window cost between $100 and $800, but the price can even go higher if you opt for one of those intricate or unique designs or sizes. In addition, even though it is a prefab egress window, it can be made of rare material, which also adds to the price.
If you need to buy or replace an egress window, prefabricated ones are a great option because you can buy them immediately. Their affordable price makes them a suitable choice; compared to the custom-made egress windows, they are much cheaper.
One of the main factors affecting the price of the egress window is the type of glass or how many panes of glass the window has. Generally, there are windows with one, two, and three panes of glass, and they all have different prices.
If the window has more panes, it has better sound insulation and energy efficiency. The most standard type of window is double-pane.
Furthermore, different types of glass and coatings usually cost more than regular ones. For example, the frosted glass ranges from $350 to $800, while laminated glass ranges from $300 to $650.
Here is a list of prices depending on the number of panes.
- Single-pane $100 – $400
- Double-pane $200 – $500
- Triple-pane $300 – $800
3. Location of the Egress Window
As mentioned above, egress windows can be installed in attics, bedrooms, living rooms, skylights, and basements. Installation and the window’s price depend on whether it will be placed above or below ground.
That said, installing an egress window in the basement is more expensive because it requires excavation and soil shoring, which increases labor costs. Generally, the estimate of the entire project can range between $2,500- $5,300.
4. Types of Egress Windows
Egress Windows vary in price depending on the style, and there are several egress windows. Single-hung windows are the most affordable, ranging from $100 to $400; sliding windows cost around $150 to $600.
- Double-hung windows
Double-hung windows are an excellent choice if you live in warmer climates because they have sashes at the bottom and top, which you can open simultaneously for better air circulation. These windows cost around $250 to $500.
- Casement window
The most frequent and common type of egress window is a casement window, which has at least one hinge on its side. You can open these using a hand crank, and casement windows are an excellent choice for the basement because they can fit in smaller areas due to their outward swing.
The casement windows typically cost between $200 to $1000. Another excellent option for basement windows is in-swing windows, which open inward into the room.
If you want to install an in-swing window with a window well, the well can be smaller, considering that the window opening cannot swing outward. The price range is between $350 and $700
5. Do I Need A Permit for an Egress Window?
As mentioned, many cities and municipalities have specific rules and standards to be followed when installing a basement egress window. So, before installing a window, call a professional or a contractor in your area who can give you more information about the regulations.
Furthermore, in most cases, if you want a basement egress window, you will need to get a permit. Installing basement egress windows calls for excavation; you will need a license to do so. Their price ranges from $50 to $200 each.
Before starting this project, contact your local utilities, communications, and plumbing to check if there are any underground lines where you want to install the egress window. If you want to know more about these permits, click here.
6. Installation Costs
The most asked question about the basement window installation is how much the installation costs.
First, the egress window installation cost can vary from region to region due to differences in labor rates and local regulations, but also the size, material, and type of the window. The general estimate for a basement egress window installation is between $2,000 to $5,000.
The below-grade installation costs more due to the excavation, and installing these windows takes great skill and ability. You can expect to pay around $40 to $50 per hour to install the window, plus you need to factor in the cost of the window and the permit.
Furthermore, digging the window well is also a costly project, which is required for basement egress window installation. In addition, you will have to hire a land surveyor and a structural engineer, so your house’s foundations remain intact.
These professionals generally charge from $300 to $ 500 per visit. The excavation can cost between $100 and $300.
Installing a basement egress window is essential if you want to add value to your house or bring some light into your basement. Ultimately, they are instrumental and can make a big difference in a life-and-death situation.
If you want to make this a DIY project, we suggest you save money and hire a professional because this job involves some skills, knowledge, and expertise.
On the other hand, you can cause a lot of problems, which will end up costing you more than the whole project.
Are you thinking about installing an egress window, or do you want to replace one? Please, share your experience and thoughts with us! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask!