If you’re planning to renovate your basement, you might also need to budget for installing an egress window to ensure your home is compliant with state building codes.
Egress windows come in a range of shapes and sizes, and the installation process can be impacted by several variables that can significantly impact the overall cost.
This article explains what an egress window is, why it’s necessary, and how much you will need to budget for its installation. Let’s begin by understanding what an egress window is and why it’s required in your home’s basement.
What is an Egress Window?
An egress window is an opening large enough for residents to exit via in case of an emergency. If you’re planning to convert your basement into a bedroom to maximize the space in your home, you will have to install an egress window to be compliant with building codes and national safety standards.
There are many different egress windows styles that you can install in your home, and your choice will largely depend on your available space and budget. Depending on the layout of your basement, you may also have to install a window well to house your egress window, which offers protection against the elements and makes it easier to exit in the event of an emergency.
Do I need to Install an Egress Window?
Throughout the US, building codes require egress windows to be installed for home safety. Every basement with one sleeping space must have at least one egress window. The International Residential Code is in use in 49 states and stipulates the following regarding the installation of basement egress windows:
Before installing an egress window, you will need to apply for a building permit, as the process impacts the safety of your home. If you’re undertaking excavation work prior to installation, it’s advisable to call your utilities companies to inquire about the position of underground wires, so you don’t accidentally cut through them.
How much do Egress Windows Cost to Install?
According to Home Advisor, the national average cost of installing egress windows is $3,750. But the price of egress windows can vary significantly depending on a range of factors and can cost as little as $800 and as much as $8,000. (Related: When Should You Replace Your Windows: How To Assess And Where To Start) Let’s look at the variables that affect the installation price of egress windows.
Egress Window Style
Perhaps the most crucial consideration is what style of egress window you want to install at your property. Not only does the style impact cost, but it also determines its functionality and will affect the aesthetics of your home. The most common types of egress windows (and their associated costs) include:
Because egress windows come in so many styles, you can arrange an installation that suits the design of your home and your available budget. Once you’ve decided on the style, you will need to factor in the costs associated with the following:
Glass Quality (Single or Double-paned)
The quality of the glass panes will impact the price of your egress windows. Single-paned units are typically cheaper than double-paned glass, but they’re less noise-resistant and contribute to higher utility bills in the long run. You can expect to pay somewhere between $200 - $500 per double-paned window, while single panes will be considerably less.
You should expect to pay somewhere in the region of $100 - $250 per window to install your chosen egress windows at your property. But this is assuming that structural work doesn’t need to be undertaken in preparation for installation. You might also incur some of the following costs, depending on what is relevant for your property:
Potential Additional Cost
Window well replacement/installation
$500 - $2,000
$500 - $700 per window
Land excavation (for below-grade installation)
$50 - $200 per cubic yard
Cut window opening
$700 per window
Remove & replace old window
$200 per window
Hiring a land surveyor
Hiring a structural engineer
Hiring an electrician
As you can see, there are so many factors that will influence the total price of egress window installation. As you establish your requirements, you can accurately determine the cost based on the information provided above.
Can I Install an Egress Window Myself?
Installing an egress window is a significant undertaking and requires the expertise of a professional. To ensure your egress window is compliant with the relevant building codes, you should hire the services of a trusted window firm to take measurements and complete the work on your behalf. Although this will result in additional costs, it’s necessary to ensure its adequate installation.
Installing an egress window in your basement is a legal requirement if you’re converting the space into a bedroom or room of residence. The average cost of installing an egress window is $3,750, but this can vary significantly depending on a range of factors, as introduced above. We highly recommend working with a trusted and skilled installer to undertake the project on your behalf, as you need to ensure your installation is compliant with state building codes and national safety standards.