Egress means a path out or to emerge, and this is what egress windows do in any home. You can install these windows in specific locations in your home like in a basement to provide an emergency exit in case of an accident or fire. Since they’re so useful, many people wonder what an egress window costs to help improve your home’s functionality and safety. The windows do have to meet very specific requirements and be the right size to be considered an egress window. Most residential building codes require that you have at least one of these windows, and making sure it gets into the design has to be one of your primary considerations. This is why it’s helpful to know what an egress window costs.
Your total egress window cost will vary depending on a range of factors. The factors include the type, size, number you want, and removal or replacement costs. If you need more services like cutting through a wall or excavation, your egress window cost will start to climb even higher. Generally speaking, prefabricated windows will cost less than custom options, but the one you end up picking out will depend on your unique situation. This is why it’s important to understand the different egress window cost factors.
If you want to install a prefabricated window below-ground, you can expect your egress window costs to start at $2,500 and go up to $5,300 for a single window. You’ll pay an average of $3,750 for a single casement prefabricated window. If you install a single-hung window that is prefabricated above the ground, your costs can drop to around $900. Custom awning egress windows have a price tag at or above $8,000 each. You also have to add in for labor costs. So you see, the egress window costs can get expensive very fast.
If you’re trying to figure out your egress window cost before you take on this project, this comprehensive guide is for you. We’re going to break down the biggest factors that will impact your egress window costs, and you can see which ones will and won’t apply to your situation. This way, you can create a budget to work with, stay inside it, and take steps to make your home safer all in one go.
Egress windows come in several sizes, styles, and types that you can easily match to your home’s unique look and needs. They’ll improve your home’s value and the safety factor if there is ever a fire or other emergency. Egress Window by HomeSpot HQ / CC BY 2.0
Egress Window Costs by Type
There are many types of egress windows available, but all of them can open large enough for an adult to climb through. The type you pick out will be one of the biggest egress window cost factors to consider. The following prices don’t include the cost of installation, and installation will add between $1,500 and $2,500 per window to the quoted prices.
This type of window will fall on the high end of the egress window cost spectrum, and this is part of the reason why it’s not as popular as other types. This window has a hinge on the top of it that allows you to tilt it outward when you open it. They resemble an awning to the outside, and this is where they get the name. These are also on the bigger end of the spectrum because they need more space to open.
The smallest casement egress windows will measure 20-inches by 27-inches. On the other hand, the smallest awning windows are 36-inches by 24-inches. This is why they don’t work well in basement installations, and you’d have to dig out an extra-large window to accommodate how the window swings out. Your egress window cost for this type ranges from $600 to $800 per window.
This is the most common type of egress window available. It falls into this category if the window comes with at least two hinges on the side that allows the window to swing open like a door would. These are popular because it allows them to fit in much smaller areas than other types. Your egress window cost will start at $200 and go up to $500.
Depending on your home’s structure, you might not have a choice but to install custom egress windows. They get manufactured and designed for your situation, so they’re great for any location. However, they are also the most expensive options available. Your egress window cost will start at $4,000 and go up to $6,500 per window, depending on your needs and wants.
With this window, both the bottom and top panels, or sashes, open independently. You can have both panels open at the same time to let the full window open. These windows have to be taller to meet window requirement minimums though. It’s not odd for your double-hung windows to be 26 to 60-inches wide by 24 to 60-inches high. Your egress window costs for this model will range between $250 and $500 per window.
These windows are better known as sliding egress windows, and you’ll open them just like you would a traditional sliding glass door. To qualify as an egress window, they have to be at least four-feet by four-feet for their measurements. Since this makes them larger, they’re great for family or living rooms. Your egress window costs for this style ranges from $150 to $700.
This is a distinct window from other types, as the name suggests. Instead of opening outward, they’ll swing inward. This makes them very popular for sub-floor areas like basements or cellars. One big advantage with this style is that you can have a smaller window installed because it doesn’t have to fit the well when it opens.
Window wells have to be a minimum of nine-square feet of clean surface with 36-inches of projection from your home’s foundation, according to the International Building Code. If you have a window that swings inward instead of outward, you can have a well that meets the minimum space requirements. Your egress window cost will range from $350 to $700 each.
This window has two panes of glass. The top half of the window should remain stationary while the bottom half moves up or down. They work well when you put them in larger living spaces or rooms. The size will vary depending on how large your existing window is. They must be 20 by 24-inches at a minimum to meet the requirements to be an egress window. This is usually one of the least expensive models, and your egress window costs will fall between $100 and $400 each.
Picking out the correct type of egress window for your area is critical to ensuring that the installation goes smoothly and you don’t go way over your budget. A contactor can advise you on the best window for your desired location. Measure the Hole for the Frame by AshleyHodge1 / CC BY 2.0
Price Points for Different Egress Window Sizes
Along with the type of egress window you choose to get, your egress window cost will also fluctuate by size. It has to be at least 20 by 24-inches to be considered a true egress window. The goal is to have a window that is big enough for an adult to get outside in the event of an emergency. The following outlines the egress window cost by size, and it doesn’t include installation:
- 20-inches by 24-inches: $300
- 30-inches by 36-inches: $450
- 36-inches by 24-inches: $500
- 36-inches by 36-inches: $550
- 36-inches by 48-inches: $600
- 48-inches by 46-inches: $700
- 60-inches by 46-inches – $830
It’s important to note that every state, country, or municipal government has various requirements for your egress window placement, there are some board standards from the International Residential Code that you want to use as guidelines:
- Minimum Window Height – 24-inches
- Minimum Window Width – 20-inches
- Maximum Height of the Sill From the Floor – 44-inches
- Minimum Clearing When Opened – 5.7-square feet
Additionally, you have to be able to open the windows from the inside without using a key or tool. You can add bars or grates around the window, but they should open easily without having to use tools or a key. As long as your windows meet these requirements, you should be okay.
Installation Cost for Egress Windows by Location
Once you pick out a type and size for your egress windows, you have to decide where you’d like your contractor to install them in your home. The biggest thing you’ll take into consideration is whether you want to have the window below or above your home’s foundation. If your contractor needs to dig into the foundation or dirt to install the window, your egress window costs will go up. The costs will be less if you want to install a new window above-ground or in the place of an existing window.
Attics are a very popular location for people to install a single-hung egress window because they’re one of the least expensive prefabricated windows you can get. This window in your attic gives you an evacuation route from fire, and it will also improve the airflow of the space if you leave it open in nice weather or all year-round. Your egress window cost will fall between $900 and $3,000 to have it installed. If you need a custom option, the price will go up.
It’s going to cost you more to install this type of window in your basement than it would if the area was above-ground. During the installation process, your contractor will have to dig a window well. If it’s a brand new window, they’ll have to cut into your home’s foundation to make way for it. You don’t want to attempt to do this project yourself because there is a lot riding on getting it right. To install a casement egress window here, your egress window cost will be between $2,500 and $5,000.
Just like any other above-ground installation projects, this is a relatively simple and straightforward project that can save you on labor costs. Awning, double-hung, or casement are all popular models to have installed into your bedroom. To have a prefabricated window installed, your egress window costs will start at $900 and go up to $3,000.
Unless you have a very small and cramped living room, it’s a popular choice to install a horizontal or sliding window. They are some of the biggest options you have available, and they provide a nice complement to larger rooms in the house. Most living or family rooms are above-ground too, so this will help to control your egress window costs. To install this type of window, you’ll pay between $900 and $1,500.
This style egress window is slowly starting to gain in popularity, but they’re not as common as the same types of windows in other locations. When the window acts like a skylight, you’ll get an awning window. These windows will open outwards on a top hinge. To have a prefabricated window installed as a skylight in your roof, your egress window cost will start at $900 and go up to $4,000.
The location where you want your new egress window will play a large role in how much your egress window costs, especially if you choose an above-ground installation over an in-ground installation. Egress Window by GreenLight Designs (Jordan Green) / CC BY-NC 2.0
Frame Costs for Egress Windows
You can get frames made out of fiberglass, vinyl, aluminum, or wood. Vinyl is a versatile plastic that you’ll find in thousands of everyday items. Fiberglass features heated glass that gets extruded in liquid form, and aluminum is a soft but durable metal. Fiberglass is slightly more durable because it can easily resist temperature and weather changes over the other frame materials.
If you want a fiberglass frame, your egress window costs will go up more. Fiberglass starts at $500 and goes up to $1,500. Aluminium is the least expensive frame material, and it ranges between $100 and $200. Wood and vinyl are close at $500 to $600.
- Aluminum Frame – $100 to $200
- Fiberglass Frame – $500 to $1,500
- Vinyl Frame – $500 to $600
- Wood Frame – $500 to $600
Below-Ground Versus Above-Ground Window Costs
You can install these types of windows in bedrooms or basements, and you usually see them installed in rooms you sleep in to give you a quick escape route in the event of an emergency. A below-ground installation requires digging into the ground and cutting through brick or concrete walls in your home’s foundation. You might have to dig around pipes and house lines like gas lines, so you have to consider which permits you’ll need from the utility companies.
If you have a basement installation, you’ll have to dig out a window well to keep moisture away from your home’s foundation. To install a window here, including excavating the well, your egress window costs will start at $2,000 and go up to $5,000. Installing them above-ground is much more straightforward. It costs above the same as installing any other window at $500 to $1,000.
The installation process is very complicated, and this is why your egress window costs can fluctuate so much. You should hire a professional company to do it for you, and it includes the following:
- Cutting a hole (if the window is going into a fully submerged basement)
- Installing the window
- Setting up the well while making it stay in code for drainage and ladder placement
- Cleaning up the interior (trimming the window, drywall, wrap, trim, casing, and insulation)
Your window well will be a semi-circular or square pit that surrounds any egress window that is below ground level. Wells are required because they allow you to open the window and climb out. You won’t need to hire a window specialist to create this well. A landscaper, experienced handyman, or a general contractor can handle it. The well lets sunlight come through to the sub-ground flooring while keeping moisture away from your home’s foundation. To dig or install a well, your egress window costs will go up by $500 to $5,000.
Because this window well is a necessary extra feature that can increase your costs, it’s important to remember that you’ll save money by installing these windows above-ground. Installations typically get billed by the hour, and you should expect to pay right around $40.00 for every hour your contractor works. This will vary by experience and how complicated the job is.
If you want to install your window above-ground, you’ll pay between $500 and $1,000 for labor. A subfloor installation takes longer, and this can bring your costs between $2,400 and $4,00 for labor alone. Where you want to install your window will influence your egress window cost. The initial installation process can require a drainage system, grading, and excavation to create a large enough space to get in and out of easily. Engineering, labor, and equipment can also increase your final costs in regards to labor.
Unless you have to cut a hole for a new window or you’re building an extension onto your house, your replacement costs for this window will be however much the window costs with labor costs required to remove the old one and put the new one in. You’ll pay around $40.00 per hour for labor, and most replacement projects will take an hour. To buy and get your replacement window installed, your egress window cost will vary from $200 to $1,500. Most companies will get rid of the old window for you if you choose not to keep it.
Since there are such strict guidelines about these windows, you will need to obtain a permit before you start this project. Most permits will cost around $150, and you’ll have 7 to 10 days for your application to process before you get it. The actual permit cost will depend on your product’s value. Also, installing one of these windows requires more planning, so you may need a more complex permit. You’ll need a permit from city utilities too. The good news is, if you work with a professional contactor, they usually take care of all of the permits for you and roll it into your final price estimate.
Additional Cost Considerations
There are improvements or enhancements you can make to your windows during the installation process that can boost your final egress window cost. However, since they’re optional, you can opt out of doing them if you’re running close to your maximum budget. They include:
Installing an egress ladder is popular in basement windows. Once you get out of the building through the window, you’ll use the ladder to climb up to the ground level out of the well. The ladder is typically a permanent fixture on the side of your water well. You can also purchase temporary ladders that you store away in sheds until you need them. When the company installs your well, they can also install the ladder, and it costs around $100.
If you want energy-saving windows, you’re going to pay on the high end of the spectrum for them, especially over a single-pane window. Energy-saving windows usually cost between 10% and 20% more than traditional windows, but the installation costs are right around the same amount.
A well cover is a thin sheet of material that will cover the basement window and the well. It’s very popular to help prevent accidents, and it also works to stop water, snow, and debris from building up around your window. Buying and installing one of these covers can range from $300 to $800 a well.
Well Escape System
Having an escape system on your well is very important for your overall safety. This system is usually an extension with attached ladders or steps that allow you to climb out. The installation costs for this system will vary depending on the particular project. It can increase your egress window costs by $1,500 to $1,800 per window.
Where to Find an Egress Window Installer Near You
If you want to add an egress window or two to your home but you want to get a local professional company to come in and install it for you, you have to know where to look. Using professional and experienced installers is the key to having a good experience and keeping your egress window costs low. You can start looking here:
Frequently Asked Questions
Asking questions when you get in touch with local companies can help them figure out your project’s scope, and this helps them put together an accurate estimate. You should call a few companies to ensure you get the best price without sacrificing quality. Putting in an egress window by Eli Sagor / CC BY-NC 2.0
1. Does an egress window add value to your home?
Yes. It may surprise you to know that adding an egress window that passes inspection can add up to $18,000 per room to your home’s value. This can help you justify your egress window costs, especially if you plan to sell your home in the future.
2. What is an egress basement?
A basement egress is a way to get out of your basement that doesn’t include using stairs to get to the other levels of your home. It traditionally involves an egress window, but it can also include a sliding basement door if the basement is installed into a slope or hill.
3. What maintenance is required for egress windows?
If you have a basement egress window, it’ll have to have a very tight seal with no gaps. You can add weather stripping for around $105 per window. It should still allow you to open and close the window, and it can help stop leaks.
4. How many egress windows do you need in your basement?
You have to have at least one egress window in every sleeping space in your basement. You could also choose to install one in every sub-floor living space to allow natural light in while making it safer overall.
Your egress window costs will fluctuate based on a host of factors. Luckily, you can get a rough estimate for each window you want to add, and this can help you scale your project to match your budget. Use this guide when you contact your local contractors and see how much the project would cost using your unique specifications to get the windows you need to improve your home’s safety and value.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.