Basement Egress Windows Cost & Prices for Installation

How much does an egress window cost? Basement egress window cost averages $3,300 for a basement egress window on an existing home – a retrofit. This includes excavation, cutting the window opening and installing the window and well.

When the window is installed during construction or it is a replacement egress window, the average cost is about $950 for the window and the well.

The national average for installed egress window cost is $2,350 to $4,100 for a basement egress window that includes excavation, the rough opening, window and window well. When the window is above grade, cost ranges from $750 to $1,500 because excavation and a window well are not needed. Prices are obviously dependant on where in the country you live, the type of window you choose (casement, sliding, double/single-hung) and the material you choose. The cost factors, features and options are discussed below.

Window Prices for Other Brands, Types and Materials

Egress Window Cost Factors, Features & Options

New Construction vs Retrofit Cost Details

If you’re building a home or addition, the builder can frame a basement egress window opening during construction. This is true whether the foundation wall is wood (above grade) or concrete (above or below grade). This will greatly reduce price. Your cost will be just the installation of a window large enough to meet egress window size requirements. It won’t include excavating and cutting in a rough opening, the two largest costs of the job.

You can estimate your job based on the services you need. Assuming that you need all of the services then the average cost to install egress window is $2,100 plus $200 – $1,000+ for the egress window, these costs are broken down below:

  • Excavating for a window and window well: $300 – $500
  • Cutting a rough opening in concrete: $350 – $600 based on opening size
  • Cutting a rough opening in wood framing: $150 – $250 based on opening size
  • Egress Window: $200 – $1,000+ based on size, material, style and other factors discussed below
  • Window well: $100 – $3,000 based on material and whether it is prefabricated or custom-built

The most affordable window wells are galvanized steel. They are made in sections 18” to 24” tall, and you’ll need two to five depending on the depth of the well.

A hand-built brick well and enclosure is the costliest. There are many style and type variations in between.

About Egress Windows

Egress windows are installed for either the bedroom or the basement as emergency escape exits in case of a fire in the home. They are required by law to be added, and, in return, they provide homeowners with safety precautions and an increased home value.

Consider the following Cost Factors for your budgeting process:

  1.     Above ground vs. below ground installation
  2.     Window proportions
  3.     Window type (casement, sliding, or single/double-hung)
  4.     Window frame material (vinyl, aluminum, wood, etc.)

These Factors are explained below.

Above Ground Installation

Above ground egress window installation is used when enough of the foundation is above ground to allow for an egress window. In other words, the building contractor will not need to dig a hole for the installation process.

They serve as an emergency escape route for the bedroom. Since these windows are located above ground level, omitting the need for excavating and egress window wells, the average cost for installation will naturally be lower. A homeowner can have an above ground egress window installed for any price between $500 and $1,000. Note that this price does not include the wall interior finish.

 Below Ground Installation

Below ground egress window installation is an emergency escape route for the basement. The process is more intensive than for an above ground window, as it involves digging a hole in the ground and cutting through concrete, which is part of the house foundation. It also involves cutting a hole in the house wall for the egress window itself and setting up the egress window well.

Hiring a building contractor for the excavation and cutting can cost $1,500 to $2,500. The entire installation process, including the window installation, the window frame material, and the window well, can be as high as $5,000 to $8,000 for custom-built wells.

The price of the grate will vary depending on the size needed and the material it is comprised of, but it can be purchased for $70 to $200 at the nearest Home Depot. The grate prevents accidents, such as people falling in. The clear plastic covers are designed to lay on top of the grate to prevent damage, which can come from rodents, as well as snow, water, and debris build-up. These covers have an average cost of $300 to $800 depending on the material they are comprised of.

Egress Window Sizes

According to the International Residential Code (IRC), egress windows for the bedroom must have:

  • A minimum height of 24 inches
  • A minimum width of 20 inches
  • A windowsill that reaches a maximum of 44 inches (app. 4 feet) from the floor inside the house
  • And the window must be given a minimum opening space of 5.7 sq. ft.

Given that the measurements are not fixed, the homeowner is able to choose from a variety of window sizes as long as the opening is at least 5.7 square feet. Depending on where the egress window will be located (bedroom or basement), as well as the type of window preferred (see “Window Type” below for more), the cost will vary.

For instance, sliding windows with 5.7 square feet of opening are wider than casement windows that meet the opening area criteria, because only one-half of a sliding window opens. This means that the homeowner will be paying more for the sliding window.

Egress Window Type

Below are the types of windows that can be used:

  • Casement windows: These windows require less wall space than other types of egress windows, and they are the most ideal for basements. Depending on preference, they may crack outward or, most commonly, pull inward. The average cost for installing this type of window ranges from $650 to $1,820 depending on the frame material.
  • Horizontal sliding windows (or gliding window): These windows are most suitable for living areas and bedrooms—in other words, larger rooms. This is because sliding egress windows are larger in size and therefore require more wall space for installation. The cost for these windows ranges from $450 to $1,300, which would include the installation fee.
  • Single-hung and double-hung windows: The single-hung window, which is most commonly used, consists of a fixed top window sash and a moveable bottom window sash (which also has a screen). It allows for ventilation and has a hinged opening frame similar to a casement window. Single-hung windows are typically 10% to 20% less expensive than double-hung windows. Double-hung windows consist of a top and bottom window sash that both move, yet neither have screens. Both types of windows are best for large living spaces and bedrooms and can range from $150 to $1,000.

Egress Window Frame Material Options

Vinyl, a plastic, is more economical in comparison to other frame materials. Some advantages and disadvantages to be aware of:

  • Advantages: As already mentioned, vinyl is the least expensive material in comparison to other options. It also sufficiently keeps the outside cold from entering the house while maintaining the heat inside the house. Vinyl will not catch fire like wood, and it is easy to install. It is not subject to rot like wood, which is especially important for installation below grade.
  • Disadvantages: The appearance of a vinyl window frame is not as aesthetically appealing as a frame made from other materials. It also cannot be painted. Vinyl will melt in high temperatures, and it may not be as long-lasting as other materials, such as aluminum or steel.

An aluminum frame:

  • Advantages: Unlike plastic, aluminum is quite durable. It can also be powder coated (for preservation) in various colors. It is environmentally friendly, and it will not burn in a fire.
  • Disadvantages: Because it is metal, an aluminum frame may not sufficiently keep heat from escaping or penetrating the home.

Fiberglass is plastic that is strengthened with glass fibers.

  • Advantages: Fiberglass is made to be durable. It is not as strong as metal, but it is a smart plastic alternative. It requires low maintenance to keep it preserved and looking good, and it is an effective insulator.
  • Disadvantages: Fiberglass lacks a variety of colors to choose from.

A wood frame:

  • Advantages: A wood frame provides a traditional aesthetic to the window and can be used in just about any interior setting. Wood can be painted over, providing the option of custom decorating. It is long-lasting and is an effective insulator.
  • Disadvantages: Wood requires a lot of maintenance. Without the proper care, it can rot or splinter. It is more expensive than most materials, and it can be harder to install. Wood is also quite susceptible to fire.

A steel frame:

  • Advantages: Steel is fire rated in several states and requires very minimal maintenance to stay preserved.
  • Disadvantages: It does not allow for many decorative options or colors. And if the coating or paint is not maintained, it will rust, especially below grade.

Basement Egresss Window Cost by Window Type

Below are the approximate average costs for the optional frame materials of each window type (casement, sliding, and single and double-hung). Take note that not every one of the materials mentioned above will be optional for the window type you may prefer. Pricing below will also vary with window size.

Prices are for the window only. Costs do not include excavation and concrete cutting, which are discussed near the top of the page. If the egress window is planned during the building phase, then those costs will not be incurred. The window opening will be planned for when the foundation wall forms are placed, if concrete, or the walls are framed, if stick built.

The following pricing table provides an overview of casement egress windows.

Casement Egress Window Cost & Prices
Window Material Unit Price (Supply Only)
Vinyl $650
Wood $540

The next table provides an overview fo sliding egress basement windows.

Sliding Egress Window Cost & Prices
Window Material Unit Price (Supply Only)
Vinyl $150-$300
Aluminum $300-$600
Fiberglass $300-$600
Wood $450-$600
Steel $600-$800

The final table provides an overview for single and double-hung egress basement windows, for vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass and wood windows.

Single/Double-Hung Egress Window Cost & Prices
Window Material Unit Price (Supply Only)
Vinyl $580
Aluminum $720
Fiberglass $1,000
Wood $1,200

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