How Much Does an Egress Window Cost?
The average cost to install an egress window on a home falls between $1,000 and $5,000 per window in the U.S. The type of egress window you are installing will impact the overall price. For example, casement egress windows tend to cost on the lower end. Keep in mind that labor costs an additional $38 per hour on average for most window types.
Egress window installation costs will grow substantially if you need to have the exterior side of the egress window exit excavated, or if it already exists your replacement window should be cheaper. The average cost to replace or install windows will always vary by local factors.
What is an Egress Window?
Egress windows by definition are any window that is designed for escape, they are very easy to access and climb out of in case of an emergency. These window types must be large enough to get out of a home, and they have to be easy to open and close when necessary. Some window types that can be used as an egress window include casement windows, double-hung windows, skylight windows, and a few other window types as long as they follow the IRC law requirements described below. Egress windows are often installed in basements as a safety precaution in case of fire and you must have one in all bedrooms as well.
Where are Egress Windows Required?
What Size Qualifies as an Egress Window?
An egress window will need to meet a specific window size requirement to abide by International Residential Code laws. Here is a break down of what qualifies as an egress window in terms of size by the IRC code for your home:
A standard egress window size should have a minimum opening of 20 inches in width and 24 inches in height. It should allow for a person to easily exit in case of emergency. The minimum window opening size should be 5 sq. ft if on the ground floor, or 5 ft 7 in. square feet for any other floor.
Egress Basement Window Installation
Egress windows are not typically required in a basement unless that basement is being used on a regular basis. For instance, if you put a bedroom in the basement then it would require egress windows to be installed. However, many homeowners choose to install an egress window in their basement regardless of regulations for increased safety for their entire home.
For a basement window installation, the type of window isn’t the only consideration that has to be made. A new egress window won’t do you any good if it is blocked by shrubbery or dirt on the outside. That is why a specific window-well must be installed as well. The well has to offer enough space for the window to operate fully, and it must come with an egress ladder or egress stairs to climb out if it is more than 44 inches deep.
Egress Casement Windows
If you are looking to install small egress windows, you will want to install a casement window that is the correct size for an egress window by IRC standards as described above. The benefit of casement windows is that they create one single opening that you can climb out of whereas double or single hung windows you are not cutting the space in half. This makes better use of your window opening and will allow you to get a viable egress window out of a smaller frame, casement windows can sometimes be a more affordable option for egress window installation.
Skylight Egress Windows
While most people do not think of skylight windows as a good egress escape window, they can be used as such when the proper size options are chosen. The skylight window installation must be placed within 44 inches of the floor, which means it will probably only work in certain peaked rooms of a home. A skylight window that swings open to the side like a casement window would be perfect for egress window codes and in some rooms would look quite stylish. Most egress windows are not intended to improve the appearance of your home, but they are designed to boost your overall safety. However, skylight egress windows combine the best of both worlds.
Replacing Egress Windows in Old Homes
Even though egress windows are currently required by fire code in the United States, they are not always installed in older homes. Egress window requirements were once less stringent when some of older homes were built. For instance, egress window regulations for a second story used to require 5 square feet of space when opened and today they require 5.7 square feet. The fire codes now take into account a rescue ladder as well as a fireman in full protective gear.
To verify that your windows are large enough, it is important to walk around your home and measure each of them to see if they are at least 24 inches tall and 20 inches wide and that they have a full opening of at least 5 square feet on the ground floor and 5.7 square feet on higher stories of the house.
Only certain window brands offer egress windows, so you will want to talk to your local window installer about which window brand is the best for this type of window installation.