How to Add an Egress Window to Your Finished Basement
Are you considering adding an egress window to your basement?
People are spending more time at home than ever these days. Having that extra space to stretch in a finished basement is key to making home a place you want to be.
A finished basement can give you another hang-out space, away from the main action. Plus, there are opportunities for a home gym, extra bedrooms, bathrooms, and offices.
If you have a large enough basement, you can almost double your house’s usable square footage by finishing your basement.
The top concern for making basements into living spaces is the moisture, leaking, and mold issues that sometimes come with finishing a room underground.
Once you have dealt with leaking or moisture build-up, it’s essential to provide anyone sleeping or living in the basement with a route of escape in the event of a fire.
What is an Egress Window?
Most basements aren’t built into a hill, allowing a walk-out or large windows. If you get any windows at all in a basement, they are most likely tiny and high up in the walls.
Egress means to “get out” or “escape.” An egress window is designed to be big enough to allow anyone trapped in the room to escape to the outside quickly.
Egress windows in basements are built by digging a window well from the house’s foundation and cutting a large window shape into the concrete foundation wall.
You can install a prefabricated, easy-to-open window into the spot, or buy a specialty window. Prefabricated windows are generally the cheaper option, usually starting around $2,000. However, you can spend up to $7,000 on a custom egress installation.
How Easy is it to DIY an Egress Window?
As with many aspects of home remodeling, it’s best left to professionals unless you have a lot of experience. The positive side of using a professional team is that you can usually have the job done in one day, start to finish. They come in with a mini excavator to dig the well, cut the hole, install the window, and backfill to finish the outside.
Here are some considerations before you try to install an egress window yourself:
- Cutting into your foundation is not as easy as it looks. It requires a specialty saw, which you can rent. However, it’s not easy to fix if you do it wrong. Plus, it’s your foundation, which is very important.
- Digging a large hole next to your foundation is tricky. First, you have to make sure you’re not going to hit any buried utility lines. Next, prepare for much, much more dirt than you would ever have expected. Additionally, if you don’t have a mini excavator, the job will take a long time.
- Buying and installing a window isn’t hard, but you will need to frame it and finish it.
- The window well will need to be finished to prevent erosion and to allow for drainage.
Bringing it Home
Adding an egress window to your finished basement will make it safer, more livable, up to code, and give you tons of natural light. It’s a no-brainer if you’re thinking of remodeling.
Is your home located in Southeast Michigan? Please call if you have any questions about this or anything else remodeling. We’re always here to help.