Cost to Add Egress Window to a Finished Basement

Lawrence Bonk
Written by Lawrence Bonk
Reviewed by Robert Tschudi
Updated March 2, 2022
basement window with wire bars sits behind stone square egress with decorative stone details above window
Photo: Dobrydnev / Adobe Stock

The cost to install egress windows in a finished basement ranges from $2,500 to $5,300, with an average of $3,900

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The average egress window cost includes $100 to $700 per window for materials, $100 to $250 per window for installation, $50 to $300 for a permit, and $1,500 to $3,000 per window for excavating land for window wells. In many areas, adding an egress window will allow you to declare an additional legal bedroom in your basement, boosting your home’s value. It will also provide a secondary exit in an emergency and offer some extra natural light to make your basement a cozy destination.

“Before we ever cut into a load-bearing wall, we always bring in a structural engineer to evaluate and produce a report on how the opening will affect the overall structure,” says Bob Tschudi, Expert Review Board Member and Raleigh, N.C.-based general contractor.

How Much Do Egress Windows Cost By Type?

There are many different designs to choose from when hiring a professional egress window installer to install a below-ground egress window. Here is how much it will cost to buy different types of egress windows.

  • Single-Hung Windows: This is the most common and cheapest window type. Single-hung windows open vertically and will cost anywhere from $100–$400 per window.

  • Double-Hung Windows: These windows open from the top and bottom and are great for letting some air in, making them a good choice for hotter climates. Double-hung windows will cost $250–$500 per window.

  • Horizontal or Sliding Windows: These windows slide open to the left or the right—perfect for those with narrow window wells. Horizontal or sliding windows cost $150–$700 per window.

  • Casement Windows: This window type opens via a hand crank, giving them a unique aesthetic and offering homeowners an easy way to control airflow. Casement windows cost $200–$500 per window.

  • In-Swing Windows: These windows open inward, so they are an excellent choice for older basements with small window openings. In-swing windows cost $350–$700 per window.

Egress Window Cost Breakdown

You may get a return on investment of up to a 70% of the cost to remodel your basement, and putting in some egress windows can be a necessary step to complete the project. If you want to install a full suite of egress windows in your finished basement, you can expect to pay an average of $3,750 to $3,900. This national average considers many factors, including window type. You can lower the price by sticking with single-hung windows instead of opting for a more fanciful design.

“Before you order a specific size window, check your building code,” says Tschudi. “Many municipalities require that egress windows have a minimum opening height, a minimum opening area, and even a maximum height of the window sill from the finished floor”.

Here’s a breakdown of how you can expect to spend your money when installing a set of egress windows to your finished basement:

Windows

A primary cost factor will be the windows and frames themselves. Egress windows also come in a variety of designs, each of them with its own price range. Pre-fabricated designs will cost $100 to $500 per unit. Single-hung prefab windows are the most economical option. Custom designs will cost $500 to $700 per window, depending on the size and type.

Window Extras

Modern windows can come with many fun and functional add-ons. If you are looking for double-paned windows, expect to pay $200 to $500 per window. Single-paned windows will cost $100 to $400, while triple-paned windows will cost $300 to $800. Other features, such as a low-E coating, could add up to 10 percent to your overall total. Depending on your location, you may also need to add the cost to weather-strip your new windows for $130 to $400 each.

Removing and Resizing

If you already have windows, or if there are no pre-existing window holes, you may need to hire a contractor to do some of that work. Contractors will charge around $700 to cut a window opening into a wall. They will also charge about  $200 per unit to remove pre-existing windows. If you are looking to resize a current window opening, expect to pay $150 to $200 per opening. 

Digging Wells

Most basements will require a below-ground installation when it comes to egress windows. To do this, a contractor will have to build a window well. These wells are essentially a big hole in the ground directly in front of the window, which your pro will likely line with metal upon completion. A professional land excavator will charge $50 to $200 per cubic yard to excavate your window well. Typically, a window well necessitates 1 to 1.5 cubic yards. You may also need a window well cover to prevent the build-up of soil moisture and keep creepy-crawlies out, which will cost around $600, according to HomeAdvisor.

Residential Code Requirements

Whenever you are dealing with a below-ground basement, you will encounter residential code requirements. You should count on having to pay for a building permit, which will cost $50 to $300. The law may require additional services to get up to code. The cost to hire a land surveyor will be around $500. A structural engineer will cost $500 and an electrician will set you back $350. Every plot of land is different, so you may not need to bring in all of these experts. 

a basement window covered by wire mesh, surrounded by stone egress and topped with decorative brick
Photo: Viktor / Adobe Stock

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Egress Window Near You?

The cost of purchasing and installing an egress window will vary depending on where you live, so it’s essential to speak with a local contractor to get an accurate quote. Installing an egress window on a finished basement will be slightly more expensive in areas close to the water level than in hilly locations that can easily be excavated. Population, material availability, and other factors can also impact the overall cost. Here are some price estimates for several locations throughout the U.S.

  • Los Angeles, CA: The average cost will be $6,590 with the low-end being $4,930 and the high-end being $9,440.

  • Seattle, WA: The average cost will be $3,790, with the low-end being $1,770 and the high-end coming in at $5,490.

  • Minneapolis, MN: The average cost will be $2,320, with the low-end being $1,240 and the high end being $3,870.

  • Manhattan, NY: The average cost will be $4,720, with the low-end being $1,000 and the high-end coming in at $10,000.

  • Chicago, IL: The average cost will be $2,650, with the low-end being $1,000 and the high end being $4,800.

  • Denver, CO: The average cost will be $4,270, with the low-end being $1,400 and the high-end coming in at $8,180.

FAQs About Egress Window Installation 

How do I find a good contractor to install an egress window professionally? 

Egress windows can be a significant investment for homeowners, particularly if a window well or another type of excavation needs to be handled before the installation. Protect your home’s foundation and the integrity of your finished basement by choosing a reputable and reliable contractor. Perform some research ahead of time to ensure your pro is insured and licensed. 

What questions should I ask when hiring a pro to install egress windows?

To make sure the excavation and installation process is free from headaches, consider asking your pro the following questions:

  • Do you have insurance and sufficient experience to do the work? Digging into foundations to build a window well is not without risk, so ask your pro if they have done this specific type of work before and are sufficiently insured. 

  • What was the price of similar jobs in the past? You should ask this to get a feel for the average cost range. Quotes can change depending on circumstances, so having this data can be helpful. 

  • How long will this project take to complete? Timelines can shift, particularly when dealing with building permits, weather, and other unforeseen circumstances. You should have this information for peace of mind. 

  • Will I need to hire additional professionals for excavation? You may need to hire a professional excavator, land surveyor, structural engineer, or building code enforcement specialist if you plan on digging window wells for your egress windows.

  • Do you have any references from previous clients? A competent pro should not hesitate to hand out these references so you can give them a call and ask about the overall experience.

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