Garden Windows Cost of Installations & Buying Guide (2023)
By Faith Wakefield /
In this guide on buying replacement egress windows, we’ll cover:
Replacing an egress window in your home is possible as a DIY home improvement project, but it’s usually a better idea to leave the work to a professional. Thankfully, the total cost for a professional replacement hovers only around $500. Most homeowners get cost estimates between $300 and $800 per window.
In this guide to buying replacement egress windows, we’ll discuss what exactly an egress window is, the cost to replace one and the cost factors that can affect your total.
Egress windows are windows that are installed in a sub-grade area, like an underground or partially underground basement. The window is installed in a window well so that the sash can open outward and allow an individual to exit out of it in the case of an emergency, like a fire.
Some egress windows are set up with an in-swing to minimize the size of the well. This can help minimize the egress window installation cost.
Technically, most windows are points of egress in your home, but the term “egress window” specifically refers to a window in a basement that serves as a point of egress. Egress windows aren’t found in any above grade — above ground — rooms. However, they are often a requirement for a finished basement to be considered a living area.
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Egress windows provide quite a few benefits that make them an appealing addition to basements. We’ll discuss the most compelling upsides in the sections below.
The most compelling benefit to an egress window — and the reason they’re typically installed — is that they make basements safe living spaces by providing a point of exit for emergencies. Basements can be considered legitimate living areas in most cases once they have egress windows installed. They’re sometimes only required in the basement bedrooms.
Since egress windows can effectively turn basements into living space, they often add quite a bit of value to your home. The addition of this window style makes what might be an otherwise unwelcoming space into a usable and highly sought-after area.
One benefit to having egress windows in your home already is that they cost less to replace than most windows. Replacing an egress window typically costs less than the initial installation. A large portion of the installation process is excavation and installing the window well, and replacement thereafter just involves removal of the old window and installation of the new one.
A pretty significant downside to many basements is that they lack ventilation and airflow. Hopper windows are common in basements, but they provide little access to fresh air. Basement egress windows open fully, like casement windows, so they can give you optimal ventilation and can create a cross breeze.
Another major downside to most basements is that they lack natural light and can often look dim and gloomy. Since egress windows are large enough for humans to fit through, they provide plenty of sunlight in your under-home area to brighten it up and make it feel more welcoming.
The typical cost to install an egress window is around $3,000, or anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. However, this includes excavation and the installation of a egress window well. The cost to replace an egress window is much lower: only around $500. Most property owners pay between $300 and $800 to replace a single egress window.
As is the case with all other window styles, the material costs can vary quite a lot depending on the specific window you want installed. Below, we’ll discuss the various material cost factors that can push your total below or above the national average.
Material prices will usually account for the majority of your cost estimate, but labor costs will also undoubtedly play a role in your total. Below, we’ll discuss some of the more crucial things to consider in terms of the labor charges and how each affects your pricing.
As we mentioned above, the two most common types of windows used for egress windows are casement and sliding windows. Both of these provide ample room for egress. We’ll include a quick pricing estimate for your window project based on the styles in the table below.
|Style of Egress Window||Typical Cost to Replace (Per Window)|
|Horizontal Sliding Window||$600|
According to the International Residential Code (IRC), egress windows need to be at least 5.7 square feet. However, you can certainly install larger windows for easier access, more ventilation and more sunlight. We’ll include some common egress window sizes in the table below, along with typical pricing.
|Size of Egress Window||Typical Cost to Replace (Per Window)|
|28” x 48”||$400|
|30” x 40”||$400|
|30” x 48”||$450|
|36” x 48”||$500|
|36” x 60”||$600|
|48” x 48”||$600|
|60” x 35”||$700|
|60” x 48”||$800|
You have two options for purchasing egress windows: buy from a manufacturer — like Andersen or Milgard — or buy from a retailer or home improvement store, like Costco, Home Depot or Lowes.
If you choose the former, you’ll usually get higher-quality windows, better warranty coverage and more customization options, including size and color. However, the cost is often higher, and you might have to wait a while for construction and delivery. Still, we recommend exploring this route before deciding either way.
If you choose the latter, you’ll have instant access to your new windows, and you’ll have a wide range of choices as far as brands go. You can also opt to do a DIY window installation to save some money. However, overall quality tends to be lower, and the installation services — if they’re included — often don’t have as appealing of a warranty.
While some companies don’t specifically manufacture egress windows, most offer casement and sliding windows that can be used as replacement egress windows. The brand you choose will play a role in the price you pay for your window, the durability, quality and warranty. We’ll include some average pricing for popular window brands below.
|Window Brand||Average Installation Cost (Per Window)|
Unlike installing egress windows, replacing them is relatively affordable. Still, most property owners will want to keep costs down as much as possible when replacing windows in their homes. There are a handful of things you can do to reduce your total expenditure.
First, you can choose materials and options that balance upfront affordability and energy efficiency. This will help keep present costs down but also increase energy savings over time. Some well-balanced options include:
Another great way to save some money on your egress window installation is to time the project properly. If you’re not in a rush to swap out your existing windows, consider waiting until the fall or winter. The demand for replacement is lowest then, which leads to slightly lower labor charges.
Similarly, you can wait for holidays, as some window manufacturers will offer deals on new windows to drum up business.
Finally, you can choose to replace more than one or all of the windows in your home. You will, of course, pay more than just replacing one, but many installers will give a per-window discount because they save travel time and will likely prioritize larger jobs overall.
With all of the cost factors for material and labor charges above, calculating what your budget needs to be to replace an egress window can seem like a real challenge. There is an easy calculation you can use to estimate your cost of replacement, though. We’ll provide this calculation, as well as a sample with estimated numbers below.
(Frame cost + glass cost + labor costs + glass coatings + window accessories) = total egress window replacement project cost
(OPTIONAL: Egress Window Replacement Cost * 0.95 * # of windows in your home [to estimate the cost per window if you replace all windows in your home at once]
If you choose an installer like Milgard, which costs above average, avoid glazing options and opt for standard vinyl frames and double-pane glass, your numbers will look similar to the below example:
The initial installation process for an egress window is quite involved and expensive. It involves:
From start to finish, this process can easily take a month or longer, while the work itself can typically be done in about a week. Most of the delay will come from the permitting process.
If instead, you just need to replace an existing egress window, the process is much shorter and should take around an hour. Your window installer will just need to remove the old window like any other style, install the new one and seal around the window opening. If the size of the window opening needs to be changed, you’re probably looking at a one- to two-day affair.
Yes, absolutely! Firstly, replacing any windows in your home can increase the value of your home because savvy buyers will know that the home’s energy efficiency has increased — which saves them money on electric bills — and that they won’t have to replace the windows themselves shortly after closing.
Installing egress windows can be especially beneficial because they allow your basement to be considered and used as living space. If you have a single-floor home, installing egress windows according to building code could double your living space, boosting home value.
Finally, even if your basement isn’t considered living space after egress window installation, large windows in the basement bring in lots of sunlight and ventilation in an area that typically has very little. This can make your basement more inviting, which can make your home more valuable overall.
Egress windows can be very safe, although it depends on the type of window you install in your basement.
Generally speaking, a sliding egress window is more secure than a casement egress window. Casement windows rely on hardware to keep them secure, and this can rust and weaken over time.
With that being said, egress windows add safety for the occupants of the home, as they provide an emergency exit in case of a fire or other issues. As such, egress windows are usually beneficial from a safety standpoint.
In many cases, yes, egress windows are worth the high cost of installation. They make your below-ground area more comfortable and inviting, and they can add a ton of living space to your home.
Most importantly, they make your basement a safe place to be by providing an emergency escape route. If you frequent your basement or plan to have someone live down there, egress windows are not only worthwhile but are essential.