How Much Do Basement Egress Windows Cost?

Common Range: $2,000 – $5,500 per Window

National Average: $3,750 Per Egress Window

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Get Basement Egress Window Cost Quotes
Updated: January 6, 2023, by: Steve Hansen

Basement Egress Window Installation Cost Range

The typical cost to install a basement egress window is between $2,000 – $4,500, including installation. This includes the cost of the window unit, window well, and professional excavation and installation of the egress window.

Average Installation Cost

Most basement egress windows will cost an average of $3,200 to hire a pro to complete the project. This includes an initial visit to your home to review your needs and assess the area or areas where the egress windows will be installed. After a price quote is given, the contractor will excavate the areas outside the foundation, cut into your foundation or walls, install the basement egress windows per specifications, as well as cleaning up and disposal of any debris after the project is completed. If required, they’ll also pull permits and have the property inspected.

Average Do It Yourself Cost
$650 – $2,500 per Window
Average Contractor Installed Cost
$3,750 Installed
Typical Installation Cost Range
$2,000 – $5,500 per Window

egress safety window installed in a basement foundation

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Overview of Egress Window Installation

What are basement egress windows and why should you install them?

Primarily, these windows are a safety feature. In a finished basement where there are living spaces, egress windows serve as a secondary escape route in case of an emergency. They are required by code when the basement has a bedroom. Also note that basements with the lowest edge of a window higher than 44″, FHA will not consider the room the a bedroom regardless.

HomeLight says that adding egress windows to the basement and having it count as a bedroom, adds an average of $8,000 – $10,000 to the selling price of your home.

Basement egress windows are also a great source of natural light in an area that is usually the darkest place in the house.

This basement egress window guide is focused on windows that are partially or fully below grade and require a window well. If your basement windows are above ground level and don’t require a window well, then your window options are the same as in any other part of the home – Double-hung windows or casement windows for example, and the cost to install new windows will be the same as in any other area of the house.

Basement Egress Window Size Requirements

Basement egress windows are first and foremost installed for the safety of those in the house. Because they need to be big enough for an average-size adult to fit through, basement egress windows have certain dimensional requirements.

Here are the required dimensions for a basement egress window from the International Residential Code (IRC):

  • Width – at least 20 inches of opening width
  • Height – at least 24 inches of opening height
  • Windowsill – a sill that is no higher than 44 inches from the inside floor
  • Total Opening Space – a basement egress window must have a total opening space of at least 5.7 square feet

Safety Tip: The 44 inch max. height requirement is quite high and might be difficult for some adults and kids to manage. Keep a step-stool near the window for use in an emergency.

If you live in an old or historic home with basement egress windows, it’s possible that the window openings are smaller than the current size requirements. Make sure to measure the size of your basement egress windows to stay up-to-date with safety regulations!

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Basement Egress Window Cost Factors

How much can you expect to pay for a fully installed egress window? Here are some factors that will play a big role in the final cost of your project.

  • Above Ground vs. Below Ground – As previously mentioned, installing a basement window that is above ground level will be significantly cheaper than one that is below ground. A below ground window requires excavation and a window well, which are two of the most expensive parts of a basement egress window.
  • Number of Windows – When two or more are added, cost per window drops maybe 20% since the crew and their equipment is already on site.
  • Replacement vs. New Installation – If you are replacing a basement egress window, project cost will include just the window unit plus installation. If you’re installing a new basement egress window, you will need to budget for excavation, cutting an opening, installing a window well, and the cost for the window unit itself.
  • Size – Bigger window, more cost! This is a minor factor because there isn’t a wide range of sizes – all must meet code requirements, but most are not much bigger than they have to be.
  • Window Style – Most egress windows are side-to-side sliding windows. If you choose something like a casement window, cost can be higher.
  • Window Well Material – You have a lot of options when it comes to window wells. The materials range from galvanized steel as the most affordable option, to hand-laid brick as the most expensive option.
  • Add a Ladder – We recommend that you choose a window well with built-in steps or ladder or that you add one as an accessory. Getting out of the window well might be just as important as getting out of the house in an emergency.
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Retail Egress Window and Installation Supplies Costs

An online search at the Home Depot and similar sellers yields these average cost ranges.

  • $500 – $1,200 | Vinyl Egress Windows
  • $40 – $300 | Steel Window Well (based on height of the well)
  • $25 – $40 | Plastic Window Well Cover
  • $75 – $200 | Hammer Drill and Masonry Bit
  • $3 – $6 | Masonry Screws

Improvenet lists the starting cost of an egress window at about $200. It’s possible to find them at that price, but because an egress window must be secure and weather-tight, given its location, we would avoid anything that cheap. On the other hand, Home Advisor suggests a top cost of about $700, but a quick look at Home Depot’s selection shows that the cost of egress windows can easily top that for anything with a little style.

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Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time

Permits and Inspection Cost

  • $120 – $200 | You need a building permit in order to begin installing a new basement egress window when the foundation is altered. Because there are particular safety requirements that must be met, your project needs to be approved beforehand.

If you are replacing a pre-existing egress window, you probably don’t need a permit. We wouldn’t bother, frankly. If you’re hiring a contractor, the installer will know local codes and requirements.

Labor Costs and Installation Time

1-3 Days | Installation time depends on the extent of your project. An average basement egress window installation that includes excavation, well installation, and window installation, will take 1-3 days for a professional to complete.

  • 1 Day | Excavation and Concrete Cutting
  • Up to 1 Day | Window and Well Installation
  • A few hours | Backfilling Around the Well

If the schedule flows smoothly, 2 days is likely the maximum needed. When several subcontractors are hired, then scheduling conflicts might cause delays of a day or two. If you are just replacing an egress window, the project can probably be completed in about a day.

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Are You a Pro Egress Window Installer?

If so, head over to our Costimates Pro’s page, and help us make this page better and more accurate for both our visitors and your future customers.

DIY or Hire a Pro?

Now that you have an idea how much your basement egress window project will cost, it’s time to decide how you want to handle the installation. Are you going to tackle this one yourself, or hire a professional installer? As a labor-intensive home improvement project, there are savings to be enjoyed by doing it yourself – especially if the job includes opening a new hole for the window. The site How Much pegs labor at around $1,000, and that’s fair. Equipment rental costs might push total labor-related costs higher than that.

The most important factor to consider is if you are simply replacing a basement egress window, or building a new window. These are very different home improvement projects!

Replacement: A window replacement can be a great DIY project, because it saves you money on the installation, and you get to learn a helpful skill.

New: On the other hand, if you are installing a basement egress window where there wasn’t one before, hiring a pro is the only sane choice. A new DIY egress window installation would require renting a small excavator or hand-digging the well, renting a concrete cutter or buying a handheld concrete saw ($275) – and then cutting a “perfect” sized rough opening. From there, the window installation would be relatively easy. Then, the well needs to be secured to the foundation, requiring the use of a hammer drill and mortar bit to create pilot holes. If you DIY a new egress window installation, you’ll earn every penny you save.

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Compare Costs from Leading Resources

  • Modernize: $1,000 - $5,000, Per Egress Window Installed
  • HomeAdvisor: $2,575 - $5,450, Typical Cost Range, Installed
  • Fixr: $2,500 - $5,000, National Average Installed Cost
  • BibVila: $3,904, National Average Cost Per Egress Window
  • ANGI: $2,500 - $5,300, Per Window

Reviewed and Edited by Steve Hansen of Costimates

steve hansen of costimates-sm Steve Hansen is the Lead Editor of Costimates. (Learn more) An avid home improvement professional with more than 35 years experience in both DIY projects and working as a construction foreman in residential new home building, upfits, repairs and remodeling.

"Like most homeowners, I became frustrated with the lack of quality information available on specific home improvement repairs and renovations. In 2015, Costimates was formed to help homeowners learn as much as possible about various projects and their costs so they could make better financial decisions."