How Much Value Does an Egress Window Add?
If you don’t already have a basement egress window, do you need one? Is it really worth the investment? How much value does an egress window add?
While egress window installation is included with most new construction (per building codes in many localities), many homes still lack a basement emergency exit.
If you’re in that category, we have several good reasons why you should invest in a basement egress window system.
Top 5 reasons to invest in egress windows
1. They help modernize basements
For standard lot basements of a certain age, the hopper window is the default window “style.” These narrow windows are hinged at the bottom, with the sash tilting inward when open. Generally speaking, they provide prime views of the driveway and/or dirt outside from a tippy-toe perspective.
If you don’t spend a lot of time in your basement, hopper windows are functional enough. However, their aesthetic contributions are neutral at best. Today’s egress window systems come in a surprising variety of styles and options, including those that can make a stunning difference.
Window well manufacturers such as RockWell and Boman Kemp even offer options that emulate the look of natural stone. Imagine looking through a spacious Astro egress window or European-style tilt and turn window into a landscaped mini-courtyard of sorts — from your basement! That’s one huge appeal of modern egress window systems.
2. They help brighten basements
Beyond making your basement look better, egress windows can make your basement feel a whole lot better too. With part of the foundation wall cut away, the larger windows installed at the bottom of egress window wells invite much more air and light into the basement than you may be accustomed to.
For most, especially those who work from home in a basement office, it’s a welcome change. Sunlight is enormously beneficial to our mood and mental health, and can drastically enhance our ability to be more optimistic and productive.
3. They add livable space
Usually costing a fraction of a comparably-sized addition, finished basements have become the go-to for adding livable space to our homes — whether we’re working, playing, entertaining, relaxing, or sleeping.
So next time you ask yourself “how much value does an egress window add?” think about it in terms of the value a finished basement adds as a livable space, and how the egress window benefits we mentioned in the previous section enhance that livability.
If you’re a metrics person, here are some numbers — according to the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), homeowners recouped about 86 percent of basement finishing costs on the resale market. The national average in 2022 for such projects was $18,398, per Angi and HomeAdvisor.
4. It’s the law
Most states, including Egress Solutions’ home state of New Jersey, require egress windows in finished basement by law. Most localities use the International Residential Code as a template for their building codes, which states that a basement egress window spanning at least 5.7 square feet must be installed:
- In any bedroom or sleeping area
– OR –
- In any recreational room, home office, or theater if they do NOT adjoin the bedroom
Rooms from the latter category adjoining a bedroom can use the bedroom’s egress window. If multiple rooms from the latter category adjoin one another, only one needs an egress window.
5. They could save a life
The most important reason to invest in an egress window system is that it could save a life. Egress window wells provide a means of emergency escape from your basement, should a fire or other unfortunate circumstance trap you there.
Furthermore, if someone you love suffers a medical emergency in the basement, your egress window well allows emergency personnel direct access from the outside, helping save precious minutes that could mean the difference between life and death.
How much does an egress window cost?
Materials play a huge role in the price you’ll pay for egress windows, but do not forget to factor in labor as well. Our egress window well systems start at around $2,500. According to HomeAdvisor, the average installation cost of an egress window system was $3,904 in 2022. That means altogether, you can expect to pay about $6,500 for a newly installed, fully functioning egress window. Excavation and foundation work may be involved in retrofits, increasing the final expense.
Egress Windows from Egress Solutions
Egress windows may not be the flashiest way to spend your tax return, but they can add a ton of value, especially when you consider that it legitimizes that downstairs bedroom in the eyes of realtors — that alone could add about $20,000 to the list value of your home.
Egress Solutions’ selection of top-of-the-line egress window kits make this investment more affordable than you might think. Drop us a line and we’ll drop you a ladder (and anything and everything else you need!)