If you want to increase the flow of natural light in your basement while ensuring maximum safety value, then look no further than egress windows!
With egress basement windows, you don’t have to settle for a dark and gloomy basement anymore. These windows not only serve as a stylish addition to the house structure but also provide a means of emergency escape in case of fire or other dangerous situations. Let’s discuss this useful window design in some detail.
Table of Contents
- What Is An Egress Window?
- Is The Egress Window Different From The Basement Window?
- Glass Options for Egress Basement Windows
- Basement Egress Window Cost
- Egress Window Requirements
- Additional Requirements:
- Pros and Cons of Basement Egress Window
- Final Thoughts
What Is An Egress Window?
An egress window is basically designed for safety purposes. It is typically installed in the basements or lower ground living space to provide a safe means of exit in case of an emergency.
Egress glass windows are typically larger than standard basement windows. They are installed close to the ground in order to allow easy access to the outside. Egress outlets often have a window well outside the window to provide a clear exit path. The building codes of many areas require the installation of egress glass windows as a safety mechanism. However, they also offer aesthetic benefits, so more and more homeowners are getting interested in investing in these windows.
Is The Egress Window Different From The Basement Window?
The basement windows are generally confused with the egress outlets. But the egress glass window is different from a typical basement window in many ways. A basement window can only be called an egress window if it meets certain conditions.
The egress glass windows are actually larger than standard basement windows. An egress basement window has a minimum opening width of 20 inches, a height of 24 inches, and a clear opening of 5.7 square feet. They are also operable from the inside. These windows are typically located close to the ground to provide a clear path to the outside in case of an emergency.
If your basement window meets these requirements, then it can be referred to as an egress window. However, if it is just an ordinary window, then you won’t be at the liberty to call it an egress. We can say that an egress glass window is a type of basement window but it differs in dimensions, installation, and purpose.
Glass Options for Egress Basement Windows
Different glass styles can be used in egress basement windows. Every glass type offers different sets of benefits. The type of glass you choose for your egress outlet depends on your individual requirements and preferences. The most popular options for egress are as follows.
This glass type is achieved by heating the annealed glass to a high temperature and then rapidly cooling it. This process makes the glass several times stronger than regular glass. It is also known as a safety glass as it breaks into small harmless pieces instead of sharp shards in case of breakage. A tempered glass panel is a good choice for an egress basement window because it can endure hard impacts without getting damaged.
It consists of two or more layers of glass with a clear plastic interlayer between them. On impact, the plastic interlayer holds the glass panels in place, eliminating the risk of total damage. Laminated safety glass is perfect for use in regions with extreme weather conditions.
The insulated glass is made of two or more panes of glass that are separated by an air or gas-filled space. It provides superior thermal insulation and energy efficiency. Insulated glass also offers to soundproof.
Whether you need tempered, laminated, or insulated glass, make sure to get high-quality glass. Glass Genius is the ultimate platform for you to buy premium quality glass and mirror products. Be it single-paned glass or triple-glazed, you can find any type of glass panel at Glass Genius. The matchless quality and freedom of customization make it a one-stop glass shop to meet all your requirements.
Basement Egress Window Cost
The cost of installing a basement egress window varies widely depending on different factors. The size of the window, the type of glass, and the complexity of the installation contribute to determining the cost of basement glass windows. On average, you can expect to pay between $2500 and $5000 if you want to install a standard egress glass window from scratch. The complexity of installation and level of customization highly impacts the final cost.
However, installing a basement egress window is a valuable investment if you are looking to improve the safety and functionality of your basement.
Egress Window Requirements
The egress window for the basement is a unique design feature. They differ from standard house windows in many aspects. It is important to know the main requirements of egress glass windows. It is also recommended to consult with a professional contractor to ensure that the egress meets all the necessary requirements. Here are the basic requirements for a basement egress window.
The egress window size holds significant importance in rendering it effective. The window opening should at least be 24 inches high and 20 inches wide with a minimum opening space of 5.7 square feet to qualify as an egress basement window. Additionally, the window opening must be located within 44 inches of the open floor.
Egress windows can be installed in different locations according to the project requirements. However, they are preferably installed in basement bedrooms and living spaces to maximize the flow of light and provide a quick escape point in case of an emergency. It can also use in home offices and gyms to optimize ventilation and light flow.
The outlet must have a clear opening of at least 24 inches in height and 20 inches in width. It must also be easily operable from the inside without keys or any special tools.
Along with these basic requirements, there are some additional requirements for egress basement windows as well.
A window well is required if the window is installed below grade. The well must be at least 36 inches wide to allow a decent open space along the window.
If the window well is deeper than 44 inches, a ladder or staircase must be installed to allow easy exit. The ladder or steps must be at least 12 inches wide to meet the building safety codes.
Window Well Cover
A window well cover is not a necessity per se. But it is recommended to use the well cover to keep the debris and water from accumulating in the window well. The window well cover must be removable from the inside without any special tools for convenience.
Pros and Cons of Basement Egress Window
Like any other design element, basement egress windows have some pros and cons. It is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages to make the right decision. Here is a glimpse into the major pros and cons of installing an egress basement window.
Flow of Natural Light
Egress basement windows are a great way to ensure light flow in the basement. They allow natural light to enter the basement, making it well-lit and comfortable.
The best thing about egress outlets is that they serve as a safe exit in case of an emergency. It offers enough space for the occupants to escape from the basement quickly and easily.
These windows improve ventilation in the basement and prevent moisture accumulation issues. Thus reducing the risk of mold growth.
Increased Home Value
Adding basement egress outlets increases the practical value of your home. They are desirable features to elevate the overall functionality and safety of the house.
Installing an egress window in the basement is quite an expensive venture. If you are installing the outlet from scratch, you need to cut the foundation and install a well, well cover, window, and ladder. The cost can vary depending on the size, location, complexity, and type of glass.
If you want to keep them in good condition and prevent debris and dust from blocking the windows, you need to clean the windows regularly.
If the egress outlets are not properly installed or maintained, they can be prone to water infiltration. The water leakage would eventually cause damage to the basement interior and allow mold or mildew growth.
Installing an egress basement window is not only a smart investment but also an important safety feature that can save lives in case of an emergency. It also lets you enjoy a well-lit and well-ventilated basement. Egress basement windows also add practical value to the house. So if you are considering a basement renovation, make sure to take into account the importance of adding a basement egress window. It’s definitely a decision that you will cherish for a long time.