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Question DetailsAsked on 9/22/2013

Is there a less expensive alternative to an egress window?

I need to replace a basement window that is broken and I'd like to bring my 1994 house up to code. this window is in a basement bedroom so I'd like the least expensive way to make it an egress. I just bought the house and the expenses have been much greater than I anticipated.

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the idea behind egress is fire safety, if some one lives in the basement ,there is supposed to be a way out in case of fire. going back up the stairs may not be possible so the basement needs a door or window wide enough for a person to easily exit.

Answered 5 years ago by the new window man

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Sorry to hear about your surprises - that can be frustrating when you buy a new house, and Realtor's just don't warn people to keep a 2-3% of sale price cash reserve in figuring their down payment needs to handle this sort of issue when you move into a used home.

For any residentially occupied basement area or bedroom, you need either an egress window or outside door. If you have a current window that is broken, you are looking at about $50-75 to repair it, probably - so that could be applied to a new window cost instead if you wanted.

Depending on your house construction at the window location (wood or concrete or cinder block/brick), full basement or daylight, installing an egress window can cost from about $200-250 (to swap out your existing window for an egress-rated one, if current opening is large enough), about $300-400 if opening has to be enlarged in wood framed section, about $400-700 if brick/cinder block (lower end) or concrete (higher end) needs to be cut out, to about $1000-1200 if concrete cutout and an egress rated window well is required because it is below ground level.

Be sure to check your local building department website (most have online info sheets on egress windows) regarding required window size and maximum sill level allowed.

Note - new pending federal regulation that might affect this, if enacted - will state that if downstairs bedroom/bath is handicapped accessible, then a handicapped accessible door also has to be provided to the outside, including accessible ramp to ground surface.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD




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