If you live in a home with a basement and there is not much natural light down there, you may want to consider the benefits of adding 1 or more windows. You should consider all of the facts – weigh them out and make an educated decision based on your particular situation. There is no right or wrong answers to the question. However, with some due diligence and fact-finding, you may learn that you can enjoy the benefits that are created by adding an egress window to your home.


In the world of home flippers and real estate agents, there is always talk about the rate of return for remodeling projects.

  • If you spend $100,000 to remodel your kitchen, what will that do to the value of your home?
  • If you spend $50,000 to finish your basement, will you be able to sell your home for $50,000 more in the future?

Most remodeling projects do not give you a 100% rate of return on your money. In some cases, it can be more than 100%. According to many real estate agents and home renovators, in most cases, you can recoup a large % of the costs to adding natural light to your basement. In many cases, it is at the top of the list of things you can do to your home from a financial point of view to add value to your home.

Adding a basement egress window is the key to bringing your living space up to code and you can include this space in the overall calculation of your home’s square footage. Some experts say that you can easily recover the costs when you eventually sell your home.


According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 4,000 Americans die each year in home fires. Adding egress windows can increase your chances of escape. It also adds an additional access to your home to firefighters in case of an emergency.


Most people like natural light in their home. It is much more likely that you and anyone who spends time in your home will enjoy the time they spend in the basement if there is natural light coming into this space. Additionally, it will give you the opportunity to provide fresh air to the space on those days that you would normally open a window.


According to most building code authorities, if your basement has a bedroom, sleeping room, or spare bedroom, it must have an egress window. Also, you must have an egress window for any room that are common use areas, such as a game room, TV room, bar area, or office. Spaces that don’t need an emergency egress are utility areas, bathrooms, laundry rooms, storage, etc.

Egress means emergency escape. Codes can vary, but generally you will need a window that is at least 5.7 square feet in size, with a 24″ wide opening and a 20″ tall opening as the minimum. The bottom of the window must be no more than 44″ off of the floor. The well that is used to hold back the dirt must have a minimum of 36″ projection away from the window. If the well is over 44″ tall, then you will need to add a ladder. These are just some general rules that apply to most cities but they can alter these. You should check with your city building codes or ask a professional.

Here are a list of things that can affect costs for a professional egress window installation.

Access to the area you want to add the window
Can machinery get to the location? Is there landscaping, trees, or shrubs that will effect the work load? Sprinkler system?

Depth of the dirt that is needed to be removed
Do you have an 8′ or 9′ tall basement? Is the dirt all the way to the top of the foundation wall, or is it down a few feet? The deeper the dig, the more you will pay and vice versa.

Dirt demoval
If you can use the dirt somewhere on your property, you will pay less because the dirt won’t have to be hauled away and pay for the disposal.

Type of window & well
There are different types of windows and wells, like anything. Casement windows will cost a little more than a standard slider window. You will pay less for a metal egress well, in comparison to an upgraded Rockwell, Bilco Scapewell, landscaping stones or even a poured concrete wall.

Drain & drain tile
By adding an egress window, you are now creating a place for water to pool. It is recommended to put a drain at the bottom of your newly added well.

Where will this drain terminate to?
If your home has a drain tile system, then the answer is easy. All you have to do is tie the drain into this which should be located just a few feet below the well. If you don’t have a drain tile system, then the drain will have to be taken to a sump pit in your basement, or to a point of daylight in your yard. But, you will need to consider this and it will factor into the cost for you.


Would you like to get a basement egress window installed in your home? Contact us to get a quote today!