Pros and Cons of Egress Windows
Thursday, April 1st, 2021 by Dan Thrasher
The Pros and Confidence of Adding an Egress Window to Your Basement
It turns out there is a lot of positives that come from adding egress to an existing basement, including safety, natural light and ROI from your investment.
There aren't a lot of negatives to adding an egress window to your basement. It's vital to your family's safety to have a way of getting out in the event of an emergency. It increases the value of your home by adding to the overall square footage. And it brings natural light and ventilation into your basement area. And, if you contract with a trusted expert to perform the work, all of the negatives are mitigated.
Here is a list of the Pros that should cause you to consider adding egress to your home.
Safety – There's no way to put a price on the safety of your family. The number of people who die in fires continues to rise each year. As we begin to utilize more of our homes to increase their livability, we spend more time in the lower areas of our homes. The question we all need to ask ourselves, "Could my family get out in the case of emergency?" An egress window in your basement drastically increases your chances of survival in the event of a major house fire.
Comfort – Adjectives that always come to mind to portray basements include "dark and dingy." What if you could describe your basement as "light and airy." With an egress window that consists of a nearly six-foot opening, you can imagine the additional light and fresh air that will be available to the lower level.
Design — If you still think of egress window wells as those ugly corrugated tin cans, then you haven't seen the latest in materials. Thrasher uses RockWell Window Wells. They are a one-piece, rigid construction that will not collapse from backfill or allow water to leak through the well walls. They're UV stable, rust and rot proof, and stand up to extreme temperatures. RockWell has duplicated the look of natural stone, so you don't have to look out of your new basement windows at a plastic-looking well. The steps allow for an easy exit if needed.
Return on Investment – How often do you think of ROI when making an improvement or repair to your home? Egress is an excellent investment in the safety and comfort of your home and gets you a handsome return if you ever chose to sell your home. According to Popular Mechanics magazine, "with an extra "legal" bedroom [in the basement], you could recover 10 to 20 times your window installation cost when you eventually sell your home."
Confidence – Comes from choosing a contractor who has years of experience installing egress window solutions in homes like yours. They know and handle the permitting process, are experts in foundation repair and waterproofing so that they won't create new problems in your home, and it all comes with warranties to help you sleep at night.
Building Codes - The term egress refers to leaving or a way out, but an egress window also provides a way in for emergency responders. That's why the code requires specific minimums for the window and the well to accommodate the equipment that a responding firefighter might wear. Most building codes require a 5.7 square foot opening and a window that is no more than 44″ off the floor. Window wells deeper than 44 in. need to be equipped with a permanently affixed ladder or steps usable when the window is in a fully open position. Keep in mind that codes vary between communities, so be sure that your contractor knows your town's specific requirements. To install egress windows, you'll need a building permit from the city or county where you live. The Thrasher team performs this service as part of the installation.
Professional Installation - To complete an egress project, as much as four cubic yards of dirt may need to be dug up and hauled off. The equivalent of an entire dump trailer full of dirt. Then a hole in the foundation must be cut utilizing a specialty concrete saw. After that, the window must be framed in and an egress well placed around the window. Ideally, the contractor should accomplish this in a day to prevent an opening into your home overnight or multiple days. While you may have started out thinking this may be a simple DIY project, you can easily see that this project is best left to the professionals.
Warranty - Thrasher Foundation Repair offers a 10-year product warranty for our basement egress window installations, along with a 5-year workmanship guarantee to ensure your peace of mind. As basement and foundation experts, we know how to cut into foundation walls and complete fast, accurate egress window installations that prevent water issues down the line.
Considering the peace of mind an egress window provides, it's safe to say that installing one of these windows is money well-spent for any homeowner. When it comes to egress window installation, trust the home foundation experts with more than 45 years of experience and industry-leading warranties. With an all-natural look and a durable, covered design, our egress windows will maximize natural light in your basement while creating a beautiful addition to the space.
We are the local experts for all your egress window solutions in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. Contact us for a free, no-obligation inspection today! By the time we're done, you'll know the solution that will work for your home and exactly how much it will cost.
To schedule your free inspection, call or fill out the contact form here.
Don't wait until it's too late.