An egress window is usually an outer, thick window on the upper story of a multi-story (structure) home or in a basement. A lot of older homes have an egress window, because that’s where the garage door and the main door meet. An egress window needs to be sealed tightly against the outside atmosphere for safety and noise insulation purposes. Most older homes do not have air conditioning or heating, and they do not have a built-in fire extinguisher, so there are many reasons an egress window might need to be replaced. If your home has no working smoke detectors or fire extinguishers, or if your home has a large family that gathers around during potlucks or barbeques, then this could be the perfect time to replace your old egress windows.
Finding the right company to replace your old windows can be daunting, but don’t let it put you off. There are some things you can do to make sure you find the best professionals. Many companies install egress windows and other related equipment themselves, and they may not have the expertise or training to replace your windows safely. A good place to start is by checking your local building codes.
In some states, the state requires egress windows be installed by a professional. If you live in a homeowner’s association, or are a member of a home and building maintenance association, you may also be required to install one, regardless of whether you purchased the house as an individual or as part of a complex. If you’re unsure whether your state has specific requirements, then check with your local building codes enforcement office. The most common types of egress windows are solid or frame, sash, sliding, herringbone, casement, sliding pocket, casement, bypass and French windows.
If your original house wasn’t framed or attached to another structure, you’re in luck. You’ll only need to contact a contracting and remodeling company to have them inspect your basement windows and egress openings for defects. If they don’t find anything, you can do the work yourself. Start by removing the existing sash (if it’s a casement) and opening up the space behind the opening to determine whether or not the wood is rotten. Once you’ve ascertained that the wood is fine, it’s just a matter of putting in a frame and installing new windows.
If you have a larger, older home with many more problems, like warped wood, then the chances are you’re going to pay a bit more for your egress window replacement cost. Sometimes the cost is an issue because materials like wood have to be replaced every few years anyway. The average time frame to replace a sliding sash is three to five years. Sashes in casements are sometimes only replaced every two years or even less. Check out your contractor’s website for their recommended window replacement cost.
For older homes with little external ventilation, the egress opening is often located directly under a bedroom or other usable living space. It can be a problem when the wood framing surrounding the opening is rot and the vines are growing through the floor or ceiling. You should plan to install a skylight above the opening to ensure that you escape safely during a power outage.
With any of these issues, the best advice you can get is to talk to a contractor who specializes in this type of basement window installation. They know the ins and outs of the job and can recommend the best products on the market for your specific needs. There are many different types of windows on the market to choose from including skylights, bay windows, casement windows and egress window wells. The most important thing to consider is the size of the opening so you know exactly what type of unit it will accommodate before making a purchase. Many retailers have online catalogs that will allow you to view the different styles available on the market as well as the measurements of each product to help make your decision.
These are not “per walk-in” products, meaning they are not something you can install by yourself. If you are unable to install the skylight or bay windows by yourself, your local contractor should be able to help you out with this part of the project. Most require a minimum of 1 foot of clearance on each side of the opening and a clearance of at least four feet between the bottom of the egress opening and the house frame. Contact your local contractors for more information.