A quality egress window will last the life of your home and reduce noise, air infiltration, and draft by allowing the natural passage through your home’s main entrance to the garage or other outbuildings. Unfortunately, not all windows provide the sound insulation and energy efficiency necessary for insulation and air control. Energy Star ratings are available for these windows but not all dealers will sell them. Before you choose a window, it is important to check with the manufacturer whether or not the window supplies are compatible with your home and whether or not they can provide installation services and warranties.
Egress Window Installation An egress window, also known as an exit port, is a cavity in the frame of a home that allows natural light and air flow to leave the living space. Typically, these windows are placed on the east and west side of the door and opened by sliding vertically up toward the top of the door or through a small gap at the top of the door. An egress window may be single hung, double hung, or a triple-hung unit. Typically, the cost of installing an above-grade prefabrication egress window in your new home can range from approximately $2,500 to more than five-thousand dollars. Most homeowners pay approximately $3,000 for a single-hung, single-piece egress window.
Installing Egress Windows Properly When you are doing basement egress windows installation, it is imperative that you follow installation procedures exactly as they are instructed. If the steps are not followed, the windows could fail as well as trap moisture and debris inside the house. You will need to purchase windows that are the correct size and have adequate glazing to keep winter temperatures from causing the unit to operate improperly. Double hung or sliding glass panels are usually required for above-grade installation.
Installing an Above Ground Or Perimeter Oven If you are doing an above-ground egress window installation, then you should place the opening in an area where you can ventilate the area. This will help keep the area free of moisture and draft. Before you cut into the drywall, make sure you have a vapor barrier between the opening and the wall. If you are doing a perimeter wall egress window installation, then you should install the opening in such a way that it is completely sealed. There are several methods of sealing the opening including screw-ons, adhesives, foam, moldings, and mortar.
Installing an In Ground Or Perimeter Oven One of the most difficult aspects of basement egress windows is the placement of the opening. Most often, you will find that the installation is easier if the opening is placed on a wall. However, if this is not possible, the contractor can usually install a section of the wall for the opening to slide into. Once the contractor has located the opening, he will cut it according to the specifications of your house. The installation of a sliding egress window is somewhat more difficult than installing an in ground oven, as the contractor must cut all the way through the drywall.
Basement Contractor Advice: Most modern basements require a certain amount of air flow for good heating and air conditioning. The contractor will be able to provide you with information about the building codes required for your particular installation. He can also tell you what permits you will need to obtain and make sure that you follow the local building codes. The contractor may even be able to suggest other options to improve the ventilation in the basement.
Installing Basement Egress Windows: The installation of this type of window is just like any other, and begins with the preparation of the foundation. The contractor will usually call the foundation contractor to help him determine the proper depth. Once the foundation is in good shape, the contractor will be able to determine what type of window will work best with the foundation. Most basement windows are installed flush against the foundation, but some will have to be cut a certain distance above the foundation. The contractor will discuss the details with you and help you determine what style and design will work best within your budget and home design.
Finishing Touches: If the window wells are not positioned properly or there is a crack in the window frame, the installation could fail. Therefore, it is important to choose a qualified contractor for the job. Ask friends and family members for referrals, and check with your local Better Business Bureau. Most companies have a record of satisfied customers, who may be able to give you some tips for finding a qualified installer. Once you are happy with the quality of installation and service, you can start enjoying your new addition.