If you are thinking about making your basement into living space, you should also be thinking about egress window installation. An egress window is simply a window big enough to serve as an exit in case of emergency. All bedrooms must have egress windows, so if you are planning a bedroom in the basement, an egress window is a must. Even if you’re thinking about a playroom, family room, or other space, egress window installation may be a wise choice. In this post we will explore how much value an egress window adds to a home, as well as the requirements and process for egress window installation.

Added Value: Safety

In case of fire or other emergency, there is a way out from the basement. Just as significant, there is a way in for firefighters, paramedics or other emergency personnel. Having an egress window in your basement allows you to relax and really enjoy that space. You don’t have to worry when your children are playing there, when your teens have friends over, or when there are people sleeping there. You’ll know that with an egress window, their safety has been provided for.

Added Value: Re-sale Price

Even if you choose not to have basement bedrooms, having an egress window means that you can count those rooms as additional bedrooms. The difference between the price of a 2-bedroom family house and a 4-bedroom one is significant. In the Milwaukee area, the median price of a 2-bedroom home is $210,000; for a 4-bedroom one it is $330,00. So for the initial outlay needed for egress window installation, you could expect to add over $100,000 to your asking price.

Added Value: Light, Ventilation

Because of the requirements, egress windows bring in a lot of natural light and extra airflow to your basement. With the extra light and ventilation, your basement becomes a truly desirable space.

Requirements

Since an egress window needs to function as an emergency exit there are some strict legal requirements. The Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code regulates egress window installation. It designates window size, placement, and exterior areaway. The minimum opening above grade is 5.7ft2, and 5ft2 below grade. When open, there must be a width of 20” and height of 24”. Outside the house, the area around the egress window needs to have a minimum width and projection of 36” so that a person can easily occupy the space. You have to be able to get to the surface easily, too; the maximum depth allowed is 46” and if it is over that, a permanent ladder or step must be part of the window well. You need to be able to open an egress window from the inside without any key, tool, special knowledge, or excessive force. Likewise, any outside barriers like bars, grills, covers, and screens must be easily removable. Those are the legal requirements for the State of Wisconsin; some localities have additional regulations. The experts at Accurate Basement will make sure that your egress window installation complies with all relevant statutes.

Installation

Installation of an egress window in your basement is not a DIY job. The professionals at Accurate Basement will assess your needs and recommend the appropriate windows (type and energy efficiency rating varies), consult with you about the design of your window well, and get the job done right. Because it’s a basement, it’s important to ensure proper drainage and waterproofing. Egress window installation will require excavation around the prospective window site, then cutting through the concrete foundation wall, framing and fitting the window. Finally, proper drainage solutions for the areaway will be done, and the window well installed.

Accurate Basement professionals know how to keep your basement water tight, and have years of experience with egress window installation.