Basement windows can serve a cosmetic purpose like to spruce up the space or bring more light into the room, or they can serve the functional purpose of acting as an escape in case of emergency
Additionally, replacing old basement windows can improve insulation for your home and bring energy bills down as well as block out noises from the outside.
To help determine if it is time to start taking a closer look at your windows, here is a complete guide to answer all of your basement window replacement questions.
COST OF BASEMENT WINDOW REPLACEMENT
There are a lot of costs to consider when replacing basement windows through a basement window contractor such as the cost of the window itself, other materials needed to do the job, and labor costs for the team of professionals doing the work.
The average cost of window replacement is between $500 – $7,000. For more cost information, see our page on the Average Cost of Basement Window Replacement.
If professionals are installing an egress window and a window well where there currently is not one, the price can reach up to $8,000. The costs for a DIY approach will come from materials, renting the appropriate tools, and the proper disposal of removed materials.
If you are simply replacing basement windows, the cost can remain below $1,000 barring any complexities or extras including structural issues, frame alterations, or the selection of very expensive windows. You also need to decide between a single pane window or upgrading to a double pane window. You can learn about the costs of a double pane window here.
Hiring a contractor who knows how to replace a basement window is recommended over a DIY effort in most cases because professionals can work efficiently and effectively, which can save you from future problems and added costs.
HOW TO TELL IF IT IS TIME TO REPLACE BASEMENT WINDOWS
It is difficult to open and close them
You feel a draft coming from your closed window
There is condensation forming between the glass panes
Your energy bills are higher than normal
You notice the wood around the window is rotting
WHAT IS AN EGRESS WINDOW?
An egress window is intended to provide emergency escape from a home and they are specifically required in each room that serves as a bedroom. The window needs to be large enough to safely fit a body through it.
When it comes to egress windows in a basement, they also need to have a dug out space around the window to provide easy escape for someone fleeing danger or access for safety professionals to enter through it.
EGRESS CODES FOR BASEMENT WINDOWS
It is important to adhere to egress codes when it comes to installing or replacing basement windows.
Here are some of the requirements for egress windows:
HOW TO INSTALL BASEMENT WINDOWS
A basement window can brighten up a basement space. Below is a simplified step-by-step guide for how to install basement windows in a concrete block wall for those DIYers out there or those interested in the process that their basement window contractor will be going through.
If your basement walls are made of poured concrete, we urge you to consider calling in basement window professionals for the job.
First, here are some things to consider before starting this project when it comes to window replacement:
Determine where the best place is to position your window and with tape, mark the outline of the window shape that you will be cutting out of the wall.
You may need to build a temporary support wall to prevent issues when cutting a hole into a load bearing wall.
Cover the surrounding area and belongings with a tarp, because this process will create a lot of dust.
Drill a pilot hole in the center bottom of your cutting area with a hammer drill. Then drill a hole at each corner.
Use a concrete saw to begin cutting through the concrete block from the inside. Cut about 3.5 inches wider and 1.75 inches higher than your opening requires to allow room for framing and adjustments. Make sure the saw is plugged into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet and wear proper safety gear!
Move outside and begin cutting the same area from that side.
Remove and dispose of the extra concrete that was cut out. Be careful not to remove any blocks outside of the window area.