Cost to add egress windows?

15 Replies

Looking at rental to purchase but needs egress windows to make basement bedrooms conforming.  Can anyone give me best guess at cost of adding egress windows.  Any advice appreciated but specifically looking at property in Denver market.  Thanks.

Ive done it for about $4500 in the DC area...that included digging, installation of the egress window well and kit, taking out the old window, cutting hole for new window and installing new window.

Depends upon the wall material to be modified -- block, stick frame, brick ....

We'd be cutting directly into the concrete walls.

I have done them for $2,500 thru block walls start to finish. But cutting thru poured concrete will

Cost quite a bit more .

I believe you are around $3500 in the Denver metro. Prices have definitely gone up. 

I believe you are around $3500 in the Denver metro. Prices have definitely gone up. 

I've seen them as high as $5k here in town. Shop around. 

Thanks all, that gives me good starting point for estimates. Any suggestions on companies to perform work?

I highly recommend calling Alejandro from A to Z Basements. His number is 7204048380. They were running $3200 to $4500 per window depending on size and cutting through concrete. I had them install 2 last year and he was fast, efficient, and the windows look amazing. 

Is this a project that an investor could undertake DIY style? I haven't done this yet, but if I could get the cost of this down to $1,000 with my own labor, I can open up some opportunities that wouldn't otherwise exist. Or, do I need some sort of permit to go about this type of work?

@Scott Trench I assume it's for one of your places in Metro Denver. You need a permit to sneeze in Denver so yes it takes a permit. If you live in the unit you are doing the work on, you can get a home owners permit after you take a test. If you are working on a unit you don't live in, then you need a contractor's license. When I did one a few years ago, the City required the contractor to have an engineer or architect to sign off on the approach. Those that do it every day, have an engineer or architect in their pocket who does it real cheap. 

There are a number of approaches to the work that impacts the cost. If you take the lowest bid they rent a demo saw and diamond blade from rentals r us and cut away. Since the blades are not thick enough they cut half way in from the outside and then switch and cut the rest from the inside. Sometimes the cuts match up good and you get a reasonable hole. Another approach is a larger special saw and blade that will cut all the way through from one side. Results are better but the lines are not always as straight and true. The most costly way is to mount a special track with a saw to the wall and then cut the hole. These are straight and true in most cases. The whole process is messy because the saws use water to keep the blade cool. Make sure you discuss cleanup and don't forget to make sure they haul off the giant slab of concrete that comes out of the hole. It can easily weigh over 500 lbs.

The next item that differentiates a cheap job is the material used to frame out the window well. Cheapest is treated lumber (6x6), then metal window wells and then stacked retaining wall block. 

Finally you need a window to go in the hole. There are lots of options depending on the size. The smallest/narrowest is a casement style the opens outward into the well. The window is the largest material cost. The rest is fairly cheap unless you go with the stacked retaining wall block option. Most of the project is labor so if you DIY you can probably get the window and the engineer for less than $1,000. 

The final item that costs is finish trim on the inside. Most companies want to cut the hole and install the window with trim on the exterior and leave the rest up to you. Make sure you understand who is doing what if you hire it out. 

Hope that helps.

@Scott Trench I do think you could get the costs down by doing some labor - the process is labor intensive - digging the hole alongside the house and removing the concrete are the biggest items, everything else is relatively easy - with exception to cutting the hole - that is pretty important to be accurate! I've added egress in long term holds without a permit - but with a very trusted contractor.

Egress windows used to only be $1,500-$2,500 so it was a no brainier - but like everything else the price went up!

Really appreciate the feedback and advice here @Travis Sperr and @Bill S.  - Bill, I've already voted for your posts several times today, and we cap the amount of times one person can vote for another in one day! 

I don't need to do this on a current property, no. But, if I can get the cost down to $1,000-$2,000 by doing the work myself, then I imagine that I can make some properties much more profitable that other investors would pass over.

@Scott Trench if you get to that point of needing someone, let me know. As they say in "the business", "I know a guy." He was very reasonably priced a year ago or so. At the time he was doing one a day.

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