Given their location, basements often lack natural light, have poor ventilation and can be colder compared to the rest of the house. Having a strategically located egress window in your basement will not just bring natural light into your basement but also help maintain indoor temperature, be aesthetically pleasing, and will provide important emergency exits. Based on the National Building Code of Canada and your city’s building code guidelines you can choose a specific type of egress window for installation. Here are the 4 most popular types of egress windows to choose from for your basement.
1. Awning Egress Windows
Awning egress windows come with a hinge at the top and a lock sash at the bottom. They open outwards but if you want, you can get a custom inward opening egress window. Many older homes in Calgary have awning windows installed as they were homeowner favourites for decades.
Pros: Provide larger space for emergency exit, provides better ventilation, energy-efficient.
Cons: Limited opening space, require clean opening space, outward window panes can be difficult to clean.
2. Casement Egress Window
A casement window is attached to a wooden or metal window frame by 2 or 3 hinges on one side. It can be opened inward or outward based on your design choice and the space available. For a basement, a 28 to 36-inch casement window with a handle is a popular choice of many Calgarians. You will need to get a stronger swinging sash with locks to add better functionality to the window.
Pros: Easy to clean, functional, secure with multi-lock function, the vertical opening allows easy ventilation.
Cons: Not ideal for window air conditioning, more affected by wear & tear, can be difficult to open if not operated regularly.
3. Hung Window
There are two types of hung windows: single-hung and double-hung. A single hung window slides open vertically upwards from the bottom pane of the window. In a single hung window, only the lower sash of the window can be moved. Alternatively, with a double-hung window, both lower and upper sashes of windows can be moved. Double-hung windows are more expensive and require more space compared to single-hung windows. They require a swinging sash to open and close the window panes.
Pros: Provides large space for emergency exit, cheaper compared to other egress windows.
Cons: Can be difficult to clean, not ideal for horizontally designed basements, heavy.
4. Sliding Egress Windows
Pros: Easy to customize, do not require hinges or swinging sash, a great source to get natural light in the basement.
Cons: Window frames can accumulate dirt and be difficult to clean, requiring more space for installation.
How Much Do Egress Windows Cost?
Every project is different and the costs will vary depending on which style of windows you choose. Here are the average, minimum and maximum costs for egress windows across major cities in Canada. To find out how much your project will cost, get started with a quote from a local pro.
*costs based on 166 real homeowner reviews as of November, 2021
You can purchase egress windows in a local store or online. You can also hire a local carpenter to custom build an egress window for your basement. As per the National Building Code of Canada, basements have to have an egress window that’s not too high and easy to open. Hire a local egress window specialist to successfully install an egress window in your basement.