Egress windows are specially designed windows that are designed to offer an escape route in the event of an emergency, or to allow emergency personnel an entrance to your home. For this reason, egress windows tend to be much larger than most windows, and at least one is required to be in each bedroom. Egress windows provide a unique set of benefits and drawbacks to your home. Understanding what egress windows have to offer can help you decide whether or not you should add more egress windows to your home.
Advantages of Egress Windows
- Safety: Adding additional egress windows to your home greatly increases the safety of you and your family. Every additional egress window is another potential escape route or entry point for first responders in the event of an actual emergency, and in the case of a fire or similar event, can save lives.
- Light: Since egress windows have to be large, in order to provide an opening that a person can fit through, they also let in a lot of light, which can be a huge aesthetic benefit in poorly lit rooms. According to ci.lakeville.mn.us, egress windows have to be at least 5 square feet on the ground floor, and 5.7 square feet in the basement, which will let in more than enough light to brighten even the darkest room in your home. However, you should check your local code to see if there is any variation in your area of residence.
- Home Value: The safety that egress windows add to your home, bolstered by the increase amount of light that they allow into your home, can increase your home's resale value. This can help offset the cost of having egress windows installed in the first place.
Disadvantages of Egress Windows
- Moisture: Especially relevant when they are installed in the basement, the large size of egress windows means that they provide a greater area that moisture can seep into your home, increasing the chance of water damage occurring and mold and mildew growth developing, which can be a serious health hazard if left unchecked.
- Installation: Unfortunately, though their large size does provide a number of benefits, it ultimately makes the installation process somewhat involved and lengthy. The sheer size of a standard egress windows means that a significant portion of your wall will have to be removed and then replaced, increasing the time and money that you have to spend on having an egress window installed when compared to a standard window.