If you're renovating your basement, you might want to add an egress window. If your renovation includes a basement bedroom, local codes may even require an egress window. Even if the window isn't required, it's an important safety feature, and it also lets natural light flood your basement, so it's a nice feature to have. Here's a look at having an egress basement window installed.
Mark The Placement Of The Window
Building codes apply to egress windows. They have to be large enough for people to pass through and easy to reach so you can get in or out from the outdoors as well as the basement. Codes stipulate how wide the window should be and how close it should be to the ground. Codes also apply to the well on the outside of the window.
Look up these codes and then use the measurements to mark off the placement of your new window with tape or chalk. This helps you choose the best location for the egress window based on your renovation plans and what's on the outside of the window.
Dig The Well Outside
Plan how you want the well to look. You could make a large well with an outdoor seating area or plant stands for an attractive view. You might want a small well that's only for the purposes of an easy escape. Dig a hole of the appropriate size so the contractor can cut the concrete.
Cut A Hole In The Basement Wall
The contractor decides if a temporary support wall is needed. If so, a temporary wall is built in the basement next to the area where the concrete will be cut. The wall is removed once the new window frame is in place.
Cutting concrete is a difficult job and requires special equipment, so calling in a contractor is usually necessary. They keep the concrete wet while working to control dust, but there is still a lot of noise. The saw cuts through the concrete wall to make an opening for the window frame, and the concrete pieces are busted up and hauled off or placed in a dumpster to be hauled away later.
Install The Egress Window And Well
Once the hole is ready, a wood window frame can be put in. Once the frame is secure, the window can be installed. The last step is to finish the well. The contractor may install a drain so rain can escape. You could put gravel on the bottom of the well too so water drains through the soil.
A pre-made window well is a good choice since these are easy to install and come made according to codes. However, you could build your own well if you have a certain design you want, such as an outdoor picnic and garden area.
Once the well is put in, the contractor may need to add topsoil around the outside to slope the ground for drainage. Then you can plant sod or grass seeds to cover the soil. If you have kids, you may want a cover for the window well so you don't have to worry about kids or pets playing near it and falling in.