From Basement to Brightness: Why You Should Call A Professional To Install Egress Windows

Do you have an unfinished or renovated basement that needs to be code-compliant and livable? A finished basement can add thousands of dollars of value to your home, but you will need an egress window to make it safe and habitable. So, what does an egress window installation look like, why do you need one, and can you do it yourself?

Can You Install An Egress Window Yourself?

Absolutely, you can; however, as we review the steps needed in the following few sections, remember that it is a complex process requiring significant time, effort, and some expertise with uncommonly used tools. If you are a long-time construction worker or masonry expert, then it is a strong possibility. Yet, most people will want to hire a professional for installation, even if the rest of the basement is finished without the assistance of experts.

Why Do You Need An Egress Window?

If you plan to spend significant time in your basement or create a bedroom, an egress window is a must. For starters, they give a means of escape in the case of a house fire or other disaster. Often, unfinished and unused basements will have only a tiny window for airflow and a little light. These windows can be challenging to reach and often impossible to fit out of for a fully grown adult. Moreover, you may need more room on your stairs to fit the tools medical personnel need to administer life-saving care in a medical emergency. An egress window allows for a safer living environment and could save your life. Finally, having a finished basement can significantly affect your home’s property value. Rather than advertising it as a simple crawlspace, you can add an additional bedroom to your home at a relatively low cost, providing more leverage in the home-selling process.

How is An Egress Window Installed?

For basements, an Egress window needs several essentials. This is not an exhaustive guide and only serves as a brief overview.

  1. Designs must be code-compliant and provide enough space for an adult to make reasonable use of.
    1. To make space for the window, you will likely need to submit plans to the city for renovation. Then, call 811 to ensure there are no power lines or pipes where you will be digging.
  2. Drains must be installed beneath the egress window to ensure that the space and your basement do not flood.
  3. A retaining wall must be constructed to stop the soil well from collapsing. The retaining wall must then be backfilled to provide support and an exterior seal.
  4. After bracing and creating a seal, the masonry can then be cut away. This process will require a stone-cutting saw and is the most physically demanding part of the process.
  5. Once the well has been waterproofed, braced, and the masonry cut away, the process is similar to installing a window into any wall.
    1. Window bucks should be cut and placed on the sides of the window for support.
    1. Insulation should be installed, and then the window should be fitted and trimmed.
  6. Finally, once the window is installed, stairs need to be constructed in the well to allow for safe egress.

Contact Tom’s Basement Waterproofing For All Your Basement Renovation And Repair Needs

We are your local experts in basement repairs and renovations at Tom’s Basement Waterproofing. For a free quote and to find out all you need for egress window installation, give us a call at (586) 776-7270.