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NinjaDave 09-23-2009 08:26 AM

Egress Windows
I'm going to have to put an egress window in my basement for the bedroom i'm installing. How hard is it going to be to cut out the window from the foundation? The area outside where the window will go is already set up, all I have to do is dig out 2 plants and a lot of dirt. But there's a stone wall around where it will go. I can take pictures of the area if it would help.

inspectorD 09-23-2009 04:09 PM

there are companies that will come out to cut the foundation with a saw. It is a bit messy with water to cool the blade, but other than that, your ready to frame in the window.
Use pressure treated against the concrete and make sure the bottom of the window is 44 inches off the floor minimum when you measure it out.
Start digin and make sure you meet the local codes for exit stairs....some towns want more risers, some just follow the code they have adopted.
Here in CT we are still on the 2003 Irc with additions to the code....only 7 years behind.:eek:

NinjaDave 09-24-2009 07:14 AM

Ok cool. Second question. Do I have to have it? Or is the door from the outside to the basement sufficent enough, even though it's not going to open directly into the new bedroom? Or do I have to talk to someone locally about that?

inspectorD 09-24-2009 07:23 AM

how much is your family worth to ya?
The real reason for the egress is so that a fireman can get in to save your a$$, most folks are overcome by fumes and pass out before they can get out safely or realize anything is happening.:( Or children who panic in a stress situation and sit tight...until it is to late.
If you are making a bedroom, go for the egress. Besides that it lets lots of light into those dark rooms.:)

hondadrv24 09-26-2009 07:58 PM

check out my post "Finishing my Basement" to see pictures of me cutting my egress windows out. InspectorD is right, windows let lots of light in making the rooms much more comfortable even if the window is on the north side of the house.

inspectorD 09-27-2009 07:02 AM

He has done a nice job, here is the link,

mudmixer 09-27-2009 11:42 AM

If you are installing egress windows a sawing contractor will make quick, short and neat work of the opening.

Buying egress approved windows is easy if you are dealing with a reputable window manufacturer that certified it is approved for your code.

Make sure you check with your code official since the OPEN sill height agrees with what you have the opening cut for. There can be local requirement variations. Keep in mind the opening is not just for people to get out, but for fire fighters to get in with tanks and tools. If you access pit outside is too deep, some steps are rungs may be needed.


GBR 09-28-2009 10:15 PM

As mentioned, the egress window is for escape and light, both required by code. Your local B.D. may have additional requirements than these basic ones for your safety: Code Check - Web Resources Index The window opening may be a little smaller than listed due to ground access or not. Common Building-Code Violations: Emergency-Egress Windows Too Small - Fine Homebuilding Article
Be safe, Gary

kok328 09-29-2009 04:22 PM

Don't forget to address any drainage issues if you install below grade.

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