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Old 12-29-2009, 12:43 AM  
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Default Egress Window Installation

Hi - I'm new to this group and new to home improvement as well.

I'm working on a basement remodel, contracting out most tasks. I want to have a code compliant egress window to create a bedroom in the basement. The issue is, I've only been able to find windows 48'' high that can meet the minimum code requirements (5.7 sq/ft of clear opening with a minimum height of 24'' and a minimum width of 20''). Combined with this are my three draining options:

1. install a sump pump and have the egress window well drain to the sump pump
2. install a french drain and have the drain let water out at the bottom of my house
3. install a drain to daylight

I'm trying to avoid the expense of #1. And I've had problems with hydrostatic water pressure in the past (I had to seal cracks in the basement foundation) so I do not want to do option #2.

This leaves option #3. In order for this to work, the person proposing to install the egress window says they will need to cut 10'' above the existing window, which will take up all of the room above the existing basement window. The cut will go to the foundation of the house. (I have a brick single story home). Then he proposes to install a lintel. I have seven foot ceilings in the basement, so essentially the top of the egress window would end up being flush with the dry walled ceiling in the finished room.

This is all very new to me and I feel like I'm in over my head. My question is, should a lentil added above the top of the new egress window provide sufficient support to hold up my brick house? - assuming it's installed properly...

Any advice / insight is truly appreciated!

Thank you.

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Old 01-02-2010, 11:22 PM  
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The tops of windows and doors usually are about the same, unless you raise the windows and have a high ceiling to make the room look taller (bigger). If you have 7' ceilings in the basement-- after heating ducts, plumbing soffits, etc. , it must rough-in at 8' or so. Still, a normal door is 82-84" (plus trim) off the finished floor. With an egress window top the same, 82" - 42" (below the opening for egress 44" rule) = 40" - 2-1/2" of sash = 37-1/2" of height==== 22" wide opening + 2-1/2" = 24-1/2 + 26= 50" wide so a 6'x3'-6" window? Remember the clear opening has to match this chart:
You could drop the window some by getting a custom egress size that would give you more room. Why a 48" high, I think my 42" high would work, ask a window person at the store. Just set the top of the 42" high window at 80-81" above floor. You will have 3-4" over the window, and 1-2" above the door. Masonry skills - Google Books
Drain the well line out back, naturally.
Be safe, Gary
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