Home Improvement

Tips to install an Egress window in a Concrete Basement Wall

If you have a basement without an egress window and live in an area which needs one, then here are some tips to help you install an egress window in a concrete basement wall:

Why should you choose an egress window?

An egress window in the basement is the one which is big enough to be used as an escape route from the basement. Hence, it should meet the size and code required so that it serves as an easy and meaningful exit for you.

How to install an egress window?

An egress window in the basement will serve as a beautiful inclusion to it and provide you with increased natural light and a safe escape route for anyone in times of emergency.

Preparation to install an egress window

An egress window should be big enough for a firefighter with their device to enter through it around 5.7 sq. ft. So, it means your window should be 20 inches wide and around 24 inches high and less than 44 inches away from the ground.

You will require a concrete saw with diamond blade, suggestively a 14-inch electric saw along with a hammer drill. Along with it, you will also need gloves, face glass and tarps. 

Now select the best place for window installation. Consider the place from where you will get the best light and how it will appear from outside your home and if there are obstructions you have to deal with such ductwork, wiring, plumbing etc. The right direction for lighting is east and then south.

Now pick your window. Make sure you are aware of the size of the wall and the size of the header you require. The bigger the opening is cut; the higher support is needed. Hence, you should hire an engineer to ensure that the integrity of the wall isn’t compromised. He will sketch it and obtain a permit from your area building inspector office. 

With the help of a tape, outline the area where the window will be installed. It should be broader than 3.5 inches than the mentioned dimensions. Now add header’s width with 1.75 inches to opening height. Cutting concrete may create lots of dust, so make a tent with tarps to contain it.

Installation procedure

After the preparation is done, installation should begin. Drill level holes on the four corners. Once you drilled the pilot holes, tape the lines on the exterior. 

Use a concrete saw to cut a 5-inch groove from the inside along the lines drawn. Now go out and complete the cuts along the lines established.

Beginning at the top center, use a hammer to get the blocks out. Make sure you don’t damage the edge where the window will be installed. Use a chisel to smooth sides and fill the cores with concrete. Use plastic to cover the wet concrete so that it doesn’t warp the window sill. Use a 3-inch deck screw through the sill in the wet cement.

Use a header if needed and screw it in the floor beams. Cut the frame sides and then install the window. Screw it in the sill and header. Now attach the frame to the block wall with concrete screws and caulk it.

Put the window in it and level it with cedar shims. Now remove the window and seal the frame to create a caulk then set the window again. Check the levels and screws and nails to secure it. 

In case you find it overwhelming, hire experts to install an egress window in your basement. 

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