Author Topic: Egress Window DIY  (Read 2217 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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Egress Window DIY
« on: May 09, 2014, 09:40:16 AM »
Looking to make sure I have all my ducks in a row on this project. Need to install an egress window in our basement, quotes are up to $2k and contractors are severely overloaded locally due to rain storms and spring work. I have access AND have used a concrete saw in the past, so I'm not feeling overwhelmed about the physical labor of this. The walls are block as well so easier to deal with which is a bonus.

It does seem reasonably straight forward -
1. Dig out the outside area.
2. Tape off the wall.
3. Drill pilot holes.
4. Cut out the hole.
5. Frame out the window.
6. Install the window.
7. Install the window well.

My major concern here is water intrusion. We are in the middle of a hill and the egress window (facing east) is facing the hill. We do not have a sump pump, the water has never gone into the basement but I have some nerves on water coming up from the bottom. Is there a solution to this? Seal the whole damn thing? Some kind of drain line? I think I have to dig about a foot past the window and then fill it with gravel. Sealing the window well to the wall and keeping it covered will help, the area back there does not flood either so I'm not dealing with standing water.


  • Handlebar Stache
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  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: Egress Window DIY
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2014, 09:54:53 AM »
I've done this before, but not on a sloped site on the uphill side. You could be asking for trouble, since you'll be disturbing the grade and possibly allowing groundwater an easy-in.

Are you cutting the opening from the inside or outside?  If outside, you'll need to dig a much larger hole than you think so you have room to work.

The sill of the window should be at least 6" above the finished grade of the well, and the window's clear opening should be no more than 44" from the finished floor.

If you have good draining soil, you can probably install about 12" of drainage gravel in the bottom of the well as temporary holding capacity.  If you have clay or other poor-draining soil, you may have to use a sump or install a drainage line that takes any water away and/or around to the other side of the house. If the house has a footign drain it might work to connect to that, but in a heavy rain this could backfire if the footing drain is overloaded.


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