Common Egress Window DIY Problems

Sunday, August 14th, 2016 by Thrasher


Egress window

There are dozens of home projects that do-it-yourselfers can tackle with relative ease. A homeowner with the proper tools and instruction can do basic landscaping, custom painting projects, and even simple plumbing updates. But when it comes to egress windows, there are a few excellent reasons to leave a project of this scale to the professionals.

Egress Windows and Moisture

foundation wall cut for egress window
Special saw is used to cut through foundation walls cleanly.

A special saw is used to cut through foundation walls cleanly. Being able to make one cut from the outside provides a cleaner and more precise cut.

Digging a sizable hole directly next to your foundation opens significant opportunities for moisture to seep its way into your basement. Without proper grading, drainage, and sealing, rainwater and melting snow can easily penetrate a poorly sealed window frame or pool in an improperly dug window well. This not only means you'll need to redo your egress install, but you'll likely need to call in a professional to divert and drain groundwater properly.

Knowing what size and style of well you will need to install correctly is very important. This Is not a one size fits all application. Will your window well seal and fasten properly to your foundation. Will it rust or deteriorate in the future and cause issues. What should you use to backfill the hole after install? The depth of the well causes most window wells that allow water into the well and turn it into a fishbowl. Water can flow up and under a shallow well or pour in through the sides. If you Install the well too deep, then the well is too low above the grade/dirt. This will hinder adequate drainage away from the egress window.

Foundation Weakening

The most taxing part of an egress window installation involves cutting through your home's foundation wall. Done properly by a professional team, that newly cut opening will be placed appropriately to maintain your foundation's structural integrity. An improperly cut egress window opening can compromise your foundation's strength. Properly trained egress window companies and installers can ensure that your egress window is not only functional but maintains your home's structural integrity as well. Not all foundations are cut and designed the same. Knowing what can and can't be installed is very important.

Egress Window Building Codes

egress window installation
All egress windows are installed to be code compliance.

All egress windows are installed to be code compliant.

Egress window wells have much more strict requirements when it comes to how they're installed. The window well itself must be a specific height above.

The ground, escape ladders must be placed and spaced appropriately, and the window's overall size must all meet very specific building codes. Installing a window that is off by as little as an inch can mean your home's basement living space cannot be legally counted as truly livable space--knowing whether or not you need a cover. Hiring a professional means that all local building codes are followed to a T.

While many projects around the house that DIY pros can knock out with relative ease, egress window installation is often best left to professionals. From protecting your home against water and moisture problems to unintentional violation of building codes, you can save yourself and your family significant time and hassle by turning to a trusted and tested professional team.

For more information about egress windows, call 800.827.0702 or click to request a free egress window estimate.