Rockwell Window Wells Brochure
Wednesday, February 17th, 2021 by Aaron Ruskamp
Each year more and more people are working from home and needing more space within the walls of their home. The recent world pandemic, Covid-19, has sped up this process. As the world has rushed to minimize their interactions in public spaces, many people left their company offices and began working from home. According to Stanford News, up to 42% of the labor force was working from home during the peak of the Covid-19 crisis, and many of these people are projected to never return to the office full time. Many companies are realizing that employees are preferring to work from home, and are able to maintain their high level of productivity from the comfort of their home. In light of these realizations, it looks as though many people will be permanently working from home and the need for more living space inside the home will be growing. This changing work environment has created a massive demand on home sales and is resulting in shrinking home markets and surging home values. Home renovations are also on the rise as people look to gain more space out of their existing homes.
One of the most common home renovations right now is finishing the basement spaces of our homes. Homeowners are gaining more family living space, bedrooms, and even home offices while they finish their basements. However, to properly finish your basement, an egress window is needed. An egress window is not only required by code for an emergency escape from the basement, but it also allows much more natural light into the basement space. This creates a much more comfortable and relaxed feel.
While many of us are spending much more time at home, we are also looking for DYI projects to help us improve our homes but stay on a budget. While there are many projects that can be a DO-It-YOURSELF project, installing an egress window is not recommended as one of those projects. Installing an egress window below grade can be a tricky and challenging project.
When installing an egress window in your below-grade basement there are multiple items that must be considered. First, you must consider the condition of the foundation wall. Foundation walls, especially on homes in the Midwest, are often found to have structural issues. One of the most common structural issues is having a foundation wall leaning inward due to the soil pressure against the wall on the outside. Prior to cutting a large window opening into the foundation, you must properly inspect the foundation and ensure that you will not be weakening the structural strength of the wall.
The second consideration to take into account when considering making an egress installation a DIY project is how you will prevent water infiltration from the home. When installing an egress window below grade, you must consider how you will control the rain and groundwater. Installing an egress window with no plan for water mitigation strategy is simply asking for a wet basement.
A third item to take into consideration is the type of building materials that are being used on the project. Do not be confused or misled, not all building materials are created equally. While some materials are cheaper than other materials, you must be committed to using the best materials available for the project. The egress window materials are going to be installed in a damp, below-grade environment. If not careful, the materials you use could be damaged by wood rot, mold, and insects and dramatically reduce the life span of your egress window. This will result in a shorter life span and require re-work to be done. Using the best materials is an investment that pays off in the long run.
The last item to take into consideration when installing an egress window is the skill and knowledge of the person installing the egress window. This is where an egress window project often moves away from a DIY project to a skilled contractor project. As a seasoned DIYer, you may feel you have a good handle on the items above, but once it comes to doing the work it often becomes more than a standard DIY project. To successfully complete an egress project, as much as 4 cubic yards of dirt may need to be dug up and hauled off. This is the equivalent of an entire dump trailer full of dirt. Then a hole in the foundation must be cut utilizing a specialty concrete saw. After that, the window must be framed in and an egress well placed around the window. Ideally, all of this should be done in under 1 day, to prevent an opening into your home overnight or for multiple days. While you may have started out thinking this may be a simple DIY project, you can easily see that this type of project is best left to the professionals.
At Thrasher, Inc we have been installing Egress Windows, Foundation Repair, and Waterproofing projects for over 45 years. We have the experience needed to not only ensure you have a great egress window installed, but to also ensure that you don't create new structural issues and don't create an easy opening for water to get into your basement. When Thrasher installs an egress window, we guarantee to have quality workmanship on the project and to utilize only the best materials for the project. The RockWell is our preferred egress well option. Check out the attached brochure for more details on the RockWell product and to see what your finished egress window project could look like.