Many older basements don’t have a means of egress installed – but a lot of them do have some kind of window or opening to let light and air in. If you’re not sure where to start with your basement renovation, why not consider using these existing windows to help you install your egress windows?
More and more American homeowners are converting their basements into furnished family rooms, spare bedrooms, home offices or rental apartments. In order to meet building code, however, it’s necessary to have a “means of egress” installed.
One tip we recommend for homeowners installing basement windows and egress window wells is to use existing windows and openings if they can. Most basements have some kind of windows in them – even if they’re only a few inches high. Even before building code required them, people realized these windows were important to let light in, and moisture out.
You can often enlarge these openings and use them to install basement windows –
Two things make this a smart move:
The only problem you might run into is outside of your basement. Check to make sure your existing basement windows aren’t too close to stairs and other foundation pieces, which would make it difficult to install a window well.
Also, make sure you call 811 and speak to the Common Ground Alliance about mapping pipes, wires, cables and other underground utilities before you start digging. While using existing windows is a great idea for those adding a means of egress to their basement; it’s not always possible depending on the design of your home.