Installing Egress Windows
1. Select the egress window location based on the layout of your basement. Consult with your local building department for setback requirements and permits.
2. Before excavating your foundation, contact your local utility mark out service to determine underground utilities.
3. Excavate the foundation in the area of the egress window, utilizing a shoring system or a form of OSHA compliant trench protection. The excavation should extend down to the lowest portion of the foundations footing.
4. Brace the interior floor joists with a temporary stud wall to transfer the load from the foundation wall. This temporary stud wall can be used for containment purposes by hanging a plastic sheet and securing it onto the foundation.
5. Layout your window opening on the inside of the foundation. Determine your window size based on your local town or city codes.
6. Drill a pilot hole from the inside to the outside and transfer the measurements to the exterior side of the foundation. Use a drill bit that is long enough to go through the wall. Make sure the drill is level when it penetrates the wall.
7. Cut the foundation wall with a concrete saw equipped with a diamond blade. Scoring the concrete with a ¼ inch cut is recommended for better control of the saw. A water cooled 12” concrete ring saw or diamond blade chain saw is best suited for a clean cut. A chipping or demolition hammer is not recommended because of the vibration and possible foundation cracks. Wear a dust mask, hearing and eye protection when operating the saw.
8. Waterproof the foundation below the window (drainage area). The waterproof membrane should start at the window sill area and extend down to the bottom of the footing.
9. Back fill the waterproofed foundation with clean drainage stone. If a footing drain exists, extent a pipe from the footing drain up into the drainage stone for proper drainage. In areas of poor drainable soils, a sump pump is recommended. The location of the pump must be below the window and should be placed into a basin in a location suitable for service.
10. Install a steel header above the window to support the load of the floor joists. Consult with an engineer or architect for proper header size and weight.
11. Construct a pressure treated wood frame to support the window. Secure the wood frame to the foundation with a concrete anchoring drive rivet or screw. Apply mortar between the wood frame and the foundation.
12. Install the window into the rough frame using galvanized or stainless steel screws and wood shims to level and plumb the window.
13. Caulk and cap the window with aluminum trim flashing.
14. Secure the area well to the foundation with concrete anchors and waterproof the seam between the foundation wall and the well.
15. Back fill the well with drainage stone to prevent water pressure from building up on the sides of the well.