Installation of New Egress Windows for Basement: Your Guide To Cutting Concrete Foundation Wall
The price tags for new residential homes in North America are rising by leaps and bounds every year. Therefore, the majority of homeowners are considering renovating their current residences to improve living spaces rather than changing location.
While there are many home improvements one can take, finishing the basement remains the most popular and paying-off solution.
According to statistics, the ROI of basement renovation can go as high as a whopping 70 percent. So, most homeowners strive to transform their dark and dusty spaces into a secondary bedroom, office, or entertainment room.
Even though that might sound fun and easy, the primary renovation you’ll be obliged to address in your basement to make the space livable is installing the correct egress window. Moreover, a new unit should meet strict local building codes to ensure extra escape routes in case of any emergency.
The lion’s share of American basements only have small windows for ventilation. Yet, to comply with safety codes, you’ll need to replace the current unit with a considerably bigger model. Hence, this project will have to undergo cutting the concrete foundation wall to install a bigger window — a job requiring expertise and skills. So let’s discuss everything you should know about the process.
Getting Your Site Ready
Preparing your site for egress window installation can seem like a daunting task, but with a bit of preparation, you can make the process smoother and more cost-effective.
Here are some easy steps you can take to get your site ready:
- Ensure you know what’s below: Contact your utility companies to provide insight into any underground hydro, natural gas, cable, or water lines. This not only protects against any damage to hidden pipes, but is often required by local laws before any excavation can take place.
- Measure twice, cut once: Mark the dimensions for your ideal egress window to get a better sense of size and placement. To ensure proper sizing, mark the dimensions approximately 3.5 inches wider than the rough opening required by the window’s specifications. And, allocate an additional 1.75 inches to the height.
- Order the proper window, considering specific sizes and styles: Depending on your local regulations, only casement, hopper, and hung windows may be allowed for installation.
- Leave it to the pros: Cutting a concrete foundation wall can be challenging, so it’s usually best to leave this task to the experts. However, by taking these easy steps, you can save money and make the process more straightforward for your installers.
Hire Professionals for Concrete Cutting
As stated earlier, such a home renovation as installing new basement windows takes work. In fact, it’s a very responsible project that will impact your home’s energy efficiency, ventilation, comfort, and even complicity with local laws. DIYing the job might be hazardous and expensive, so hiring a professional is always among the best solutions.
Experts from Ecoline Windows & Doors share that homeowners often try to tackle the project alone, and in most cases, some vital components performed poorly.
With the assistance of a professional installation team, you can rest assured that your project will be completed to the highest standards, without the risk of significant structural damage. Not only will this help maximize energy efficiency and enhance comfort, but it can also significantly increase your property’s overall market value.
When you choose a professional concrete cutting contractor, you can enjoy a hassle-free and efficient installation experience that’s sure to exceed your expectations.
Here are just a few reasons why you should entrust your egress window project to the experts:
- Precision is key: From accurately marking the opening size and location to selecting the perfect egress window well, your installer will consult with you every step of the way to ensure that your project meets all building code and height requirements.
- Waterproofing for all seasons: Proper irrigation is critical to ensure that your egress window well drains properly, preventing water accumulation during rainstorms or snowmelt. This is an important step that your installer will take to protect your investment for years to come.
- Following the rules: Your professional installer will follow all relevant construction permits in your area, including those specific to egress windows, concrete cutting, and any other special regulations associated with your project. This ensures that your project is completed to the highest standards and that all requirements are met.
- Security first: Oversized openings are reinforced with metal bars or plates for added security, providing peace of mind and protection for you and your family.
- Perfect fit: With precision cutting and removal of the wall area, your installer will ensure that the egress window frame fits the rough opening perfectly, creating a seamless finish that enhances the look and feel of your home.
Finally, a professional installer can complete the job in just a few hours, including debris removal and cleanup. Plus, you’ll receive a custom warranty for both labor and parts to protect your investment in the unlikely event of damage to your home. Trust the professionals to provide a stress-free, top-quality egress window installation that will exceed your expectations.
Which Tools Are Needed for Correct Cutting Concrete Foundation?
If you’re looking to properly cut an egress window in a concrete foundation, you’ll want to equip yourself with the right tools for the job. Luckily, there’s one standout tool that will get the job done right — the wall-mounted concrete saw. With its precision and accuracy, it ensures straight, level cuts that are crucial for a correctly waterproofed window.
But it’s not just about the tool — expert installations require the right hardware, too. That means using TapCon or Ramset nails/fasteners to secure the window and ensure that all other necessary hardware is in place for a snug, secure fit.
And here’s a pro tip.
When it comes to cutting concrete, you never want to overdo it — especially in the corners. Professional basement window installations come with an extra 6 inches of cutting in all directions at the corners of your window opening. That’s because of the round blade size used to cut the foundation — to fully penetrate through the 8-inch foundation wall, the saw needs to overrun the expected cut length.
Trust us, you don’t want to deal with the consequences of overcuts. They can lead to all sorts of issues, including:
- Water seeping in behind the window.
- Increased risk of cracks forming at the corners, which can compromise both the structural integrity and waterproofing of your window.
- Less-than-stellar aesthetics that can detract from your overall design.
So, when it comes to cutting your egress window, make sure you do it right — with the right tools, the right hardware, and a careful approach that avoids overcutting.
Finishing Touches: What To Do After Your Egress Window Installation
Once your egress window installation is complete, there are a few more things you need to do to make sure the job is truly finished. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Backfill around the exterior of the window well, using a tamper to pack the dirt down as you go. This will help keep the well stable and secure.
- Add pea gravel inside the window well, filling it to about 1 inch below the trim. This will help with drainage and prevent soil from washing into the well.
- Check the waterproofing by adding around 6 inches of topsoil around the exterior of the well, creating a slope that allows water to flow away from the window. This will help prevent water damage and keep your basement dry.
- On the interior, add some finishing touches to complete the look. This might include hanging drywall, painting the walls, or putting up window treatments that complement the design of your space.
Remember, while the egress window itself is a crucial element of any basement renovation project, it’s these finishing touches that will really make the space shine. By taking the time to complete these post-installation steps, you’ll ensure that your new window is both functional and visually appealing.