Ayers Basement Systems Case Studies: Egress Window Adds Value to Home in Lincoln Park, MI
Linda lived in her house for 30 years and was finally ready to make the basement safer and brighter by adding an egress window.
The finished basement in her home was nice but, now that it was being used more regularly, Linda could no longer ignore her nagging concerns about safety. She might keep the house for a few more years, or she might sell. Either way, it needed an egress window in the basement bedroom to meet current building codes.
Linda was worried that putting a hole in her home’s foundation would result in water leaks or other problems. She called Ayers because of our forty-plus years of experience with basement and foundation repairs.
Our expert design specialist recommended a rigid, one-piece window well paired with a special drainage system and sump pump to remove any water that might intrude. On installation day, our crew carefully excavated a rectangular hole (wide enough for three or four men to stand up in) to expose the foundation where the window would go. After taking precise measurements from the inside and outside, the team marked the wall and cut an opening.
Next, they roughed in the window, which was constructed to withstand UV rays, rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. Now Linda never needs to deal with rotted or rusty windows. The new window can be easily opened and is large enough for an adult to climb through in case of an emergency.
Outside, we added a sturdy well with integrated steps. (Most building codes require window wells deeper than 44 inches below ground to include steps or a permanently attached ladder). The visually appealing well has the look of stone and is made of one piece of heavy plastic that won’t collapse when the hole is backfilled. Because it doesn’t have joints or cracks, no water can seep through.
The top of the window well was secured with a 10-millimeter polycarbonate safety cover to keep out leaves and debris and to prevent anyone from falling into it. The cover will hold up to 500 lbs. of weight, yet also allows plenty of natural light to enter the window.
To finish the project, our team moved to the inside of the basement and installed a special window drain along with our WaterGuard interior drainage system. The WaterGuard was connected to a SuperSump pump system to move any intruding water out of the basement and drain it into the yard away from the house.
If Linda stays in her home, she’ll enjoy a brighter, lighter basement without stressing about how to escape in case of a fire. If she decides to sell, the now code-compliant space will allow her to ask a higher price.
This basement bedroom was dark and dingy. The small, high window didn't open and there was no way to exit in case of fire.
Our crew excavated a deep hole alongside the foundation, measured and marked the wall, and used a high-powered concrete saw to cut a hole for the new window. The window well was set into the hole and backfilled. Finally, the soil was leveled for landscaping.
The new window was roughed in and an attractive well with integrated steps was set in place outside. If there's ever a fire, occupants in the basement can easily open the window, crawl out, and climb the steps to safety.
The window well is constructed with rigid plastic walls and steps that will never rot or break from soil pressure. The window itself will easily withstand UV rays, rain, snow, and extreme temperatures.
A tough polycarbonate cover on top of the window well keeps out debris and will prevent family members from accidentally falling in and getting hurt. The cover is also clear to let in the maximum amount of light.