New Egress Installs

Egress Window Guy New Installation Experts

So your local government mandates you to have a new Egress Window Installation. Below is everything you need to know and more about the new installation process. If you like to study the installation process feel free to do so with the information on this page or just call or e-mail us for a free estimate. Call 855-9EGRESS or click on the Free Estimate link to the right.

How To Install an Egress Window the Right Way

Step 1: Preview the work site

There are many details to look for before properly installing an egress window. Listed below are some of the things We take into consideration before starting.

  • Accessibility to the window and work site
  • Obstacles in the way such as utility meters, landscaping, A/C, hills, and fencing
  • Water drainage!
  • Proximity to property lines
  • Buried utilities in the area
  • What type of support is needed above the window to properly distribute weight
  • Existing basement window opening or not
  • Basement ceiling height
  • Size and hinge placement of window
  • Measurements of well, sill height, and window position

Step 2: Select Window Type, Size, Color and Brand

A wide variety of window types can be installed. Typically, a window style and color is chosen to match the other windows in the house. A number of sizes are available also. We are happy to help recommend one too. Snoop through the Photo Gallery for ideas.

  • The most common is a single casement, although double hung or sliders can also be used.
  • The key is to meet or exceed code requirements.
  • Double and triple wide windows can also be installed.
  • Are you painting or staining the interior wood trim?
  • The exterior cladding (sash material) is either vinyl or aluminum.
  • To easily meet escape area code requirements, most windows are 30″ x 48″. However, with customized hinging and if you can maintain the sill height requirement of 44″ or less, the smallest casement style window that can be used is 29″ wide by 41″ tall. A glider window is 56″ x 48″.
  • The most common brands used are Andersen, Marvin, and Pella but others can be used.

Step 3: Select window well style, size, material, and features.

Many options are available for the window well. Treated landscaping timbers work well and look fabulous. Landscaping blocks are also a good option.

Most wells are required to have a ladder permanently affixed to the area well for safety. This can also be done with terracing or creating steps if space permits. Snoop through the photo gallery for ideas. Custom designs and materials are also an option. Remember, the window well is what you will see from the interior of your new room, so don’t skimp here.

All wells, when installed properly, can last a long time, even the wooden ones. The corrugated metal wells are sturdy, resist corrosion and are your best value for a simple code approved egress. Spend some time in the photo gallery getting an idea of what each material will look like when done.



Step 4: Dig, dig, and dig some more.

Digging out the dirt for the area well is one of the most labor intensive steps in the process. The hole is over 5ft. wide, 3ft. out from the house, and 5-6ft. deep. Area wells made from wood, plastic, or landscape block require even more dirt to be removed.

Very dry or very wet clay soil, roots, rocks, and utility lines like electrical, gas, cable TV, or water can slow the digging process. Gopher One Call is called ahead of time to mark the ground for utility lines. Please be sure to inform the Egress Window Guy of other hidden hazards like old utility lines buried underground or other things you may have buried (for example, an electrical line running to a detached garage or gas line running to a BBQ grill).

Holes are often dug by hand if there is a concern about hitting utility lines or if access to the area is too restrictive, otherwise a small backhoe with rubber tracks is used. Plywood is laid on the ground around the hole and to the street to move the backhoe around with minimal turf stress.

Rule1: Never dig more than you have to and never move the dirt twice.

Approximately 3 cubic yards of dirt is removed. We use a 7 ton capacity dump trailer to remove the excess dirt/fill from your property. In some situations, Egress Window Guy can arrange to have a dumpster delivered and picked up. If you are looking to save some money, you have the option to leave the dirt on the property for you to use for back filling, regrading, etc… Let us know if there is a certain spot you would like us to place the excess dirt if you decide to keep it on the property. You might want to think about using this dirt to correct drainage problems around your foundation.


 Step 5: Assemble Window Well.

You can’t have dirt washing into your new window, so the earth is held back with a retaining wall. There are many styles and types available for your selection. Shown below is a terraced well made from treated wood timbers.

  • Metal Well: Frame dropped in, backfilled, dirt packed into place, regraded, and filled with gravel.
  • Vinyl Well: Frame assembled, backfilled, dirt packed into place, regraded, and filled with gravel.
  • Timber Well: Guides installed, gravel added, timbers cut, screwed and nailed in place, backfilled, dirt packed into place, regraded, and filled with gravel.
  • Block Well: Guides installed, gravel added, blocks installed, backfilled, dirt packed into place, regraded, and filled with gravel.
  • The well is backfilled with dirt and the well filled with about 9″-18″ of gravel. The loose gravel absorbs water and keeps plants from growing. Although one may plant a small garden on the terrace steps, if desired.
  • The bottom of the hole is graded away from the house
  • An additional drain or sump pump can also be added to the base of the well

Step 6: Setup area for cutting foundation

The basement wall is now ready to cut.

A window does not have to go where you already have one. A window can be put wherever it works best for you.

A plastic containment tent is made on the interior of the wall. This tent contains most of the saw dust and debris. For safety reasons, our crew wears a respirator, ear plugs, eye protection and a hat.

One key to dust containment is to close up the house. A fan is used to draw the dust back outside. The other windows in the house must be kept closed. You really don’t want a gust of wind to pull lots of dust throughout the rest of the house.


Step 7: Cut and remove the basement wall.

Egress Window Guy uses a gas powered partner saw with a 14″ diamond blade to cut the block from both sides. This diamond bit blade spins 4000rpm and has a unique gyro effect. As you can imagine, a fair bit of dust is created with this saw, that is why we set up a containment tent in the previous step, thus minimizing the amount of dust particles that are left in the house. The plastic also allows for easy clean up.

A wooden window frame is made to attach everything else to. No gaps may be left here. 50yr Vulkem Titanium is used to completely seal it. Every gap is insulated with fiberglass and expansion foam.


Step 8: Center, Plumb, Level, Insulate and Trim Window

The window is installed using the built in nailing fin. It is double-checked for level and plumbness. A bead of vulkem is added to get an extra good seal. It is shimmed so it does not move over time. Gaps are filled with fiberglass to keep the weather and bugs out.

Trim is added around window to make it all look pretty and set up a good seal. The trim can be cedar, brick mold or mortar. The trim is sealed against the block and window to prevent moisture damage and leaking.


Step 9: Trim the interior window.

  • Wood is hand selected for the extension jambs and custom cut to fit the sill width. “Clear pine” is typically used for the trim, but any wood trim that matches the surrounding interior can be used. Oak, knotty pine are also commonly used. Make the trim as wide as you like. It will be ready for paint or stain
  • The wall is reinforced where the sheetrock or paneling was cut to prevent it from flopping around. The reinforcement also makes a strong nailer for the trim.

As you can see, this is a fairly involved and complex process. The Egress Window Guy has gone through this procedure hundreds of times and can focus on the details to get the job right the first time.