Basement egress window installation

FYI - Here is a photo showing the installation of a basement egress window. The soil was dug out and supported with landscaping blocks, then the foundation wall was sawed out and egress window installed.

No well?..

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Much better solution than many ‘wells’ I see with poor escape methods/ladders.

My concern is water intrusion at the window bottom opening/frame/sill.


Correct observation…The window should not be sitting at grade. This is to prevent any water intrusion from below. Windows have it hard enough so why exacerbate the issue.

I came across a similar design this past winter in Chicago…Lots of time and money spent on a poured concrete version…The window height was overlooked… At that time a snow drift covered half the window which sat at grade level…Difficult to spot until I inspected further.

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I agree, not knowing how it was installed.

Mine has a galvanized steel frame with a clear composite lid and 57 stone base down to the drain tile. Dry as a bone and even with our snow easy to use in the winter.

All you need is an interior water proofing system, I hear they work like magic… :wink:


Other than so close to grade it looks good

Is there a Warranty?

Not good, I live in Wisconsin, this would definitely destroy the window, the snow would be problem as over time snow turns to ice,could get into the window framing rotting, expand crack glass

I also worked for Anderson windows, so I know they wouldn’t back this installation

Any window within 4 inches of grade should have a window well. Keep it simple.

Please share with us exactly which Code states that?

I could be wrong about the code… but 4-6 inches is how I remember it… maybe it was manufacturer instructions or a local thing. I cannot find it in IRC at the moment. IRC sends the installer to the window manufacturer specs.

And you won’t find it, as it doesn’t exist. Home inspectors like to lump it together with the 6 inches from grade to siding seperation, and claim windows need 6 inches for drainage. The reality is, as long as the grading (without well) has the appropriate positive slope, and a window well has functional drainage… (plumbed or peagravel backfill), and assuming the window is in good condition and properly flashed, there is no required height from grade except as dictated by a specific Manufacturer.

So what would the call out be? @jjonas ? I am referring to the window pictured in this exact thread? Would it be functional, but recommend confirming with window manufacturer installation was done to the correct standard?

Regardless of whatever is done for window height above grade, this scenario REQUIRES proper drainage to handle the water that WILL runoff down the hill into the excavated pit. However proper drainage is achieved is up to the contractor that is ONSITE to evaluate all of the contributing conditions to determine what will solve the issue.