Egress Window Well

Overall thoughts on this…

It may not be within 3 feet of a walkway but I recommend a guard for safety against a fall hazard. They can do what they wish.

Depends which version of the International Residential Code applies…it may or may not be code-compliant.

Home was built / completed in the latter part of 2005.

Joe; I have got some dumb questions here;

The grade seems to close to the bottom of the windows.

Assumming it is good grading stone, and no drain.

Fall hazard as Larry pointed out.

Not legal steps for exit.

How much snow do you get in the winter.

Can’t see the roof line, and therefore wondering if it is under the roof drip edge which would contribute to ice build-up and snow.

What 's the garden hose for? ha. ha.

Negative pitch on the landscape towards the exit well.

Assumming the windows are no more than 44" above FF.

Do the double hung window meet the egress size?

Sorry, full of questions. But that is just me. ha. ha.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :wink:

Emergency egress appears to be up to code.

Hi Joe,

what is the depth of the well below grade??




Life Flight (for the person who cracks their head open after the fall)

Law Suit (from the person who fell if he lived, or next of kin)

Water Intrusion (seems imminent from the photo regardless of drainage, it freezes there)

Occupants might need to watch Chimpanzee movies (Tarzan perhaps) (or rock climbing videos)

But I’m sure you covered all the bases Joe…!!


Occupants might need to watch Chimpanzee movies Tarzan perhaps or rock climbing videos

That’s what the cable is for. You simply throw it to the nearest tree and pull yourself out. Unless there is a foot of snow or the windows are froze shut from ice, but I’m sure they have a pic hanging nearby. :stuck_out_tongue:

If it were going to leak, it probably would have by now. Signs of leakage at interior sill? I’m surprised at how often I find similar windows in wells with not much clearance to gravel, but they seem fine. I call them out, but mention no visible damage if that’s the case.

Between 4-5 feet.

With the rain yesterday, the corners of the sills were actively leaking to the interior of the basement.

Hi Joe, that being the case it should have safety rails, and as the height is more than 44 inches a fixed egress ladder a minimum of 12 inch wide rungs should be installed.

As to the potential moisture problems there should be a drain at the bottom of the well tied into the houses drain tile.



Hi. Gerry;

I think the argument here could be that it meets Code.

Since we HI’s can not enforce Codes, it must be alright, right? :wink:

So, Joe, how did you write it up. Just curious. :slight_smile:

Marcel :slight_smile:

Hi Marcel, firstly I don’t believe that it does meet code, but that is realy not the point, the design and construction of that well leave several unsafe and undesirable conditions.



In the Central Ohio area there have been many installed due to the new rules governing egress in homes used as care centers when the lower level is used in the care center. (babysitting in the finished basement)

Here is a website of what they are installing.

In most of the installs that I’ve seen they have a cover on them to prevent falls. However in the pictures not all the samples have the covers and appear to be used as planter boxes. My guess is that these are emergency exits only. But with that said the steps should be kept clear to make the egress easy.

Gerry & Marcel,

That was how it was reported.

Primarily a trip / fall hazard as well as a fire safety egress hazard. The water intrusion in the sill area was additionally noted.

Technically, the install meets municipal code requirements and is somewhat of a signature installation for this particular builder.

Yours kinda’ reminds me of the back door out of a loft I inspected last week. :mrgreen:

Funny thing about it is the single mother buyer of this property was very concerned about lead paint which may be dangerous to her two pre-teen boys, but she thought I was crazy for pointing out this and the rickety stairwell to the upstairs with no railing. :shock:

I guess everyone’s idea of safety is different.

Back Entrance From stairs.JPG

Back Entrance Straight Down.JPG

Back tunnel.JPG

I was back at the property today for additional inspections. The measured depth of the well was 5’10" at the foundation wall.

Today’s Inspection.

Same Home Builder, Different Home.

This one was constructed with two Egress Wells (one on the right and one at the rear).

Home was also constructed after (after the 1st one pictured) the State of PA adopted IRC 2003.