Making a daylight basement

Old 10-28-02, 10:35 PM
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Talking Making a daylight basement

I have recently purchased a 40 yr old 1 story home with a fully finished basement underneth. I wish to add a daylight basement by having a section of the foundation wall cut out and installing a sliding glass door. The problem is that the home is on completely flat ground which of course means I will have to dig up the dirt against the foundation for the egress. Questions...Is this a structurely sound idea for approx 6 of 7 ft of the foundation wall to be removed(steel header?) What kind of drainage arrangements on the outside of the foundation should be made (moderate rain/snowfall area, good drainage soil ) ? Is this something that is commonly done? What other building concerns should I consider before doing something like this. Thanks
Old 10-30-02, 07:40 PM
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The answer for this one has a number of considerations. I hope to mention as many as comes to mind but I would seek out a more experienced opinion on this job. Ensure the proper support of the existing floor & installation of an adequate lintel over the door. There are maximun back fill heights which can go against a supported & or an unsupporrted opening in a foundation wall, ie. once you excavate the earth & open up the wall there are limits to the amount of earth that can be placed against the foundation wall. Depending on the amount of frost your area receives you will need to excavate wider than the intended patio door. This is so rigid insulation can be placed on the bottom of the excavation and later covered to prevent frost from getting under the footings at the walk out causing frost heave come the spring thaw. This distance & amount of insulation is best answered by your building department. Also place insulation against the exposed footing or remaining wall to arrest heat loss from the basement floor to the exterior. Either sloped earth or retaining walls will be needed to hold back earth from the door, and drainage of water away from the door via drainage tile to the sump & or sloping the earth away from the basement. Leave a rise from the sill to finished grade. Better to step over a threshold than have water leakage from snow melt or run off through the door. I'm sure there are other points to consider so speak to a local contractor or better yet the local building inspector for more details Good Luck

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