Replacing Window Wells

Old 06-10-03, 09:45 AM
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Replacing Window Wells

I am going to upgrade the windows in my basement to meet egress requirements. This is going to involve widening the window rough opening (concrete wall) and widening the window well (also concrete).

My question is what is the minimum depth requirement (distance from wall) for a window well. The existing ones are about 2 feet deep.

Also any advice on concrete cutting. I don't know if I can rent a saw to go through 5 to 6" or if I should just hire someone.

Thanks in advance
Old 06-10-03, 03:05 PM
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Location: South Dakota
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Before you start, contact your permit people and also the fire dept. Egress windows have very ridged specs. The windows have to be a certain size, and when open must have so many square inches of opening. Also the bottom of the window has to be so far up from the floor. Any higher up you need a ladder both in the room and in the well. Wells for egress windows are very large and have certain specs as well. We put in alot of them. Not many do this type of work. It takes a concrete saw with a diamond blade to cut solid concrete, and you have to cut from both sides since the blade is only 4 1/2" deep. Having done alot of them, I would recommand a pro. Good Luck
Old 06-10-03, 09:33 PM
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In my area, which is pretty standard, the window well must be 36" deep (measured horizontally from the foundation wall to the window well wall). The openable area of the window must be at least 5.7 square feet. The openable width must be a minimum of 20", and the openable height a minimum of 24" (note that if you just barely meet both of these minimums that you won't have 5.7 square feet, so you must exceed at least one of these minimums). The sill height of the window must be no more than 44", and you must have a permanently attached ladder in the well if the well is more than 44" high.

Check locally.

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