How to Make a Basement Egress Ladder

What You'll Need
Egress window assembly
Treated lumber for uneven framing
Circular saw fixed with diamond blade
Level, hammer, masking tape, masonry screws, nails, measuring tape
Fiberglass insulation and expanding spray foam insulation
Excavation equipment and shovels
Interior or exterior finish materials

Making a do-it-yourself basement egress ladder attached to the window simply requires basic carpentry know-how, appropriate tools, and the materials. Basement egress windows add value to your home, increase the flow of natural light, and provide peace of mind in case an emergency escape needed.

Making a ladder which connects to your basement egress window is a must for your family’s safety. Installing basement egress windows typically involves soil excavation. It also involves cutting some of the concrete foundation; nevertheless, making a basement egress ladder is surely manageable for you.

Step 1 - Select the Basement Egress Window

Choose the right location in the basement to attach the ladder. Consider the exterior part of the window and always ensure that it can be a good escape for fire or earthquake incidents. Another important consideration in making the ladder is to avoid any plumbing, utility pipes, electrical boxes, and other electrical connections or obstructions which cannot be moved. Mark the size of the window and the rough opening needed on both the exterior and interior walls using masking tape to utilize as the cutting guide.

Step 2 - Prepare the Egress Window

Prior to attaching the ladder to the window, excavate the soil surrounding the exterior window. Allow a slanting clearance of 10-inches on every side of the window, 5-feet of sloping entry at the window’s front, and 6-inches underneath the window.

Cut the interior opening along the masking tape line using a circular saw. Shift to the exterior, and finish cutting the foundation wall surrounding the masking tape. Take precautionary measures when making the concluding exterior cuts because leftover concrete will is unwieldy and heavy.

Set up the window in the uneven frame and nail the window flange into the coarse wood frame to ensure smooth and level window operation. Spray insulation foam along the fiberglass and crevices. Also insulate the larger gaps among the foundation and uneven frame, as well as the basement egress window and the coarse frame. Finish both the exterior and interior trim to go along the materials of every elevation.

Step 3 - Make and Attach the Ladder

Measure the distance of the window top to the exterior landing. Use good lumber to ensure the durability of your ladder for longer service time. Make 6 ladder steps for efficient motion.

Making the ladder simply requires basic carpentry knowledge. You just need to attach it on the exterior part of the basement egress window. Do not connect it right at the tip of the window because the glass window will be able to close. Instead, just connect it outside of the window close enough to be reached by somebody exiting through the basement egress window.