FAQs

What is a basement egress window? 

A basement egress window is an emergency exit window from your basement or lower level. An egress window is an easy to open window that is designed to give you a way out and fireman a way in to rescue your loved ones in the event of a fire. According to building codes, a basement sleeping area must have two exits, with one to the exterior. This window must be large enough for a person to exit and for a fully outfitted firefighter to enter. 


We don’t have a bedroom in our finished basement. Do I still need an egress window? 

It’s a matter of safety. An egress window will provide a safe fire emergency exit for your family or guest using the basement living space. Do you have guests occasionally sleep in your basement? 


How are basement egress windows installed? 

Cutting through concrete isn’t a DIY-friendly job and it is important to hire experienced professionals. With over 40 years of experience, Foundation Builders LLC has the equipment and expertise to make sure the window is installed properly in a timely and efficient manner. Click for more information about the installation process


Do they leak?

Professional installation, careful finishing and appropriate drainage make egress windows as impervious to rain and snow as any other window in your home.

How does water drain from the window well?

When excavating for your new window well, we dig to the bottom of your current foundation wall to locate the existing basement drainage system.  Once we locate the gravel, we fill the hole with washed stone all of the way to 4” below the cut in the foundation wall.  Any water that comes into the well will then will drain through the gravel at the bottom into the window well and into the existing basement drainage system.


Can I put an egress window in a spot with no existing window?

We can install a new outside window in any location in your basement wall at least 4 feet wide. Keep in mind that windows cannot be located less than 5 feet from a gas or propane meter. We recommend keeping windows at least 2 feet away from air conditioner compressors.


Can I replace glass block with an egress window?

Yes. Replacing your glass block windows makes your basement safer. In the event of a fire, glass block windows will literally block your exit out and will prevent rescue workers from entering your basement.


Can you install a window if the ground is frozen?

Our equipment allows us to dig through frozen dirt.


Where should I put my basement egress window?

Positioning the window to get as much sunlight as possible will brighten your basement. For safety reasons, the outside window should have clear access to the outdoors. Egress windows can be installed under a deck or porch, but building codes require a clear path with a height of 36 inches under the deck for an escape route.


We're in the process of remodeling our basement. Can you work with our contractor or remodeling company?

Foundation Builders brings expert experience, the right tools and fully trained crew members to every basement window installation. We're happy to work with your contractor.


My basement is already finished. Is it too late to add an egress window?

Foundation Builders can install a new outside window while protecting your basement's walls and carpeting. When installation is complete, your new window will be ready for interior trim.

Will the carpet be destroyed?

Foundation Builders has a proprietary method for cutting the opening of your egress window.  No dust or water will invade your basement.

Will installation damage my home's foundation?

Installation by an experienced crew protects your foundation from any damage. We build new headers above each basement egress window to ensure the structural integrity of your foundation walls.


Are basement windows a safety hazard?

In general, egress windows are not a safety hazard. The window itself locks securely, like any other window in your home, to deter break-ins. (By the way, security experts say most burglars enter homes through front, back or garage doors.) Covers and metal grates are available to cover window wells and guard against falls. Building codes require covers for wells that are 16 inches or more deep within 3 feet of a sidewalk or patio.


How will a basement egress window look on the inside?

Beautiful! We leave your interior space clean, free from debris and ready for interior trim.


What will I see when I look out the window?

Foundation Builders uses a composite well from Rockwell Inc. for most installations. Your view will be enhanced by window wells that resemble real stone. Other well finishing options are available, too.


What kind of window can I use?

Most homeowners choose a 4-by-4-foot vinyl sliding window for basement outside, but you can select windows in other sizes or materials if you'd like. Casement windows (which open by swinging out) and double-hung windows may also be options for your home.


Do basement egress windows qualify for energy credits?

Tax credits apply to qualified energy-efficient improvements and are for the cost of the product (the window unit) only, not labor or installation. For information on choosing a qualifying window unit, visit these manufacturers' web sites:
For SilverLine windows: http://www.silverlinewindow.com/newsDetail.cfm?r=e&id=34
For Precise windows: http://www.preciseforms.com/windows.htm
For Andersen windows: http://www.andersenwindows.com/servlet/Satellite/AW/Page/awGeneral-3/1143432022798


Will I need a permit for a basement egress window?

Permit requirements vary by municipality. Foundation Builders will provide the drawings and specifications you need to obtain any necessary permits.


What about buried utility wires?

We contact Ohio Utilities Protection Service (OUPS) to mark utility lines. Please let us know if you have other lines buried on site, such as electrical lines to a shed or garage or an electric pet fence.


Do you stand behind your work?

Foundation Builders' commitment to total customer satisfaction is what sets us apart from the rest. We perform will be free from defects and will perform according to concrete industry's standards for one year after completion. Additionally, components used in your basement outside window system offer manufacturers' warranties.


How many egress windows can I install?

Building codes require an outside window in every lower-level bedroom. Available wall space is the only limiting factor in designing your windows. Keep in mind that windows cannot be located less than 5 feet from a gas or propane meter.


Will installation ruin my lawn or landscaping?

No. Foundation Builders uses special mats to protect your lawn from vehicle damage during installation. We use the lightest-duty equipment possible to minimize the impact of excavating.


What happens to the dirt that's dug out for the window?

We can haul the dirt away or leave it on site. We can suggest ways for you to use the dirt to re-grade your property during our free site consultation.


How long does installation take?

Our crews can install your basement windows in one or two days, weather permitting. We may require five to seven days lead time before starting work.


What do I do next?

Call Foundation Builders at 513-753-6699 for a free site consultation.
We look forward to making your dream basement a reality.