Egress Window Installation Process

    First Step In the Process: Previewing the Work Site

    Because of the regulation specifics of Egress Window installation, the property must be assessed before new fixtures can be properly installed. These are the things we take into consideration before starting work on your home:

    • Accessibility to the window fixtures and work site.

    • Obstacles such as utility meters, landscaping, walls/fences, and cooling or heating units.

    • Water drainage.

    • Property line proximity.

    • Any unseen or interred utilities.

    • Weight distribution of the window fixture and proper support.

    • Existing window openings or possibility of new construction.

    • Ceiling height.

    • Size and placement of window.

    • Measurements of well, sill and window position.

    Second Step In the Process: Window Selection

    There’s a wide variety of window types available for installation accompanied by many considerations for selection. We’re happy to make recommendations as well! Feel free to look through the photo gallery for ideas!

    Here are some things to consider when making your selection:

    • Choose from single casement, double hung or sliding fixtures.

    • Double or triple wide windows are available.

    • Will you be painting or staining the frame?

    • Vinyl or aluminum can be selected from for the exterior cladding.

    • Most windows are 30” by 48” and the absolute smallest option is 29” wide by 41” tall if other requirements are met.

    • Our most common brands are Andersen, Marvin and Pella, but other options are always available.

    Aside from the window itself, the window well must be selected and many options are available for that as well. For a beautiful finish, we recommend treated landscape timbers or landscaping blocks. Most wells are required to have a ladder affixed, though steps or terracing also create an aesthetically pleasing presentation. Window wells can last a long time if installed properly and with the right materials be they wooden or corrugated metal. The window well is what will be visible from the interior of the home, so call or flip through the photo gallery for some lovely ideas.

    Third Step In the Process: Digging The Hole

    The most labor intensive part of the installation process is the digging out of the dirt for the area well. The hole stretches 3 ft from the home, is 5ft wide and 5-6 ft deep, sometimes even more. The ground is marked ahead of time for utility lines by Gopher One Call. If any other obstacles are known, please inform your American Egress. We take precautions to preserve your turf, laying plywood to move the backhoe to and from the street. The dirt is removed with the use of a 7 ton capacity dump trailer or can be left on the property for future use.

    Fourth Step In the Process: Assembling The Window Well

    A retaining wall is erected to prevent dirt from pouring through your new window. Many styles and types of wall are available to choose from.

    • Metal and vinyl wells are assembled identically and filled with gravel.

    • Timber wells are also filled with gravel but assembled with screws and nails.

    • Block Wells are more meticulously placed and similarly filled with gravel.

    • Each well is backfilled with dirt and filled with 9 to 18 inches of gravel.

    • Loose gravel absorbs water and deters plants from growing.

    • The bottom of the well is graded away from the home.

    • Additionally, a sump pump or drain can be added to the bottom of the hole.

    Fifth Step In the Process: Prepare Foundation Area For Cutting

    After the window well is assembled, the basement wall is now ready to cut. Whether it’s in the place of an existing window or a you wish to construct a new placement, these windows can be placed wherever you wish. A plastic containment tent is erected on the interior of the wall to contain sawdust and debris. To preserve the worker’s safety, they will wear a respirator, ear plugs, eye protection and hat. A fan is used to clear dust from the home during construction and the workers will ask the homeowner to ensure all other windows are tightly closed to further contain the dust.

    Sixth Step In the Process: Cut The Wall In The Basement

    A 14” diamond, gas powered blade is used to precisely cut the block from both sides. This blade creates a generous amount of dust, but is by far the most precise tool on the market. The plastic preemptively set up by American Egress allows for easy clean up.

    A wooden window frame is constructed to attach all pieces together and the work is inspected to ensure no gaps are left. Vulkem Titanium is used to seal the framework and then insulated with fiberglass and expansion foam.

    Seventh Step In the Process: Install The Window

    Using the built in nailing fin, the window is finally installed. It’s then double checked by the seasoned professional for level accuracy and plumbness. The Vulkem Titanium is added for an extra sealant and secured to prevent movement over time. Any gaps are filled with fiberglass to make the window impervious to bugs and the elements.

    Trim in either cedar, brick mold or mortar is added around the window for aesthetic appeal and window security. It is sealed against the block to prevent moisture and leakage.

    Eighth Step In the Process: Apply The Window Trim

    Wood is customized for the window trim and extension jambs and then fitted to the width of the sill. Clear pine is most commonly used for the trim though any matching wood can be used. Oak and knotty pine are also common selections. Wood can be painted or stained and can be made as wide as you like.

    Finally, the wall is reinforced where cut to prevent weakness and promote sturdiness of the structure.

    Ninth Step In the Process: Clean Up And Go Over Window With Homeowner

    From this step by step guide, you can see that the process of Egress window installation is complex and extensive and not to be completed by an amateur. The American Egress company can take care of the job for you and ensure it’s done properly the first time!

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