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Question DetailsAsked on 1/14/2018

Where can i find a contractor to install external access to basement?

Need Quote to convert Basement egress window to the external door. (Dig up area in front of egress window, cut foundation, and install external stairs to basement) - in Middletown, DE 19709

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1 Answer


You need a design for this from a Structrural Engineer first (or by a Structural working for an Architect) to be sure there is proper reinforcing/framing around the opening to support the overlying wall and avoid cracking of the foundation. Usually not a read big issue, unless the doorway has to cut into the strip footer under the foundation wall, but you can't just cut a nearly full-height hole through the foundation wall without reinforcing the opening with immunity. Stamped design by a design professional is also likely to be needed to get a building permit, and of course good to have for bidders to bid to, so there is a firm scope of work.
The issue of drainage also needs to be addressed unless the ground level is below the door sill already and that are is free-draining away from the doorway already, with no risk of seasonal flooding. Many of these type egress doorways require an underdrain intallation, waterproofed concrete stairway up to ground level, and sometimes a bulkhead or entry alcove bulkhead door to keep out water. Potential for water getting into the door from blowing rain or drifted snow also has to be considered, and generally unless in an "arctic entry" or fully protectd by a bulkhead door, generally the door is required by code to open inward. Actually, in most areas a legal egress door cannot have a bulkhead door protecting it if the door itself is subject to inundation or snow drifting which could prevent it from being opened. You normal Search the List category for a contractor to do this would be a Foundation Repair contractor, many Remodeling - General contractors, and some Concrete contractors specializing in cutting and creating openings in concrete (who might sub out the actual door installation to a Door contractor or Carpenter.) A few Door and Window contractors might - but most would not want to take on what is largely a foundation job. Of course, make sure whoever you choose for this has experience doing this sort of thing. One other suggstion - both for security since this will be a relatively screened location, hence a favorite type of area for a burglar to try to break in, and also because unless covered in an entry or roofed over is likely to be more than usually exposed to weather, consider getting a foam-core steel door with decent security locks.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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