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Egress Window and Door Contractor

Egress Window Requirements

Egress windows and doors installations in Northern Virginia and Washington DC require engineered stamped plans and permits per city, county, or state codes. Phoenix Home Services, Inc. follows these strict requirements to insure the egress windows and doors retain the earth properly, drain properly, and stand for a lifetime.

Egress Window Installation Process


Egress window and door construction starts with excavating the earth as needed in the site location. Footers are dug per engineering plans typically 12-24 inches wide and deep depending on the size of the final walls surrounding the window or door. Once the footer is excavated the hole for the window or door is precisely measured and the layout for the cut is marked.

Cutting The Foundation

A specialized hydraulic saw is used to cut the hole through the basement wall and foundation where the new window or door will be located. The window or door is installed per engineering plans typically with two 2×4 on each side, and two 2×8 headers above. This is required to support the foundation that was removed during the cutting process.

Building The Walls

Horizontal number 4 rebar is constructed in the footer base and vertical number 4 rebar is placed upward to support the block walls typically every two feet along the wall. At this point a footer inspection is done.

Pouring the Footer

After passing the footer inspection, the footer is poured with 3500 P.S.I. fiberglass reinforced concrete. The block walls are then assembled with a mortar mixture that consists of Portland Type II Cement and Maryland Fine Masonry Sand. The blocks are filled with 3500 P.S.I. fiberglass reinforced concrete. The wall then has a parge coating applied to both sides with hydraulic cement. At this point a back fill inspection is done.

Backfill Inspection

After passing the back fill inspection, aggregate gravel is installed behind the wall per engineering plans. Topsoil and sod are then applied to the surface to finalize all earth moving.

Final Steps and Inspection

Now the final touches are put on the project. Egress widows require a ladder to be installed in the egress location as well as a steel cover on top. On an egress door rails will be installed lining the stairs. A final inspection is passed and the project is done.

Egress Window and Door Drainage System

Some egress windows and doors require a separate drainage system installed to prevent flooding to the basement. We typically install a secondary sump pump with a battery back up to insure your basement will not flood in the event of a large rainfall and/or power outage.

Egress Codes

Egress window building codes require when the home’s grade require the sill of the egress windows to be below the outside grade elevation, then a window well must be constructed. The required horizontal area of a window well is a minimum of 9 square feet which is measured when the window is in the open. Phoenix Home Services, Inc. builds their egress window well per the Universal Building Code retaining wall detail. We recommend a casement window to get the position and size of window needed to comply with the current egress window code. Installing an egress window or egress door walk up is no easy project and it requires a class A contractor license in the State of VA with a BLD stamp.

When a window well is greater than 44 inches deep, a permanently attached ladder or steps must be installed. Ladders must be a minimum of 12 inches wide and rungs must be spaced a maximum of 12 inches on center. Ladders must be a minimum of 3 inches away from the wall of the egress window well wall. If the ladder projects more than 6 inches into the 9 square foot area, the size of the window well must be increased.

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