Getting a basement egress/exit installed?

basement window installation flickr m.giffordZach emails:

We are looking to make the most of our house and would like to fully use the finished basement. In order to do so, we need to add an egress. Has anyone had this done recently, and if so, any recommendations on who to use?

Basically, an egress is a way to get out the basement in case of a fire. It's often a code requirement, especially if there's a bedroom.

So, have you done something like this? Is this a general contractor job, or does Zach need to find someone who specializes in doors/windows/basements? Please share.

photo: Flickr user m.gifford (cc)


Before talking to any contractors I would suggest going to your local building department, explaining to them exactly what you plan to do and getting their input for what is required. You will also likely need to make upgrades to your natural light and ventilation if you intend to make your basement a living space (sleep or rent out?).

I don't have direct experience, but my inclination would be to go with a good general contractor or someone who specializes. Absolute Basement Solutions advertises Bilco doors and other lower level enhancements; perhaps someone has experience with them. Otherwise, I always call Bennett for something major.

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