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sgjordan 03-18-2013 12:17 PM

Egress Window Header
2 Attachment(s)
I am looking to enlarge the windows I have in my CBS home's basement. I would like to finish the basement and need to make one or two windows egress windows. The current opening are 27" x 24" and I want to make them 72" x 35". The wall is a non load bearing wall, I believe. The floor joists run parallel to the wall I wanna open up. The windows there are apparently using a tie beam as a header. The tie beam goes around the entire perimeter of the home. So my question is: can I open it up and use that as a header or do I need to reinforce it? I plan to cut out the block and wrap it in 2x8's. If I need reinforcements, can I use 2x4's or would I need steel i-beams? I appreciate any input. I included two pics, one inside and one outside. Sorry the inside pic has poor lighting. Thanks again.

GBrackins 03-18-2013 12:24 PM

Welcome to the Forum!

Is this a one story or two story home? Does the roof bear upon the wall you want to open?

are you stating you want a 72" wide x 35" high window (what I think you mean), or a 35" wide x 72" high? just want to make sure

sgjordan 03-18-2013 01:22 PM

Thanks for having me. It is a one story home. As far as the roof... this home used to have a flat roof. Obviously flat roofs have water issues, so they added trusses. The trusses and the jousts for the flat roof run parallel to that wall. I couldn't see if the last truss (the one that would be above that wall) was supported by that wall at all, but it is definitely supported by other wall. Kinda weird setup, and kinda hard to verify for sure, although I'm sure I can if need be. Thanks.

sgjordan 03-18-2013 01:27 PM

Showing my lack of knowledge:
I'm positive that the tie beam has to support the concrete wall above it... Does that lock together making it not put tons of pressure on the tie beam?

brockmiera 03-18-2013 01:54 PM


Originally Posted by sgjordan (Post 1140126)
I'm positive that the tie beam has to support the concrete wall above it... Does that lock together making it not put tons of pressure on the tie beam?

How wide of a window do you want to put in there?

What is the wall above it made out of? Brick? 2x4 2x6

joecaption 03-18-2013 02:22 PM

sgjordan 03-18-2013 02:47 PM

The window I want to put in is 72" wide and 35" Tall. It is concrete block above it. Like 8x16 block.

Oso954 03-18-2013 03:04 PM

What are you doing for a window well ?

If you want a manufactured one, make sure it is available in the width and depth you will need.

As far as the header, if it were mine, I'd leave it alone, and extend the window down from the header. Lowering the sill will make the egress easier.

Windows on Wash 03-18-2013 03:25 PM

If you are just opening it up for egress?

If so, check the final width (block to block).

If you are at 28" block to block, that should be wide enough with many casements to get a net clear of 20" and then you would just need to excavate down. If you go that route, you don't have to mess with any structural issues.

sgjordan 03-18-2013 04:00 PM

I'm 27" wide block to block. Too skinny to not make it wider, so i need to know about headers. As far as the well, I plan on custom making one. Something like this:

Windows on Wash 03-18-2013 04:11 PM

If you are 27.25", it will meet egress in the casement that we normally use.

brockmiera 03-18-2013 04:28 PM

I'd strongly suggest keeping your window opening the same width and just opening down.

If you go wider just get an engineer to size it. It will be cheap. You'll need it for permitting. and you know it'll be right.

concretemasonry 03-18-2013 04:37 PM

Find out what your local requirements are for egress windows. This is a critical item on any code inspection or for a pre-purchase inspection to determine the liveable area. - No qualifying egress window, the livable home square footage goes down along with amount available to be financed.

Many localities modify the national model codes because of necessary local conditions, such as fire fighting equipment to get in and just for kids to get out of and that maximum height to the opening (not sill) is usually 42" or 44". A deep pit that is narrow is also a no-no because it can be difficult to gain egress or exiting.


sgjordan 03-18-2013 05:46 PM

Where can I find this window, that will work as an egress, with the rough opening width of 27.25"?

spaceman spif 03-18-2013 08:31 PM

Concretemasonry is right - check with your local codes. I'm currently looking into installing an egress window in my basement as well and there are a lot of specs to consider, and I'm learning as I go.

Around here (SW Ohio) the bottom of the window can not be higher than 44" off the floor, so I don't think your window will meet that. Min window height is 24", and min window width is 20", so your window definitely fits that.

But there are also codes for the window well, as well. I contacted a local contractor and he informed me the distance from the window to the outer edge of the well must be a min of 3 feet, so make sure your well meets code, too.

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