Home Improvement Blog

What is an egress window?

Posted by william bateman on Tue, Sep 06, 2011 @ 09:55 AM



An egress window is a window that is required in specific locations in a dwelling and is intended to provide an emergency means of exiting a dwelling.  Windows must meet specific size and requirements to qualify as an egress window.egress windows concrete orange county ny




Egress windows are required in every room used for sleeping purposes (bedrooms) on any floor and in basements with habitable space. If you are constructing a new home, the code requires that you put an egress window in each bedroom. It also requires an egress window in the basement if habitable rooms will be finished in the basement. If you install a basement bedroom or bedrooms, an egress window is required in each bedroom. If you have an existing home and you add a sleeping room in an unfinished basement, the code requires that you install an egress window in the sleeping room or rooms. 





An egress window must satisfy four International Residential Code (IRC) criteria:

            • Minimum width of opening: 20 in.

            • Minimum height of opening: 24 in.

            • Minimum net clear opening: 5.7 sq. ft. (5.0 sq. ft. for ground floor).

            • Maximum sill height above floor: 44 in


The window must have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 sq. ft. Net clear opening refers to the actual free and clear space that exists when the window is open. It is not the rough opening size or the glass panel size, but the actual opening a person can crawl through.

The window opening must be operational from the inside without keys or tools. Bars, grilles and grates may be installed over windows but must be operational without tools or keys and still allow the minimum clear opening.

You might assume that a 20-in. by 24-in. window would be acceptable for egress. However, those dimensions would yield a net clear opening of only 3.3 sq. ft. To achieve the required net clear opening of 5.7 sq. ft., a 20-in. wide window would have to be 42 in. high. Likewise, a 24-in. high window would have to be 34 in. wide.

What do you gain by installing an egress window?

  • Added safety for you and your loved oned

  • Better air circulation in your basement creating a better enviroment to eliminate mold and mildew issues

  • Added natural light

  • No issues with your building department(especially if you are selling)

  • Added value


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Topics: General Contractor, basements, construction-general--monroe, windows, anderson, egress windows

What you don't know about your wet basement!!

Posted by william bateman on Sun, Apr 10, 2011 @ 07:56 PM

Has heavy rainfall this year left your basement unlivable?  As the water tables rises, so does your basement? Ever wonder why this is happening? Most likely your footing drains are failing. Footing drains are designed to catch unwanted water from rising water tables. When installed correctly they will quickly remove water from your footings and foundation before it can penetrate into your basement. Over the years footing drains and foundation coatings will fail resulting in a complete replacement of your drainage system.

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This is a picture from our most recent footing drain job. When we excavated we found no gravel and the footing drains were completely clogged with mud. It is no wonder why the customer had water issues in their finished basement.


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How WMB Construction fixed the problem:

  • Excavated the old footing drains

  • Installed 30 feet of curtain drain

  • Installed approx. 40 tons of gravel

  • Installed filter fabric around gravel

  • Installed 4" PVC corrugated pipe for footing and curtain drains

  • Installed filter fabric sock over 4" schedule 40  corrugated pipe

  • Installed 4" PVC solid pipe for gutters to remove water away from foundation

  • Applied tar foundation coating on foundation walls

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Poor footing drains will result in:

  • Loss of home value

  • Mold and mildew issues

  • Damage to your possesions

  • Constant flooding

  • Foundation deterioration

  • Allergies and respiratory ailments

  • Wet rotten wood that can attract carpenter ants and termites

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Adding a curtain drain also helps relieve a great deal of water off of the property. The idea is to try and catch some of the water before it reaches the footing drains.

Why would you need a curtain drain:

  • Excessive water effecting your footing drains

  • Wet areas on your lawn where you need to transfer water

  • In ground gutter to remove water from your property

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What you gain by using WMB Construction for your next footing drain project:

  • We supercede the competition by overdoing every project with extra material and labor that over qualifies with current codes

  • Work one job at a time so you can get back to your regular life

  • Experience in the trade

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Many homes new and old all have water issues. Instead of living with it, fix it! Some water issues can be so bad that your entire foundation could lose its integrity and collapse leaving you with thousands in repairs. 

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Just as an example, WMB Constuction had to remove this damaged section of foundation due to water pressure buildup. Do you know that water pressure can reach 33,000 lbs. per square foot on your foundation walls? This could be enough to severely damage your foundation walls, as you can see!!

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WMB Drainage includes:

  • Footing drains

  • Curtain drains

  • Gutter drains

  • Sump pumps


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Topics: orange county ny, basements, construction-general--monroe, footing drain, excavating, egress windows, finished basement, excavation

Vinyl siding remodel

Posted by william bateman on Wed, Apr 06, 2011 @ 09:30 PM

You may be interested in enhancing the exterior of your home and vinyl siding is the first thing that comes to mind. Vinyl siding offers your home a complete transformation in a matter of weeks. With a variety of colors and styles available on the market the options become endless. With the wrong installation the problems can be endless too!

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Vinyl siding benefits:

  • Instant added value to your home

  • Maintenance free home

  • Added insulating values

  • Home protected from the elements

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Installing vinyl siding should be left in the hands of a professional. Poor installations can leave you with thousands of dollars in damage. The sad part is that most customers are unaware what is right and what is wrong. In the end the customer will suffer.

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Problems due to poor installations:

  • Water damage

  • Dry rot

  • Termites

  • Carpenter ants

  • Blown off siding

  • Buckled siding

The #1 problem in a poor siding job is overlooking flashing. A good contractor will foresee any water issues and correct the problem before it is a problem. I have seen it way too often when flashing was install incorrectly. Nobody will see the results until the real damage has been done.

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A quality siding job consists of:

  • Removal of old siding to expose any damage and ensure proper nailing of new siding

  • Tyvek paper and/or styrofoam instalation

  • Proper flashing installation

  • Good quality vinyl siding that carries wind ratings and a thick mil rating

  • Quality aluminum bending that leaves no open voids for water penetration.

  • Quality caulking. Leave caulking to a minimum and where necessary be clean and neat. All caulking will eventually shrink and discolor.

  • Pressure bends on aluminum facias will strenghten and help eliminate wavy facias.

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 Make your home transform into the home of your dreams!!!

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Topics: orange county ny, construction-general, construction-general--monroe, insulation, siding, egress windows

Enhancement and saftey when adding an egress window to your basement

Posted by william bateman on Wed, Mar 16, 2011 @ 10:27 PM

Most of my customers are not to familiar with the word "egress". It is a term that mostly defines a fire escape window in your homes basement that acts as an exit in case of an emergency. It is the most effective way to move you and your loved ones out of harms way in case tragedy does occur. Can you imagine your loved ones trapped under fire with nowhere to go? Horrible thought but it happens more often then you can imagine.

What you Risk by not having an egress window:


  • In time of a possible tragedy, you and your loved ones need to be able to escape
  • National building codes require egress windows so if tragedy occurs, you will be held at fault.
  • When you sell, most building departments will require installation of an egress window.(not doing so will most likely create huge delays in closing dates)

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Within a few days we will cleanly dig and cut your foundation out for your newly installed egress window. With many installs under our belt, we have perfected installing egress windows with minimal dust and damage. Most contractors cut from the inside- out, we have perfected a technique from the outside-in that brings dust levels to extreme lows. Cutting on the inside reduces dust contents to an extreme low leaving your home virtually free of contaminating particles. Cutting inside will create enormous dust up to three stories high. It is kind of amazing where concrete dust will travel!

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 The ground has been excavated and concrete removed from the outside. This is a huge part of performing a quality and clean job when performing an egress window. You cannot believe the damage that can be done by hiring an unexperienced contractor for a project like this. Dust control is priority as well as maintaining the integrity of your foundation.

Egress windows will also enhance your basement:


  • More natural lightgreenwood excavating monroe ny
  • Better ventilation
  • Less mold and mildew
  • Makes rooms appear larger


Egress windows are a huge investment to your home. From protection to enhancement, think about what you will gain! It is one of the projects in your home you think the least about, but will have one of the biggest effects in the future!

I have to say, most of my calls for egress windows come from home sales that hold up closings for weeks or maybe months. You may have bought your home years ago and during inspection it was overlooked! The new codes have building departments all over enforcing it, and you may/or may not get away with it. If you are looking to sell, do your research ahead of time because the building department can make the closing process painful and costly for both buyer and seller! Most delays range from 3 weeks to a couple of months!

On the other hand, look into the safety and benefits an egress window will add to your home. Pound per penny, it is a wise investment.

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Egress windows; 7 key reasons not to hold up the sale of your home

Posted by william bateman on Sun, Jan 09, 2011 @ 06:40 PM

Most of us with homes have a basement and I'm sure most of these basements have little or no windows for natural light or ventilation. Now a window in your basement probably isn't at the top of your priority list but if you put it in a life and death situation you might have a different outlook on it. In the case of a fire you or your loved ones could be left with no escape and incinerated alive. Many instances of these cases have occurred in the past which has forced the national building code administration to enforce violations to protect people from danger. In any finished basement you must install a egress window as a fire escape. The window must have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet, minimum net clear opening height of 24", minimum net clear opening width of 20" and a maximum 44" sill height from finished floor. Outside the window you must construct a window well with a minimum net clear area of 9 square feet with horizontal projection width of 36 inches. If the window well depth is greater than 44" a permanently affixed ladder needs to be installed. Exit through a garage is not accepted. Basement egress window installation is an excellent precaution to take before it is too late. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!

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What you gain by installing a basement egress window:

  • Peace in mind that you and your loved ones will be safe during a fire.
  • Added natural lighting.
  • Ventilation.
  • Less mold and mildew problems in moist basements.
  • Get your basement up to current building codes.


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I find that most of my customers wait until they sell their home, only to be hit in the face with the reality that they are required to have one. When you perform a finished basement now is the time to install an egress window. The installation is way more complex down the road.

Problems when you go to sell:

  • 90 percent of customers call me for an egress window because they are in the process of closing. This creates massive holdups that can take up to months to resolve if you are in violation of code.

  • If looking to sell and transfer to another home, you may lose your lock in mortgage rate.

  • You already closed on your future dream home but need the money from your old home to stay a float.

  • Your purchaser may be in the same boat and needs to close to get into their next dream home.

  • Inspectors do not care, you are in violation of code and your priorities are not theirs. 

  • Buyer backing out of the deal

  • Loss of money layed out already


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Topics: construction-general-painting-monroe, orange county ny, General Contractor, Construction, Creations, egress windows

Five key factors to a successful exterior paint job

Posted by Bill Bateman on Wed, Dec 29, 2010 @ 01:20 PM

Many years in the painting industry have given us the do and dont's for a professional paint job that adds long lasting beauty to your home at a fraction of the cost of vinyl siding. Paint also always leaves the option open to change the color and appearance of your home at any given time. At any given time you can change the facade of your home within days without the mess of a full exterior renovation.

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Five key factors to a successful and long lasting exterior paint job:

1) Powerwashing surface is a very crucial part of preping the surface to remove all dirt, grime, and mildew from surfaces to be painted. Paint will not adhere to surfaces correctly if this step is skipped.

2) Use of a good exterior caulk holding at least a 25yr. warranty is necessary. Caulk is used to fill all voids before paint is applied and keeps water from penetrating areas that are open to rot. Most rot in homes go undetected for years before noticed usually leaving devastating damage especially if carpenter ant or termites are involved.

3) Before paint is applied it it usually recommended to add an ingredient called Emulsa-Bond to paint. This product increases the adhesion of paint dramatically especially when paint is being applied to aluminum, concrete, or espestos sidings.

4) For the best possible application of paint is still the brush and roller method. Sorry to all the guys that like to spray homes but it is tried and true that by hand you get a better and thicker coat, doubling the life span of the job.

5) The most important is to apply a good quality paint. We always use Benjamin Moore products and have had great success over the years with their product. Just keep in mind that even Benjamin Moore carries different grades of paint with qualities that range in price so inquire which one is being applied to your home. 





A recent customer wanted to replace their entire staircase because of the ugly apperance to the front entrance of their home. WMB Construction also specializes in carpentry so we could have replaced the staircase at a much higher cost. Instead, after inspecting the staircase we found that it was structurally sound.




 Many times we run into decks that are in poor condition and we bring them back to life and get you many more years out of your wood deck. We can inspect your deck and most of the time your deck can be salvaged.


Services we offer:



Topics: construction-general-painting-monroe, Monroe NY, painting, General Contractor, contractor, egress windows