How to Build a Walk Out Basement

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How to Build a Walk Out Basement. With a walk-out basement, part of the basement is below ground and the wall where the door is located is above ground. Walk-out basements are built on sites that are on hills or steep slopes.

Build a Walk-Out Basement in a New Home

  • Call your municipality's building department to check for basement requirements. They may require a specified number of outside exits for the basement to be considered habitable. Find out what the footer and foundation requirements are.

  • Measure the height of the foundation, footer, floor and basement space. Measure the slope of your lot. Calculate the change to the topography. Draw up a topography plan.

  • Draw up plans. Bring them to your building department when you apply for a building permit. Schedule inspections.

  • Excavate to the required depth.

  • Pour the concrete for the slab. Decide whether to use concrete or cinder block for the foundation. If using concrete, build a form for basement walls that includes a door entry. Attach it to the concrete according to your building department's requirements.

  • Mix the concrete according to the manufacturer's directions. Pour concrete or build the walls with cinder block.

  • Choose a door for the entrance. A sliding door that opens onto a deck is a common feature of walk-out basements. Install the door according to manufacturer's directions.

Build a Walk-Out Basement in an Existing Home

  • Talk to your municipality's building department to determine whether you can build a walk-out basement. Find out what the requirements are for headers, bracing and supports.

  • Decide whether you want to build a walk-out basement or just a set of doors to enter and exit the basement. The latter will be less expensive and easier to install.

  • Measure the area where the door will be installed. Mark the edges with stakes. Remove the soil with a backhoe.

  • Select a door unit. A pre-cast concrete stairwell and door unit is the easiest to install. Decide whether you want to have the unit installed or do it yourself.

  • Hire a qualified foundation contractor to cut through the concrete or block and install the proper bracing and supports.

  • Lower the door unit into place. Bolt the frame to the concrete.

  • Caulk around the door frame. Paint the door with metal enamel.

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