How do I install an Egress Well?

This Installation Guideline is intended to give the installer a general overview on how to correctly install an egress well. This Installation Guideline is not intended to replace the Manufacturer’s Installation Instructions, but to supplement and expand on them. An Installer must follow the Manufacturer’s Installation Instructions whenever they vary from these Guidelines to keep the Manufacturer’s Warranty in force.


  1. It is the responsibility of the owner, architect, contractor and or builder to select products that comply with applicable, state and local building codes that are appropriate for the application and use. A building permit may be needed.
  2. Redi-Exit is not responsible for claims resulting from the failure of the contractor or homeowner to properly install or maintain the Egress Window, Window Well, and Cover.
  3. Call your local diggers hotline before beginning excavation to avoid accidental contact with underground utility lines
  4. Gutters, Down Spouts, Faucets on exterior walls, Sprinkler Heads and Sump Pump Outlets should be at least 6 to 10 feet away from the window well. All water must be directed away from the well to assure proper drainage.

How do I install an egress window well?

Step 1: Select an Egress Well location

Step 2: Purchase an Egress Well

Step 3: Mark a centerline and dig the hole

Step 4: Install the Egress Window

Step 5: Drain Pipe Installation

Step 6: Well Bottom Preparation

Step 7: Setting the Egress Window Well

Step 8: Backfilling the Window Well.

Step 9: Attach Well Cover, or Grate

Step 1: Select an Egress Well location

a) Select a location without or remove, wires, pipes or other utilizes.

b) East or south wall locations allow for maximum light.

c) Installing a well in the same location as an existing small basement window is popular.

Step 2: Purchase an Egress Well

a) Make sure the egress well, ladder and cover selected to meet your current State or local residential egress code. See “What is the International Residential Code ” and “What is an Egress Well?”

b) See our large selection of Egress Wells and Windows.

Step 3: Mark a centerline and dig the hole

a) Mark a center line on the foundation wall above where the Basement Egress Window and Basement Egress Well are to be installed.

b) Use a backhoe to dig a hole large enough to accommodate the Basement Egress Well so it is centered on the planned Egress Window opening. Dig a hole 4 foot wider at the foundation wall, 1 foot wider than the projection and approximately 19 ” greater in depth than the Window Well being installed.

c) Clean any excess dirt off the foundation wall. Measure from your centerline each way to mark the inside dimension of the Window Well then draw a line plumb and level on each side of the centerline.

d) Draw a level line at the top height of the Window Well. The Window Well should be 2 to 3 inches above final grade to allow for proper drainage and cover fit.

Step 4: Install the Egress Window

See How do I Install an Egress Window for detailed instructions.

Step 5: Drain Pipe Installation

Although it is not required, if the house has a foundation drainage system it is strongly recommended that a 6-inch minimum diameter drainage pipe and drain cover be tied into the system, to assure adequate drainage during heavy rains.

Step 6: Well Bottom Preparation

a) Determine the final mounting location of the Window Well; it should be installed so it sits 2 to 3 inches above final ground level and 3 to 10 inches below the window sill.

b) Mark the top of the Egress Well on the wall.

c) A 12-inch layer of ó inch Coarse Stone is then spread in the hole.

d) Extend the 12-inch layer of ó inch Coarse Stone 12 inches beyond the exterior dimensions on all sides of the Egress Well being installed

Step 7: Setting the Egress Window Well

a) Center the Well over the window and level it.

b) Do not distort the window well during installation or the well cover may not fit properly.

c) Measure the inside of the egress well to assure it’s not wider or narrower than the well purchased if so, adjust the well prior to attaching it to the wall.

d) Check the Window Well’s inside dimension before fastening it to the wall to make sure the well is not distorted, adjust if necessary. It should be installed to exactly the inside width of the well purchased to assure proper cover fit.

e) 3/8” diameter x 3” long Tapcon® fasteners or equivalent, installed every 12” are suggested for mounting the well.

f) Drill mounting holes through the Well flanges to accommodate the diameter of the fasteners if necessary.

g) Mark on, and drill mounting holes into, the foundation wall to accommodate the fasteners being used.

h) Clean the flange surfaces that will mount against the foundation wall.

i) Apply a quality polyurethane or low-temperature silicon caulk sealant to the flanges to eliminate any water leakage.

j) Fasten the well to the foundation wall.

k) Add approximately 3 inches of additional ó inch Coarse Stone in the bottom of the egress well by the foundation wall

l) Slope the additional ó inches of coarse stone away from the foundation wall at a rate of 1 inch per foot. The stone should be no higher than 3 to 4 inches from the bottom of the window sill.

Step 8: Backfilling the Window Well.

a) Use knee braces to support Window Well while backfilling if required by the manufacturer.

b) Backfill the outside of the Window Well by hand. NOTE: Some manufacturers require the use of stone while others allow using normal soil for fill.

c) Final grade level around Window Well should slope away at a rate of 1 inch per foot and be no higher than 2 to 3 inches from the top of the Window Well.

Note: Do Not Use Frozen Dirt or Large Rocks to Back Fill the Well

Step 9: Attach Well Cover, or Grate

a) Install the proper size window well cover or grate that comes with your Window Well purchase.

b) Arrange to fit any fasteners as instructed by the manufacturer.

c) Check for proper clearance around the edges of the Cover or Grate and make sure it is level.

d) Secure all fasteners provided with installation instructions

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