Finished basements are wonderful. In the sorry event that you live in a house that does not have an outside basement entrance, you could add the entry yourself. The work can be quite a tricky one, however. You’ve to punch through the foundation wall and seek out vast amounts of dirt. Each shovelful doesn’t weigh greatly but it takes a fantastic number to fill a wheelbarrow. And the wheelbarrow loads that need to be removed? One shudders to tally.
So make use of a modicum of sense. Have a builder or architect – who’s seen finished basements with outside basement entrances before – check over the foundation before you begin chipping out blocks. Unless family finances are scraping bottom, hire out the excavation work. A man seated comfortably on a back hoe can do the job in a few hours. If not, buy a case of beer, make sandwiches and call up every friend you ever had. If they have finished basements, they’ll understand your plight.
Excavate a place about 5 ft. square to expose the foundation wall where in actuality the doorway will soon be placed. (assuming your basement is among the average Finished Basement that is about six to nine steps below ground.) Play it safe and incorporate a 45-degree slope across the sides to avoid a cave-in.
With a sledge hammer and a few mason’s chisels, break through the basement wall. When you have the foresight to do this job from the within, you are able to keep a firm footing instead of sloshing about in the muck outside, that is typical for many finished basements.
Undoubtedly you will soon be using one of those slanting hatchway doors to close off the opening. Check through the manufacturer’s literature and get the actual dimensions. That hole you dug in the bottom must be lined with masonry block to make an extension of the foundation. Exact size here depends upon the entranceway frame size; finished basements vary on this time so it’s hard to offer exact advice without seeing your specific case.
Build a hard wood form in the bottom of your pit and pour concrete footings. Then develop the wall, staggering the joints of the blocks for extra strength. Bond carefully where the newest block meets the old house foundation. Carefully waterproof the outside of the masonry utilising the black, gucky foundation coating created for this purpose. When you have an extreme water problem in the basement, that is not beyond possibility for some of the existing finished basements I know, apply a membrane of numerous layers of saturated asphalt paper and mastic. You can then shovel the dirt back against the newest foundation walls.
Installing the hatchway door itself only takes about four hours in my experience with finished basements. When you have a set of exterior basement steps covered by a battered old wooden cover you could start listening at this point. The procedure, after you have ripped away the old mess, is the same.
Open up the package of the machine and assemble the frame. The gadget has to suit firmly against the medial side of the home, so position the frame on the surface of the masonry and mark where it meets the siding. Cut fully out the clapboard or shingles. There isn’t to worry with this step when you have a masonry house; for many finished basements you don’t have to be worried about it. Attach the doors to the frame and joggle it slightly to be sure it’s square and that the doors line up properly.
Meticulously, so you don’t shift position of the frame, take away the doors. You’ll notice a few holes in the underside of the frame. Mark the career of those on the masonry underneath. Slide away the frame and drill holes in the masonry to take expanding plugs. Seat the lead plugs, replace the frame and tighten it down. Put back the doors and install any miscellaneous hardware. Finally, calk the framework to make it weather-tight and replace any needed house siding.
With the addition of some steps if needed, you now have the entry to your basement and you are able to compete with the best finished basements which have an outside entry!Read More