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by Theo Stephens July 12, 2022
If you are a handy person who likes to take on many remodeling projects or are a window installer and plan to add an egress window, then this information is for you.
Before you start thinking about the actual work that must be done, such as digging the hole, cutting your concrete foundation, etc., you are tasked with finding the right egress window. There are many choices, and while some might look cheaper, they often cause more issues in the long run, costing you more time and money.
Adding an egress window to your current home means that you have to work with an already finished foundation with or without a basement window. Since you are dealing with existing conditions, ensuring that the components you use for your new egress window are suitable is vital. Whether you are considering the stability of your foundation after cutting the hole for the window opening or the interior finish after the job is done, the quality and the congruence of the egress window kit components are essential. Not every egress window kit is created equal, especially regarding the window frame, exterior trim, and suitability for retrofit. This is where the exo frame comes in.
What is an exo frame, you might ask, and what makes it so unique?
The steel ExoFrameTM you receive as part of the Egress Window Kit provided by Bright Idea Egress is a patented design. Each kit component is designed to interface or interlock with the other. It is as simple as putting together a Lego® kit. There is no other kit on the market where all the components were designed to work together.
The single-piece design of our ExoFrameTM is a lot easier to install than the usual wood frames.
It requires up to 30% less concrete cutting and, therefore, less concrete removal to be code-compliant.
No onsite fabrication is required, as is typical for conventional wood frames.
All these benefits will allow you to install and seal your new egress window in much less time than it would take to install a regular window.
The frame is designed as a single piece and is meant to support a 3,000 lbs load at the center point and 6,000 lbs overall for certain sizes. You will experience excellent and superior load-bearing capacity when choosing this frame. Our kit (29” x 47”) also comes with structural drawings drawn by a professional engineer, which can be downloaded for free from our website. These drawings can be stamped by your local professional engineer, saving you time and money.
If your home has a pier foundation, you must add a steel header across the top section of your window. That may not be an issue if your basement is unfinished, but if you add an egress window to a finished basement, get ready for more messy and costly interior demolition. Not to mention that a steel header interferes with trim and requires the window to be lower in the opening; this eclipses more of the daylight out of your room. The ExoFrameTM serves as the steel header, allowing for maximum window size and light.
The old-school way to install an egress window involved gluing, screwing, caulking, and nailing a wood framework to a concrete wall and affixing a window somehow. All this happens in a moist environment with extreme temperature differentials and materials that expand and contract at different rates. This scenario is the perfect storm for caulk failure!
The challenges of a regular egress window kit are that you deal with a multitude of materials, such as vinyl, wood, and concrete, that all come with their own contraction and expansion rates, depending on the temperatures they are exposed to. Add different adhesive capabilities and caulk into the mix, and you will discover that there are many opportunities for moisture to seep in because of failure.
A wooden frame and the exterior trim are manually put together, including joints, edges, and lips that can potentially collect moisture, which in return can cause rotting and leakage. The ExoFrameTM is one piece, making it almost impossible for moisture for water to intrude.
Any conventional egress window requires an exterior wood trim to keep the elements out. The ExoFrameTM is installed into the opening with a high-quality concrete lag bolt and a butyl gasket and secured against the foundation wall. It's a highly reliable compression seal. On the other hand, an exterior trim needs caulk, glue, and paint, all of which will need maintenance down the road.
Are the benefits of an egress window kit with ExoFrameTM appealing to you? Do not hesitate to call our courteous and knowledgeable team at Bright Idea Egress at 303-761-3730 today to order your egress window kit and get your remodeling project started.
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Call (303) 761-3730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to order or ask any questions.
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