Adding a walkout basement/egress door

11 Replies

I'm thinking about having a walk out entry installed for my basement. It's pretty much a studio apt down there and I don't use it for anything other than a small gym tucked behind the utility systems and laundry area. Might as well get some income out of it.

Anyone have experience with this addition/upgrade? It SEEMS fairly straight forward and I'm assuming the easiest spot would be where an egress window already exists. 

Any idea on costs? I'm hoping 5k-10k range.


Check with the zoning people first. My brother in law was going to do that, checked on it, and they figured he must be planning to illegally rent the place out, and was denied. Besides he's in a one family zone, and would even need a variance to increase it to two, which is a big no no around here.

No, costs($20k-ish)heavily outweigh the extra income. I have it rented for $1k/mo and I’d get maybe an extra $200/mo with a walkout. Eight years to break thanks. Would be nice though. 

Tyler, I have done this before. It is a fairly simple job for someone familiar with the project. This project should cost less then 5k, anybody telling you otherwise is high. What is your foundation made of? Do you have pictures of the area?

@Jaime Mejia We ended up purchasing a property in Colliers Hill, Eire, that had a full walkout and was mostly finished. We only had to turn the basement entertainment area into a kitchen/dining space, add a laundry closet with W/D, and finish the 2nd bedroom. The problem I found was that the quotes were all over the place with know one really knowing. We only had so much cash for the project, and often we were faced with maybe $20k just for the door and dig out. It didn't financially make sense. Also, many HOA communities wouldn't allow it, or it was hard to find basements that had large enough side yards for the door and digout. With it being our first big project like this, and all out equity on the line from my last live-in-flip, we went a bit more conservatively, and we were lucky to have our current home pop up when it was time to buy. It fit all our list items and more for our price range.

@Jaime Mejia  Sure! We were always nervous that after we bought the home, the dig out wouldn't work or be too expensive, and then we wouldn't have a back up plan because the home was already bought. Since we purchased a home at the top of our price range, our strategy had to work and we had to get the basement rented out for top dollar within the first 4-6 months of moving in. I think the dig out was too unpredictable at the time. Most contractors weren't willing to come look at a home I didn't own and give me a quote.Maybe it's just a Colorado thing since our market is so crazy and busy. The other problem we encountered was we were looking at limited inventory to buy in February. There were so few options that allowed us to live on the top two floors, and rent out the basement with out sacrificing the quality of home and life we wanted to live. I think finding a property without needing to live in it, would be easier on the timeline and maybe my next investment strategy.

@Matthew Cook I swear you are writing my story on this one as I've been trying to gauge how doable this. The building department informed me I will need a structural engineer to sign off on cutting into the foundation walls, a friend who lives in the area claims having to wait weeks for the HOA to respond to requests, etc. Will have to rethink this strategy. Thanks for sharing your experience! Adds a lot of color to the picture.

@Jaime Mejia all it takes is time and money. Oh and HOA as well as probably zoning approval. If you don't already own the home and have time or of done it before, then it's best to find something that doesn't need that level of modification.

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