timberstone - Installing a Walkout Basement Door

Installing a Walkout Basement Door

Installing a Walkout Basement Door

One of the factors that you should be considering when planning any changes to your home is entrances or exits! One way that you can add another entrance to your home is by installing a walkout door in your basement. However, if you do want to go this route, there are a few things you will need to consider– you certainly can’t rush into the project without doing your due diligence. Below, we will go over these factors, as well as the potential benefits of a walkout basement door. 

Should I Install a Walkout Basement Door?

First things first, you will need to determine if a walkout basement door will even work in your space. For instance, will your home be approved for an exterior door addition below grade? Any new basement entry requires a building permit from the city– these are designed to ensure that both structural and safety integrity is maintained during the building process. In addition to this, building permits are required so that it can be ensured that all land-use bylaws and rules are followed. 

If you are going to be adding new exterior doors to your foundation walls, you cannot simply do this yourself. You typically need the structural review of a professional engineer. This is necessary when the width of all new and existing openings in one wall is greater than 25% of the wall’s total length. It is also required when the remaining solid wall’s width between an existing and new opening is less than the width of either opening. 

Does a Walkout Basement Add Value to My Home?

If you can add a walkout basement door, does this add value to your home? You are smart to be considering your home value, and luckily for you, this will add value to your home! Just as finishing your basement can add value, so can adding a walkout door. Oftentimes, adding a separate entrance can make it so that the basement is considered additional living space– as long as you have everything else you need to meet these requirements inside the basement. The exact value that will be added to your home, however, does depend on factors such as your location and the current housing market. 

How Much Will It Cost to Install a Walkout Basement Door?

Of course, when considering any home improvement project, it is important to understand the cost that will be associated with it. There are so many variables that contribute to price, so there is no hard and fast number to stick to. That being said, this type of project can run anywhere from $2500 to $10000. This is an involved and detailed process, and also depends heavily on details, such as the state of your foundation, your own material preferences for the door, and other such variables. Once you meet with a contractor to discuss the job and what you are aiming for, they will be able to take all of these details into account to provide a price quote.

If your home is above grade, then it is fairly affordable to add a walkout door to your basement. Some of the costs that you will need to plan for are demolition costs, installation costs, and the cost of the door itself! However, most basements are not above grade– rather, they are below grade. When a basement is below grade, there are some additional costs involved. These could include the excavation of the yard and the engineering of the basement foundation.

How Should I Prepare the Interior of My Basement?

If you have decided to go forward with adding a walkout door to your basement, you will need to of course decide on the location of the door. Is it going to be on the side of the house, or the back, for instance? If your basement is unfinished, you can then finish the basement based on how the door is placed. Otherwise, it may be wise to consider the current layout of the basement when deciding where to place the door! For instance, if this is going to be a secondary suite for renters or an in-law suite, you will want the door to be on the front of the house. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to put a door in a basement foundation?

The cost to put a door in your basement foundation can vary, based on many factors– such as building materials, the size of the door, etc. It is estimated that this could cost anywhere between $2500 and $10000. You should discuss the scope of the project with your contractor, who will then be able to provide you a price quote and any pertinent information.

Can you add a door to a basement?

Yes, you can add a door to your basement, and it can be very beneficial to do so. They add both value and convenience to your space. It is easier, however, to plan for this while building the house instead of adding it in later. That said, it can still be done!

Can you convert it to a walkout basement?

Yes, it is certainly possible for you to convert your existing basement to a walkout basement. In fact, it is actually easier to do this than you might think– after all, you only need to add a door, and in some instances, a set of stairs, in order to turn the space into a walkout. However, it is not something that you should attempt yourself. Find a qualified contractor to complete the job.

How do you frame a door in the basement?

If you are adding a door to your basement, there are plenty of tutorials online that have information on how to do so. The basic, general rule of thumb is to take the size of your door (for instance, 32” wide) and then add 2” to the measurement for the size of the rough opening width you need to frame for.