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Concrete Cutting: Shedding Light On Your Basement Remodel
By Robert Short
Basements or cellars (depending on which part of the country you are from)
are primarily seen as dark and dingy parts of a home. In most cases they
are considered a useless area or are used as a catch all for
family discards that havent quite made it to the curbside for trash
pick up yet. Well, with the skyrocketing prices of real estate these days
and the lack of any substantial property to use for an addition to our homes,
the basement, after years of being ignored and neglected, is finally being
recognized as a useful, cost effective resource for adding more living space
to our beloved homes.
Several factors that have to be considered before any serious basement
renovations take place include ceiling height, stair pitch or steepness and
emergency egress. All three of these requirements can differ considerably
depending on where you live. You can call your local building department
and they can tell you these requirements. As for what emergency egress is,
it is basically an emergency escape. A door of at least 30 wide in
most areas is considered a very safe egress but a window has to be a certain
size and a minimum distance from the floor in order to be considered safe.
Believe it or not, the way the safe size and height of a basement window
is calculated is by determining how easily an overweight elderly person
(considered worst case scenario) can open and climb out of in case of a fire
or another emergency. In reality, these building codes were put in place
because no one is going to get out of one of those old metal framed 18
X 30 pull in basement windows very easily (especially an overweight
elderly person) and they would probably die trying in the unfortunate event
of a fire.
Most local building codes require both a door and a window egress in order
for the basement to be considered safe enough for a living area. In many
cases building codes require an emergency egress be placed in every bedroom
in a basement as well. If you are in the habit of doing home remodeling or
repairs without the proper building permits, it is very important for you
and your familys safety that you find out what the code is in your
area and adhere to it.
By adding all of the necessary emergency egress you are essentially killing
two birds with one stone. As I already stated, you are adding safety to an
otherwise unsafe area but you are also adding the benefits of natural sunlight.
Adding natural sunlight to your basement really gives the area a desirable
look and a warm feeling you generally cant get without it. Now, you
may be wondering how people get a perfectly smooth, plumb and square openings
in their foundations. You may have never heard of such a thing or dont
realize the process even exists.
Fortunately, there are companies in almost every part of the country that
actually specialize in the process of cutting doorways and windows in concrete
walls. These companies are called concrete cutting services and / or sawcutting
outfits. Either way, they are listed in your local or online yellow pages
under the heading of concrete breaking, cutting, sawing, core drilling
etc.. A professional concrete cutter will make the process look
exceptionally easy and help make short work of your basement-remodeling project.
If you are going to take the time to renovate your basement you might as
well do it right. By following or exceeding your local building codes you
will ensure your familys safety. Also, be sure that you cut as many
window openings in your basement walls as your budget and the structural
integrity of your home can handle. This in itself will make your basement
the most cherished area of your home. Youll be glad you did it. Good
To find some ideas and to familiarize yourself with the concrete cutting
industry just do a search online for concrete cutting and check
out some of the sites and, of course, be sure to check out our website at
© Copyright 2005 Affordable Concrete Cutting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Affordable Concrete Cutting Massachusetts services the contractor and homeowner
in and around Boston and Eastern Massachusetts. We specialize in cutting
doorways in concrete foundations.