Bilco basement doors, as seen from outside a wood home
The BILCO Company’s basement doors and window wells are the gold standard. Learn why in this special podcast.
  • [skipto time=0:26][0:26][/skipto] The benefits of developing the basement into a living space
  • [skipto time=2:19][2:19][/skipto] Adding natural light to the basement
  • [skipto time=2:56][2:56][/skipto] Sealing the walls to create a dry living space
  • [skipto time=3:46][3:46][/skipto] Window and door code requirements for emergency egress
  • [skipto time=4:36][4:36][/skipto] The powder-coat finish – available in six colors – on Bilco doors stands up to the weather
  • [skipto time=6:09][6:09][/skipto] History of The Bilco Company
  • [skipto time=7:10][7:10][/skipto] A variety of styles of escape wells to choose from
  • [skipto time=10:19][10:19][/skipto] Michael talks about how the addition of a BILCO door transforms the basement living space and adds the security of an emergency exit
  • [skipto time=10:59][10:59][/skipto] The importance of using a contractor who has experience installing BILCO doors

In this special edition of The Today’s Homeowner Podcast, I talk with Michael Enderlin, regional sales manager at The BILCO Company.

History of BILCO

BILCO started in 1926 as a steel and iron company in Connecticut, when the Lyons family came up with the idea of using steel for basement doors instead of traditional wood.

Still headquartered in Connecticut, BILCO now serves as the standard for basement doors. BILCO basement doors and window wells add light, ventilation and code-compliant emergency egress to basement areas.

Benefits of Developing the Basement into a Living Space

Many people have basements, and converting them into living spaces comes with more benefits than just increasing comfort in your home.

Developing a basement increases square footage of your livable space and adds security to your home. Many people convert their basements into entertainment areas, in-law suites or even at-home offices, which have been in high demand due to the pandemic.

It’s also more cost-effective to convert space you already have, rather than make new additions to your home. Converting your basement into usable living space offers a 70% return on your investment.

Bilco window wells, as seen from inside a finished basement
BILCO’s window wells let in natural light, making your basement feel like any other room in the house.

Adding Natural Light

Adding natural light to your basement will make the area more comfortable and seem more consistent with the rest of the house. Installing doors and window wells offers much-needed natural light and additional escapes, making your home safer.

Code Compliant

To be code compliant, you are required to have openings to come and go through a basement. Consequently, each room must have an escape.

According to egress requirements, any windows must have a clear opening of 5.7 square feet minimum and a minimum opening of 20 inches in width and 24 inches in height, which is measured between the stops. Door openings have to be 32 inches between the stops and the door, when perpendicular.

Powder Coat Finish

BILCO basement doors first were released several years ago. Now, they are available in six colors that compliment any home style. These colors include white, gray, brick-red, sandstone, green or black.

The powder coat finish on BILCO doors are money-savers and time-savers. You’ll avoid the high price of enamel paint and won’t have to pay the contract or factory finish.

Styles of Window Wells

BILCO’s Egress Window Wells come in two different styles. Each accommodates for anything from single casements to large two-wide casements.

One style is the StakWEL Modular Design. Its rectangular shape adds plenty of natural light to any basement. Another style is ScrapeWEL Planter Design, which is an attractive option available in a variety of sizes.

Basement, as seen from the inside with steps leading to the outdoors
A finished basement adds function and comfort to your home. Talk to a remodeling contractor about your needs and wants before you tackle this project.

Importance of Using a Contractor

When hiring a remodeling contractor, make sure they routinely do this kind of work. This will ensure that the work is done efficiently and in compliance with local code.

Listen to this special-edition Today’s Homeowner Podcast to learn more about BILCO basement doors and window wells!

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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