Egress window in a home's basement
Egress windows serve as emergency exits from basements. (Shutterstock ©ungvar)

While the term ‘egress’ sounds technical, it’s actually pretty simple in context. By definition, it means “the action of going out of or leaving a place.” If an area is going to be used as a living space, the International Building code says that the space must have two forms of egress. Because the walls of a basement are below grade, there has to be a hole or well outside each window — hence an egress window.

One of the challenges of an egress window is how to surround it so the dirt doesn’t collapse into it and they can get out in case of an emergency. One of the best solutions for this is ScapeWEL by Bilco. It’s made out of high-density polyurethane and easy to install!

The terrace/step design makes it easy to climb out of the window but also can be planted with flowers to make it look pretty! With this, you and your family can escape the egress window in the case of an emergency with no problem.

Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast to learn more about these topics:

  • How to loosen metal windows
  • Four Seasons of Home Ownership – Fall brought to you by The Home Depot
  • How to fix swelling on beaded cabinets made out of particle board
  • Where to place skylights
  • Removing algae from your roof with no damage

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Simple Solutions

Fast Fix for Faulty Shower Rod — Spring-loaded shower rods are popular because they can be installed without having to screw any mounting brackets into the shower walls.

You simply expand the slightly longer than the distance between the two walls and then slip the rod into place. Over time, however, the spring-loaded mechanism can break, rendering the shower rod useless—unless you employ this Simple Solution.

Adjust the rod to its original expanded length. Then about 1 in. from where the two halves of the rod meet in the middle, drill a small-diameter pilot hole into the rod.

Drive into the pilot hole a short stainless-steel sheet metal screw to lock the rod into place. Now simply reinstall the shower rod between the two walls.

Watch: How to Fix a Shower Curtain Rod

Anti-Vibration Gloves — When using portable power tools, protect your hands by wearing anti-vibration gloves.

These work gloves feature a thick gel pad in the palm that absorbs shock and vibration, which greatly reduces fatigue and soreness, especially when using an impact driver, hammer drill, oscillating multi-tool, or random-orbit sander.

You can also make vibration-absorbing gloves by cutting a section of a thick sponge and inserting it into ordinary work gloves.

Question of the Week

Q: Is it necessary to use a conduit to protect electrical wiring when building a stone/brick pillar for the yard light?

A: While you don’t have to we recommend using UF or Romex cable. It’s direct burial and has extra coatings around it for safety’s sake. Go ahead and put a conduit in there a metal or plastic one, it’s easy to install and inexpensive and is the safer option.

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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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