For starters, we found wet carpet in a finished basement room. It's not a full bedroom because there is no egress window, but does have a small window approx 2' x 1' about 3 feet away from where the leak is isolated. I isolated where the leak is by peeling back the carpet and de-humidifying the room, since its behind finished drywall. After the cement dried out, you can visibly see the moist area where water is leaking down onto.

So the plan is to tear down the wall around the leak, look for mold, and see if the entire drywall needs to come off since the carpet was wet along the entire length of the wall. I'd like to take the opportunity to turn our 3 bedroom into a 4 bedroom by putting an egress window in, since it can't be legally considered a bedroom without one.

Is this a DIY? What special considerations do you need to know when cutting into the concrete? We have an older house, and the basement walls have bowed and were I-beamed quite a while ago. I have a neighbor into real estate who says its actually a pretty simple process as long as you are careful and know what you are doing. What can go wrong? Is this a hard DIY?

1 Answer 1


Before going through the trouble of an egress window, make sure the water problem is tackled. That, itself, can be a huge chore.

And egress window CAN be DIY, but it's going to be a lot of messy work. You need to move a large chunk of soil, cut concrete, install a well, and given the water issues, likely a dry well or drain system of some sort.

But yes, it can be DIY. I would worry about bowed walls, however. If the foundation walls are bowed inward, that can be a sign of huge water issues, as well as structurally compromised foundation walls. Before you dig around the foundation, you may want to consult with a structural engineer first.

  • 10
    +1 Don't ever modify a foundation wall without consulting an engineer. The work may be DIY, but the planning may not be.
    – Tester101
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 10:58
  • I'll tear down the wall, and then have a contractor come take a look. This is probably where I'll start if I get the stones (pun) to do it - popularmechanics.com/home/improvement/1275596
    – Tyler
    Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 1:12
  • 1
    I ended up having someone dig the whole and make the cut. I finished the wall myself :)
    – Tyler
    Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 1:42

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