5

I have a 5 family apartment building in NJ. There are 2 below grade window wells that protrude from the building and into the asphalt driveway. I want to fill these in permanently with concrete because the windows leak like crazy, and the wells are huge hazards (for tripping and the metal grates have caved in several times when someone drives over them).

What's the risk over filling them in?

The basement is unfinished. These 2 windows do not open. There are 2 other window on the opposite side of the basement that do open (and are not a problem). Also, the tenants do not have access to the basement. The only people who go down there are myself and the meter readers. It's a full basement with 5 boilers, 1 hot water heater, 6 electrical meters and 6 gas meters.

Thanks!

  • 2
    As they don't open then they are most likely not egress windows and therefore it should be permissible to remove them. – Dan D. Mar 18 '15 at 15:20
  • 1
    Is there anyway you can tell if the boilers or water heater needs make up air. The leaky windows help with that.... – Jack Mar 19 '15 at 5:36
  • I just add that eliminating these windows from a basement room make cause this room illegal for some use - say, a room for people to work and live. All depends on country civil codes (some of them measure window area to floor area ratio to say if it legal for people to live there - I lack proper vocabulary to explain, but I guess You know what I mean). Apart from that I say that it's ok to get rid of them. – Marek Oleszczuk Jun 12 '15 at 8:48
3

Depending on the size, weight would be my only structural concern. A large window well filled only with concrete is going to weigh a ton. That could potentially put unwanted pressure on the foundation.

The windows should be blocked/bricked in, add some below grade sealer/barrier (whatever the foundation of the building is made of), the hole filled with dirt and the top paved over to be part of the driveway.

All that said you should also call a building inspector BEFORE you start work to ensure that blocking in those windows isn't violating code...I doubt it will be a problem...but yeah, ask first in this case.

  • 1
    Definitely check w/ inspector. Sometimes those are considered emergency escape routes. – keshlam Jun 25 '15 at 23:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.