No Way Out!

No way out of this basement!I was perplexed as I walked around the semi “finished” basement. One side of the basement had sheet rock, had a dropped ceiling and the cement floor had been painted. The other side held the mechanicals, the oil tank and the washer and dryer. There was plenty of room for storage, and on the whole the area was dry. This space was a bonus as the house was on the smaller side. (On the MLS the basement was listed as “part finished”.)

But…

There was no way out! Well, there was the staircase leading down from the kitchen, but otherwise, there was no way out! No second egress. And to install a below grade window to allow for egress may cost upwards of $5,000!

I couldn’t shake this as time went by, this is a fatal flaw in my opinion. The basement, on first glance, appears to be a great place for kids of all ages to romp around, but with no second egress, is it safe? This basement is a true basement housing the mechanicals, and quite inconvenient at that! And it certainly does not qualify as “part finished”. The only way to get anything down there is through the kitchen and down the stairs. So even if you solve the safety issue by forking over the money and installing a below grade egress window, you still won’t solve the problem of getting anything in and out of the basement. Just think if the furnace/boiler needs to be replaced?

No (second) way out is never a good thing in my mind. Being in this basement reminded me of the recent story in the news of the Massachusetts family who got stuck in a corn maize and had to call 911.

Originally posted at “No Way Out”

c Andrea Swiedler 2011

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