Determining What Width for a Basement Walkout is Right for You
Hey, today we’re going to go over options you could potentially have for the width of a basement walkout entry and the requirements for each one.
Four-Foot-Wide Basement Walkout Entrance
The first basement walkout that we completed is four-foot-wide. So the stairs are four feet wide from the foundation to the foundation for the walkout wall. Typically, this would be a bit tight if you’re going full depth, but because this is only a four stairs-deep walkout, it’s okay for a regular foot traffic-accessible basement.
There was a five-foot-wide window before we started construction. We installed a 3-foot wide door with a 16-inch window on the side. We did this to tuck the stairs underneath the window, which allowed us to start building the staircase earlier to have our rise and runs calculated and provide us with a three-foot landing at the bottom and top of the walkout.
Full Eight-Foot Depth Basement with a Five-Foot-Wide Walkout
The second basement is a full-depth eight-foot foundation in basement height with a five-foot-wide walkout. So the stair treads are five feet wide. It’s more spacious, and you can fit any couches or furniture through the entrance. The original window was five-foot-wide. So we trimmed the window a couple of inches to make it wider and fit a three-foot door with a one-foot sidelight on each side. This basement is a south-facing walkout, so we wanted to capitalize on the sunshine and ensure it gets inside, so there is natural light.
If you have a wide enough window, which most basement windows are five feet, this is an excellent way to ensure you get natural light in your basement. You’ll also be able to fit anything through the entrance door, which is three-foot wide; the standard size for an exterior door in America.
Four-and-a-Half-Foot Wide Stairs for a Basement Walkout Entry
The next basement walkout entry we will discuss has four-and-a-half-foot wide stairs. So it leaves enough room to get all your furniture, couches, washers and dryers, and anything that is larger and bulkier down the stairs. The landing at the bottom is also four feet wide, with five and a half feet on one side. That leaves enough room to turn anything around and get through the door. Again, this door is a standard exterior door with a 36-inch width. This basement also had a 5×5 window, so we had the same 36-inch door with a 16-inch window on the left side. So, that works out well to make the landing a little bit bigger at the bottom. So this is a four-and-a-half-foot wide basement walkout entry.
Tip: Install a Gate Railing for Better Convenience and Safety
One tip I want to share with you that we were able to do on the first basement walkout we discussed. We added a gate railing so the gate opens and is fully operable. You can take in anything you need, and it’s a straight shot to the door. The gate is a little wider than 36 inches; it’s 42 inches, so anything that could fit through the door will have no problems. Then it shuts when you’re done using it, and it will be safe and secure for your family or tenants around the railing.
Six-Foot-Wide Staircase for a Basement Entrance in Herriman, Utah
The last basement walkout entry I want to share is the most recent project we’ve completed. This basement is located in Herriman, Utah, and has a six-foot-wide staircase, which is wide but very comfortable. The landing is six feet wide by six and a half feet wide, allowing any furniture to fit that needs to be brought inside. Again, this is a 36-inch door, a standard size like I’ve mentioned.
We fit the door into the existing window location, which was 4×5, so we trimmed it with some stucco that matched the colors of the rest of the home. We didn’t have space on the right or left side of the window to put a side light; we installed a full light door to have the full window to allow for natural light, which is something that you want to consider. Natural light allows any occupants in the basement to have a comfortable experience, so we’re not sacrificing natural light when we use a window to turn it into a door.
So which basement walkout entry width is the right fit for you? We’ve talked about a:
- 4 Foot Wide Entryway
- 4.5 Feet Wide Entryway
- 5 Foot Wide Entryway
- 6 Foot Wide Entryway
Each has different requirements, and there is no one size fits all. So if you’re looking for help finishing your basement or building a walkout entry, building a basement apartment, or remodeling your home, you can contact us or call (801) 341-9690. We’ll contact you to see how we can best serve you and your family. Have an excellent day.