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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building a large home in NJ with (icf's) insulating concrete forms. The plans have 4 window wells specified ranging from 12 feet long to 20 feet long, to provide egress basement windows. I am trying to decide what is the best way to construct these wells? The main objective is to have something that is presentable and will not make the house look ugly, and preferably enhance the appearance and yet do it at a reasonable cost. The architect specified CMU but it has footings at the same level as the basement footings, which are pretty deep as basement finished hight is 10 feet. Would it be better to use retaining block? Subs have mentioned prices like $30-$45 a square foot to install the retaing block. That seems very high to me. Is it less to install the CMU and footings? Any help or ideas are greatly appreciated. I have calculated a total of 550 square feet of block will be needed, if we don't start at the footings. If we have to go down to the footings I think we are looking at about another 300 feet.
 

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Hello Sara,
Welcome to CT. Your questions sound as if you are building your own home, or at least trying to GC your own home. Unfortunately this site is for professionals who do this type of work every day.

I wouldn't expect much of a response, at least not a serious one, unless you are willing to post an intro and provide a lot of detail.

Basically what I am trying to nicely say this isn't a site for DIY'ers to come and get advice on how to build their dream home.

For what it's worth, I would go with the retaining block, you can do them yourself and they will probably hold up even if you install them improperly.:clap:

Of course, if I am wrong the worst that will happen is the walls cave in, your windows are destroyed, and you have to spend days shoveling dirt out of your finished basement. :w00t:

That would be a bummer, seems like you might need better advice than a one armed internet warrior. :whistling
 

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The architect has it right....you can do it your way as well, but didn't you price this job as it was drawn? It seems like a cheesy way to try to save some nickels.....do it right...to the footings....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Rockmonster: This is my own home, so if I can save some $, I am not hurting anyone.

Tattoo: This is not a water well, and as long as an architect or engineer signs off and it is structurally sound, I don't think the town cares too much about which way you do a window well.

Dakzaag: Thats for your help but why would I install retaining block improperly? I am not doing the work myself and will hire competent people.
 

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Chief outhouse engineer
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Rockmonster: This is my own home, so if I can save some $, I am not hurting anyone.


Dakzaag: Thats for your help but why would I install retaining block improperly? I am not doing the work myself and will hire competent people.
So you have no idea what your doing and you expect us to help you design your home. Ever heard of getting what you pay for?

Your Archy already spec'd the wall, and you are not willing to listen ... or did you get your prints off the internet as well?

I'm sorry to be rude, but this is not an information clearing house for homeowners. Listen to the people you have "hired" to do this job, they have actually looked at your specific situation and can give you much better advice.
 

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I see nothing wrong with using the retainer. The main difference would be in the appearance and the amount of yard taken up. You'd probably get more light. Check with the AHJ.
 

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