A Marvel Builders, Inc. Company
(610) 469 2787

Pennsylvania's Leading Egress Installer since 2005


Frequently Asked Questions

We try to anticipate questions you might have about our services and provide the answers here.


Why do I need this?

As required by the 2011 IRC (International Residential Code), Section R310, you need a means of egress (emergency escape exit) if you are in the process of finishing your basement or if your basement is already finished, and you never obtained a building permit and now have decided to sell your home. Or, you may simply want to make your basement safer in an emergency situation.

What is the least expensive option?
There are several egress options. There is the choice of a Bilco PermEntry pre-cast stair way that requires full excavation, the wall cut, and a Bilco door. This is the most expensive option but will allow the best egress and also can be used to exit and enter all the time, and will make moving large items in and out of your basement much easier.

We also replace old leaky wood, block or steel stairways.

There are several window and window well options. The smallest window that will still meet code (and the least expensive) would be a Simonton 5500 series 34" wide vinyl casement window with limited lifetime warranty.

Cost range – Complete Scapwell window systems start at $5,250

Cost range – Complete PermEntry stair systems start at $4,500

We don’t want the cost of a stairway, but would like a large window to move things in and out, and benefit from the natural light and ventilation. What do you offer?

We use a sliding window that is 55” wide for this. This window is great for all your concerns, but the contractor who is finishing your basement will love that fact that when the sashes are lifted out, there is a 49” opening that allows for drywall sheets to be loaded instead of bringing them through the house and down the stairs. This system starts at $4,950

What makes your installation different then other contractors?

With the new code changes that require a basement egress, there are many new contractors claiming to be installers of egress windows and doors, with very little or even no experience. We have been installing these systems at an average rate of 3 units per week since the code change requirement was enforced. We have gained experience and expertise and have these installations and their long lasting qualities perfected. The last thing we want is a leaky egress system potentially ruining your finished basement. We are the #1 preferred installers of egress systems in the South East Pennsylvania area.

How long does it take for the complete installation?
We can usually complete the installation in one day.

Does it have to be installed where a window already exists?
No. The window or the stairway can be installed in other locations depending on other site conditions. There is no cost difference.

Can you install this in a basement that’s already finished?
Yes. Our company has been in the Building and Remodeling business since 1987. Our employees are experienced in all phases of residential construction.

Is any of the Egress Window Installation work sub-contracted out?

No. We do all the work ourselves. The excavation, the wall cutting, the installation and the clean up. We own all of our equipment and every crew member is an employee of Marvel Builders Inc.

Will my lawn be damaged?

Although we do our best to protect your curb, sidewalks, driveway and lawn, we cannot be responsible for any damage due to the weight of the equipment required to complete your installation.
We use protective fiberglass mats and plywood under our equipment and all soil is excavated and loaded directly onto our truck.

Will I have a mess to clean up when you are done
No. In most cases we save your sod and/or mulch and put everything back together. You won’t even know we were there!

What about the mess on the inside?

The first thing we do is enter your front door with drop clothes and protect all finished floors to the work location. Then we build a plastic tent to control the water spray from the saw. There is no dust from the cutting. Workers on the inside control the water with a wet vac while the cutting is done from the exterior.

Will I need a support header above?
This depends on the situation and we would determine this when we first visit the site to give you an estimate.

Will the window system or stairway leak?
In most cases we have no call backs. We recommend that together, we explore all drain options when discussing your installation to avoid leaks due to poor drainage conditions.

Do you guarantee against water leaks?

Only if there is an existing exterior footer drain or if you elect to purchase one of our drain options that we will discuss with you during our initial visit.

We have a sump pump and it never comes on. Will we be OK?

This is usually a good indicator that your foundation is either not taking on any underground water or your soil is of good drainage quality, but I would still suggest our “Pipe to Pump”option which is a simple gravity fed pipe from the well or stairway and into the sump pit or "Pipe to Daylight" option if site conditions allow.

What if we do not have a sump pump and we want the warranty?

We also offer the sump pump installations as well. We also offer a sump basin installed directly in the window well for a future pump if you don’t want the added expense of a complete sump pump installation.

When can we expect your estimate?

Usually within 48 hours you will receive a proposal/agreement by e-mail.

How accurate is your on-line quote?

If all of your information is complete and accurate, and there are no equipment access restrictions, our quoted prices are very accurate. We will still need to schedule a site visit so that we can verify all information and to determine the best solution for your situation. We will then be able to confirm our quote or revise if needed.

When can we get on your schedule?
Our lead time from the time we receive your signed agreement and the required deposit is usually 2-4 weeks, contingent on permit approval and weather conditions. We will make exceptions for home sellers who need to make a settlement deadline.

What are your payment terms?
We require a deposit of 30% of the total contract in order to schedule. The balance is due the day of completion.

Will we need a permit?

Absolutely! And don't let anyone else tell you that you don't. For insurance and re-sale purposes, you want to make sure that your egress installation has been approved and is on record. We handle all permits and utility  markings. The cost of the permit is passed on to you with the final billing. In some cases your basement contractor can include the permit in with his permit. We can provide all the information for them once we have received your signed agreement and deposit. Although rare, any required engineering will be billed additional.

What about our underground utilities?

It is the law to contact PA One Call before anyone does any excavating. Even though we are fully insured, and are very careful about locating gas, electric, water, sewer and communications, we still need to have each job given it's own serial number and we as the contractor are responsible for calling this in 3 days prior to starting.

Why should we use Marvel Builders Inc.?

Because we have been installing these units prior to the code requirement and have tried many of the other products that all the "new" egress installers are still using. We have refined our products and installation methods to offer the best possible system, yet attractive and cost competitive. We have one crew that is dedicated to egress installations only. On average, we install 3 systems each week year round, and maintain equipment and inventory on the off days.

Are you Insured?

Yes. Per state law we are required to carry workman's compensation and liability insurance. We must produce proof of insurance for each permit application. Proof of insurance is available upon request.