Creating a Window Well for an Egress

Reference Number: KB-00862
Last Modified: July 21, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or HomeDesigner Suite


I am building a house, or doing a remodel, and need to place a window well for an egress into my design. How can I model this in my Home Designer software?

Window well with an egress window


An egress is easy to create in Home Designer by creating a room defined by foundation walls and creating hole in the terrain.

Additionally, you can find an assortment of predefined window well and egress symbols in the Exterior Egress Bonus Catalog located in the 3D Library.

In this article, we will walk you through the process of creating a window well using foundation walls, along with creating a hole or opening in the terrain.

Note: It is important to check the code regulations for your particular area on the required specifications for the window and egress opening.

To create a window well for an egress

  1. Open  the plan you would like to create a window well in.

  2. If you do not already have a foundation in this plan, select Build> Floor> Build Foundation to generate a foundation under your structure.

    For more information on creating different foundation types, please see the Foundations category of the Knowledge Base.

  3. Select Edit> Default Settings from the menu, and in the dialog that appears, select the Foundation option, then click Edit.

    Foundation option selected in the Default Settings

  4. In the Foundation Defaults dialog that displays, uncheck the Automatically Rebuild Foundation box, click OK, then click Done to close the dialogs.
    Uncheck Automatically Rebuild Foundation in the Foundation Defaults dialog

  5. In the floor plan, navigate down to Floor 0 , which is the foundation, or basement level.

  6. Select Build> Wall> Straight Exterior Wall or Straight Foundation Wall and draw a room on the outside of the basement walls. This will represent the window well area.

    *Available In Home Designer Architectural and Home Designer Pro Only.

    Three exterior walls representing the window well

    To create the curved wall shown in this example, select the front wall of the window well and click the Change Line/Arc edit button to convert the front wall to a curved wall.

  7. If exterior walls were created, select all three of them using the Select Objects tool, click the Open edit button, and in the Wall Specification dialog that displays, set the Wall Type to an appropriate option, then click OK.

    Changing the Wall Type in the Wall Specification dialog

  8. Using the Select Objects tool, select the new room, click the Open Object edit button, and in the Room Specification dialog that displays:

    Setting the window wells properties

    • On the General panel, set the Room Type to Slab, and change the Room Name to the label you'd prefer to see.

    • On the Structure panel, set the Ceiling and Floor height of the window well, and uncheck the Roof Over This Room box.

    • Click OK to apply the changes and close the dialog.

  9. Back in the floor plan, move up to Floor 1 and then navigate to Tools> Floor/Reference Display> Reference Display . This will allow us to see where the walls are positioned on Floor 0.

  10. If you do not already have a terrain perimeter, select Terrain> Create Terrain Perimeter to create a terrain on Floor 1.

  11. Select Terrain> Feature> Terrain Hole from the menu and draw a hole over the window well as shown below.

    Creating a terrain hole on floor 1

    If you created a curved front wall, select the front edge of the terrain hole, and click the Change Line/Arc edit button to convert the front edge to be curved to match the window well below.

  12. Create a Camera view to see the resulting window well

    Camera view of a window well