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Bilco’s Permentry Offers Direct Basement Access

Consisting of a monolithic concrete stairwell and Bilco basement door, the PermEntry Basement Entrance system is used extensively in new home construction applications. It maximizes and expands lower-level living space by adding direct, safe and convenient access from the basement to the outdoors. Precast in one piece and thoroughly vibrated for maximum density, the stairwell can be installed on poured concrete and concrete block foundations. PermEntry is secured to the foundation via high tensile threaded rods and anchor bolts, and all concrete facing surfaces are sealed to ensure years of maintenance-and leak-free performance. In addition, the staircase is protected from weather by Bilco double-leaf steel or polyethylene basement door. PermEntry is a fast and cost-effective way for foundation contractors to add a direct access/egress to basements. It comes in seven standard sizes to fit any foundation depth. After the foundation for a new home is poured with an opening for the areaway, a certified PermEntry dealer delivers and installs the stairwell and the door in just a few hours. The installation includes the following steps:

  • Step One: Anchor holes for the special high-strength bolts are drilled through foundation with a hammer drill.
  • Step Two: Facing surfaces are coated with self-sealing butyl resin strip sealant for a watertight seal. The PermEntry precast stairwell is then lowered into position onto the foundation footing.
  • Step Three: Prior to backfilling, the precast stairwell is secured to the foundation wall using built-in steel anchors. On a block or precast foundation, a permanent steel support is installed on a concrete slab underneath the precast unit.
  • Step Four: The Bilco basement door is anchored to the precast stairwell and caulked. The area is then backfilled and landscaped. For steel doors, a finish coat of alkyd metal enamel must be applied to all metal surfaces inside and out. Bilco’s high-density polyethylene-constructed Ultra Series Door is impervious to weather and does not need painting.

As more homeowners today are using their basements as living space – home offices, entertainment centers or guest bedrooms – PermEntry offers a quality selling feature for new homes. The stairwell and the basement door provide access to service personnel as well as a large opening for easy storage and movement of outdoor furniture, lawn equipment and other bulky items, eliminating the need to track through first fl oor rooms. In addition, PermEntry satisfies IRC 2006 Building Code requirements for emergency egress and is a safe and dependable exit for occupants in case of an emergency. Bilco’s PermEntry is a part of the company’s complete line of basement products that includes the basement doors – Ultra Series, Classic Steel and Sloped Wall Series Doors – as well as the ScapeWEL® Window Well and stakWEL® Modular Window Well systems. The Bilco Company is ISO 9001 certified and has been serving residential and commercial building markets for more than 80 years. With headquarters in West Haven, Connecticut, Bilco has manufacturing facilities in Trumann, Arkansas, and Zanesville, Ohio, and an international network of sales offices, dealers, distributors, and representatives. For more information about PermEntry and other Bilco products, please visit or call (203) 934-6363.

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us