Designing the Perfect Exterior Basement Door for Your Home in 2023

exterior basement door

Exterior basement doors, also known as cellar doors, provide access to the outside of a basement. They are typically made of steel or another durable material and can come in a variety of sizes and styles. In this article, we will discuss the benefits and installation of these doors and how to choose the right one for your home.

Benefits of Exterior Basement Doors

One of the primary benefits of exterior basement doors is that they provide an additional entrance to your home. This can be especially useful if you have a basement apartment or if you frequently use your basement for storage or as a workshop. This door can make it easier to move large items in and out of the basement.

Another benefit is that they can help keep your basement dry. Basement doors are designed to keep out water and other elements, which can help prevent flooding and water damage. Additionally, they can help improve ventilation and air circulation in the basement, which can prevent mold and mildew from forming.

Benefits of Exterior Basement Doors

Choosing an exterior door for basements

When choosing an exterior basement door, there are several factors to consider. First, you will need to determine the size of the door you need. Measure the opening where the door will be installed and choose a door that fits snugly.

Next, consider the material of the door. Steel is a popular choice because it is durable and weather-resistant. However, other materials such as fiberglass and wood are also available.

You will also need to choose a style of door that suits your home’s aesthetic. Exterior basement doors come in a variety of styles, from basic steel doors to more decorative options with glass inserts.

Finally, consider any additional features that you may need. For example, if you live in an area with high crime rates, you may want to choose a door with a sturdy locking mechanism.

Choosing an exterior door for basements

Exterior basement door installation

Installation of the basement exterior door should be left to a professional. Improper installation can result in a door that does not fit properly or that does not provide adequate protection from the elements. A professional can ensure that the door is installed correctly and that it will provide years of reliable service.

Exterior basement door sizes

Exterior basement doors come in a variety of sizes to fit different basement openings. The most common sizes for exterior basement doors are 48 inches by 48 inches and 60 inches by 30 inches. However, custom sizes can also be ordered to fit specific measurements. It is important to measure the opening where the door will be installed before choosing a size to ensure that the door fits properly.

A door that is too small will leave gaps around the edges, while a door that is too large will not fit properly and may not provide adequate protection from the elements. Ask a professional to take accurate measurements and help you choose the right size for your exterior basement access doors.

basement door size22


Does the exterior basement door differ from the walkout basement door?
Yes, An exterior basement door is typically located at or near ground level and provides access to the basement from the exterior of the home. It is usually a separate entrance that leads directly into the basement.

On the other hand, a walkout basement door is typically located at the bottom of a sloping lot and provides access to the basement from the outside. Unlike an exterior basement door, a walkout basement door opens up to a patio or outdoor living space rather than leading directly into the basement.

Walkout doors are typically larger than exterior doors to accommodate the sloping terrain and may include steps or a ramp for easy access. Additionally, walkout doors may be more complex to install due to the grading and slope of the lot and may require additional waterproofing and drainage measures to prevent water infiltration into the basement.

Overall, while both doors provide access to the basement from the outside, they differ in location, size, and installation requirements.

How to build an exterior basement entrance?
Building an exterior basement entrance involves several steps, and it is important to follow building codes and regulations in your area. Here are the general steps for building an exterior basement entrance:

  • Determine the location: Choose the location of the exterior basement entrance based on accessibility and the location of the basement space. Consider factors such as slope, drainage, and landscaping.
  • Excavate the area: Excavate the area where the entrance will be located, making sure to remove any debris or obstacles. You may need to hire a professional to excavate the area, depending on the size and complexity of the project.
  • Frame the opening: Frame the opening for the entrance using pressure-treated lumber or other durable materials. Make sure the frame is square and level.
  • Pour the foundation: Pour a concrete foundation for the entrance. The foundation should be at least 4 inches thick and reinforced with rebar or wire mesh.
  • Install the door: Install the exterior basement door according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure the door is properly sealed to prevent water infiltration.
  • Finish the area: Finish the area around the entrance with materials such as concrete, pavers, or landscaping stones. Make sure the area is properly graded to prevent water from pooling around the entrance.
  • Install a drainage system: Install a drainage system around the entrance to prevent water from entering the basement. This may include a French drain, a catch basin, or other drainage solutions.
  • Install lighting: Install lighting around the entrance for safety and convenience.
  • Obtain necessary permits: Obtain any necessary permits and inspections from your local building department before beginning the project.


In conclusion, building exterior basement doors provides many benefits for homeowners. They provide an additional entrance to your home, can help keep your basement dry and can improve ventilation and air circulation.

Careful planning, attention to detail, and adherence to local building codes and regulations are all significant factors you’ll need to consider.

With the help of professionals like the ConfrimedC team (that actively work in basement renovation), homeowners can create a safe and functional entrance that enhances the overall look and value of their property. So, why still hesitate? Contact us today and enjoy our highest quality at an affordable price!


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