Means of Egress in Connecticut
ē · gress noun.
1. The act of coming or going out; emergence, 2. The right to leave or go out, 3. A path or opening for going out; an exit.
According to the International Building Code (IBC, Section R310):
“Basements and every sleeping room shall have at least one operable emergency and rescue opening. Such opening shall open directly into a public street, public alley, yard or court.”
Basement Egress Windows:
Basement egress windows are an important feature for any home.
They provide natural light and air to the basement and a safe exit in case of emergency. Installing egress windows is well worth the investment — not only do they boost property value and energy efficiency, but they can also save lives in the event of an emergency.
In CT, the egress must be one of several different types of emergency exit pathways:
- Direct walk-out access, such as a door or slider
- bulkhead enclosures
- or most commonly (and effectively), basement egress windows
If you have a finished basement without a direct means of egress, then a basement egress window is the most effective way to create this. If you want your basement living space to count as a bedroom for your home’s appraisal, an egress window is the ideal solution. You bring your basement up to code, while also bringing new natural light into your basement living area!
Reasons to Add an Egress Window to Your Basement
While adding means of egress to certain areas of your home is mandated by residential building code, there are also several reasons for egress that directly benefit the enjoyment and safety of your home:
- It adds natural light
- It increases natural ventilation
- It ensures a clear and safe means of escape, especially for emergency exit situations, for yourself and for emergency personnel
Adding and/or updating means of egress in your home, particularly in high-risk areas such as the basement, also proactively protects your home and family from some of the most common health and safety concerns.
Egress for Health and Safety
- Electrical fires – An electrical fire can happen in a matter of minutes and many occur in bedrooms and basements where furniture, appliances and flammable materials may be left unattended for extended periods of time.
- Dryer / lint trap fires – Lint trap fires are surprisingly common and in many cases are unavoidable due to the design of both current and older dryer models. Since many homeowners keep their washer and dryers in the basement of the home, this presents a huge safety concern which would call for egress for emergency escape and rescue.
- Safe entry for rescue personnel – Proper egress lets rescue personnel get into your home quickly and safely in an emergency situation to rescue your family. If an opening isn’t large enough for a firefighter or emergency responder to enter through, you also put their lives in danger. Proper egress isn’t just for your family’s safety; it also ensures our valued first responders get to go home to their families too.
Our Basement Egress Window Installation Process:
The basement egress window installation services we offer are the safest and most professional you can find the Connecticut area. We spare no expense to ensure the full safety of you, the homeowner, as well as of our own team members working on-site to properly install your basement egress window.
Step 1 – Permits and Plans
The first step for any basement egress window installation is obtaining building permits, site plans, and calling before you dig. Every egress window needs a permit once everything is marked out, no exceptions.
Step 2 – Excavation (Day 1)
The next step is removing dirt. Massive chunks of dirt are safely removed all in one day.
As part of our excavation process, we add in shoring by installing a trenchbox – an added safety precaution we always take to protect the work site that many companies don’t do.
It’s helpful to know that when you’re quoted a cheaper price on basement egress window installation, it’s likely because they’re taking (dangerous) shortcuts like not having a trenchbox.
Step 3 – Cutting the wall (Day 2)
After implementing proper safeguards for the worksite, we continue into Day 2 which mainly revolves around cutting the wall. As part of this process, we use a straight saw to ensure a clean, level cut.
We then chip out by hand the area in the wall where the basement egress window is to be installed and carefully remove the pieces of concrete a little at a time until what remains is a perfectly-sized opening.
Step 4 – Shoring the well and placing in the window
After the opening is cut and concrete removed, the next step is attaching and putting the well in place. Unlike other companies, we install two types of waterproof layering membrane to ensure a strong seal and added protection for your window and home.
We then install your basement egress window, which we have perfectly sized to fit your basement’s specifications and to follow local building code.
Step 5 – Backfill and finish
We complete the installation by backfilling with stone (rather than dirt) for proper drainage. Other providers might use dirt to backfill, which is less expensive but not safe as using stone for the long-term health of your egress window.
Examples of a complete basement egress window installation:
If you’re in need of professionals to install your basement egress window, contact us today.
Budget Dry Egress Specialists
Budget Dry had one of the first Certified Egress Specialists in North America in Jason D. Weinstein. The Basement Health Association (BHA) instituted the certification process for egress professionals in the US and Canada in 2014. Certification involves the knowledge of egress codes, OSHA safety and building principals. Budget Dry also has 3 Certified Waterproofing Specialists to make sure the windows do not leak.
We carry window wells from Bilco, Rockwell and Steelway to fit every need and budget. You can download our Egress Brochure here: Rockwell-BDW Brochure Final
Contact us today for more information about basement egress window installation.