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Basement Egress Windows Q and A

Basement Egress Windows

If you’re remodeling your basement, your contractor may have already brought your basement windows to your attention. Basement egress windows are a requirement by law. They are a vital part of ensuring that your home is a safe space.

If you’re considering having your windows replaced or new windows installed, you may have a few questions about these windows. The following are some of the most common questions asked by homeowners considering the installation of basement egress windows.

  1. What is a basement egress window?

Egress windows are a requirement by law. They are used as emergency entry and exit points from the dwelling.

  1. Do I have to have an egress window in my basement?

If you intend to use your basement as a living space (habitable space), you will need to have an egress window installed. These windows are required in any room used for sleeping or any floor space that is considered habitable. If you convert your basement into a habitable space then building code will require you to have an egress window installed.

  1. Are there size requirements for egress windows?

Yes. There are specific size requirements for egress windows. These are in line with the International Residential Code. These include minimum height (24 inches), minimum width (20 Inches), minimum clear opening (5.7 square feet) and minimum sill height from the floor (44 inches).

These size requirements are given to ensure that an adult can easily fit in through the window in the event of an emergency.

  1. Are there specific style requirements for the windows?

There are no specific style requirements for basement egress windows. However, some window styles function better as egress windows than others. Casement windows for example can be installed in a limited space while allowing you to meet the code requirements for egress windows. These windows open easily ensuring that there are no obstructions in the event of an emergency.

  1. Do I need a window well?

Window wells help to improve basement windows. They allow for drainage of water and protect the windows from the elements. They also increase the light entering the basement.

  1. Can I install the windows myself?

It is best to have a professional install your windows. This ensures that the installation is done right. You can avoid common problems such as leaks or failure to meet code requirements by leaving the job to a professional.

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