Egress Window Systems
Are you planning to install an egress window? Egress window systems are a requirement by law. They provide an emergency exit from the basement or enclosed crawl space. They are also a great means of ventilating these spaces and can also provide a source of natural light.
When it comes to making a choice, it is important to understand that not all egress window systems are created the same. You’ll find yourself faced with a wide variety of choices. Some will be more efficient than others when it comes to space. Others will meet egress requirements in your particular state while others won’t. It is important to compare different systems before you make your final choice.
Common Egress Window Systems
- Casement windows
If you have a small space within which to install an egress window, this would be your best option. These windows are side-hinged. With some searching, you can find casement windows that can be installed with a special operator arm. This arm allows for the window to open even wider than with the standard operating arm. This ensures that the window meets requirements.
Consider different casement window designs from different manufacturers and pay special attention to the special features included.
- Gliding windows
You can install gliding windows and still meet egress requirements. You only need to ensure that these are at least 4ft. in height and 4ft. in width. The fact that they offer a large glass area makes them great if you want to convert your basement into a usable living space. They provide a great amount of natural light for a dark basement and make it more airy and bright.
- Double hung windows
These windows are great for providing a great amount of light in a basement. However, a great amount of space in the opening is blocked by glass even when the windows are fully open. This means that you can only install windows that are not less than 4ft. 9 inches in height. They can therefore be installed only where there is a lot of space available, making them a poor choice for most basements.
- Awning windows
These are probably the worst choice when it comes to egress windows. The mechanisms used for opening these windows disqualify them as egress windows. The hardware gets in the way. They therefore do not provide a useful escape route.
Ensure that you discuss your needs and requirements with your contractor. This ensures you get the right windows for your space.