Egress Windows: Building Codes and Other Considerations

egress window

Many homeowners choose to remodel their basements to create a new bedroom or living area; however, they should consider installing an egress window to satisfy government requirements and building codes. It is a great idea to remodel unused space into a bedroom or additional living area. Basements are a great area of the home for this type of renovation. Before you begin your renovation and remodeling project, you first need to research you local building requirements and specifications before you begin.

Building Requirements

Egress windows are simply an opening or window large enough for entrance and exit in case of fire or emergency. These types of windows are widely required by government and local building requirements and specifications in order to provide an entrance point for security personnel and an exit point for homeowners in case of an emergency.

When renovating your basement to add an additional bedroom, most building codes require that you install an egress window if there is not one already. According to most building codes, any room large enough for a bed that has a closet or clothing area is considered a bedroom, regardless of the actual use of the room.

The average opening required for an egress window is 67-inches; however, you should always check with your local code enforcement to ensure the required size of egress window to satisfy building codes. In addition to the size requirement of the window, there are also additional requirements relating to the well of the window. It is very important to check with your local building code requirements to ensure you are not in violation of any codes before you being your installation process.

Installation Preparation

Before you begin your installation process for an egress basement window, you need to make sure you are fully prepared for the project. After verifying and determining all building codes and requirements, you are ready to start.
The first consideration in the preparation for this project is to determine the location for the window. You will be required to cut into the foundation of your home, while avoiding exterior and interior obstacles that could obstruct the installation of the window. You need to make certain the location you choose is clear of gas, water, and duct lines before you being the installation. You should also take into consideration the desired amount of natural light you would like to receive from this window. With proper window placement, you can allow just the right amount of light through the egress window.

Installation preparation also requires you to fully secure the foundation and surrounding walls of your home before you begin this project. Since you will be cutting into the foundation of your home, you need to make sure you have the proper retaining wall securities in place before you begin to secure your walls and floor throughout the project. It is very important that you properly secure the area around the window throughout the installation process to ensure your safety and the integrity of your home’s foundation and walls.