High Quality Egress Windows
For installation of basement egress windows Chicago and chicagoland residents
call Reliable Basement Services. Visit with us to for more information
on how basement egress windows can add more value to your home!
basement egress window in a basement dramatically brightens an otherwise dark, dingy room, but
it also has a more serious purpose. It’s large enough to offer a
safe exit from the basement in the event of fire or other emergency. Adding
an egress window is essential any time you remodel your basement to make
a new bedroom, office or other living space.
Basement Egress Windows: If you have decided to finish to basement, or are considering renovating
your basement, you will most likely find that your town requires the installation
of basement egress windows. Most building codes, if not all mandate that
egress windows be installed in order to provide an adequate escape route
in an emergency situation, such as a fire. Besides adding safety and increasing
your home's value, egress windows can greatly increase airflow and
light, changing what was once a dark basement into a light, airy living space.
Egress means "to emerge" or "a path out." Egress windows are openings specifically designed to provide an escape
route in an emergency. Local and national building code regulations define
the specific minimum requirements for these windows to ensure that you
can get out and rescue personnel such as police and firefighters can get
in. Egress windows must meet these specifications, and are required to
be installed in every habitable sleeping area such as bedrooms and basements.
Basement Egress Window Benefits:
- Provides a safe escape from your house in case of an emergency
- Provides firefighters a way in to rescue you and your loved ones
- Allows additional sunlight to enter your house through the large opening
- Egress windows can nearly double a living area when building codes are met
- The sensory difference is outstanding once an egress window is installed
- Increases the value of your home
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Egress Window Size Requirements?
An egress window must satisfy four International Residential Code (IRC) criteria:
- Minimum width of opening: 20 in.
- Minimum height of opening: 24 in.
- Minimum net clear opening: 5.7 sq. ft.
- Maximum sill height above floor: 44 in
The horizontal dimensions of the window well shall provide a minimum net
clear area of 9 square feet with a minimum horizontal projection and width
of 36 inches
The window must have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 sq. ft. Net clear
opening refers to the actual free and clear space that exists when the
window is open. It is not the rough opening size or the glass panel size,
but the actual opening a person can crawl through.
The window opening must be operational from the inside without keys or
tools. Bars, grilles and grates may be installed over windows but must
be operational without tools or keys and still allow the minimum clear opening.
You might assume that a 20-in. by 24-in. window would be acceptable for
egress. However, those dimensions would yield a net clear opening of only
3.3 sq. ft. To achieve the required net clear opening of 5.7 sq. ft.,
a 20-in. wide window would have to be 42 in. high. Likewise, a 24-in.
high window would have to be 34 in. wide.
Basement remodeling can be the most affordable option for increasing your living space. Years
ago, there were no building codes regarding egress windows and doors.
Please do not chance that your loved ones will be aroused quickly enough
by the smoke detectors or alarms to escape up the stairs and out the main
floor exits during an emergency.
Basement egress windows and wells are not only a priority safety feature but also an invaluable investment
that should be carefully planned, selected, and installed for any living
space remodeling project. Besides escape, egress windows and wells allow
emergency personnel easy access to assist any trapped inhabitant. Ensure
that there are adequate windows and wells to meet both Section 310 of
UBC and the IRC 2003 Building Code.
Basement egress windows and wells are offered in attractive colors that
will blend with the exterior of any home and complement the chosen interior
decoration theme. Added features include windows with terraced steps molded
in the wells, ensuring ease of escape, instead of contending with the
traditional ladders. Because these egress systems allow a good deal of
natural light to filter in through the windows, they decrease your energy cost.
Egress window specifications are set by the International Residential Code, and may be slightly adjusted
in local building codes, so check with local laws and regulations to ensure
your choice of windows comply. Minimum specifications state that the opening
area of an egress window should be at least 20 inches wide and 24 inches
tall, with an opening path of at least 5.7 square feet. The window should
be easily opened from the inside without the use of keys, tools or other
equipment, and the sill should be no more than 44 inches from the floor.
Slider Egress Window:
So named because of the way in which they open and close, slider windows
are mounted upon tracks or runners. These tracks allow the window to slide
to one side. The window can slide horizontally or vertically depending
on the style of the window. Size requirements are an issue when considering
using a slider as an egress window, 48" x 48" or larger egress
slider windows will be able to serve as an egress window.
Casement Egress Window:
Casement windows are a fine choice for an egress window. These types of
windows offer large panes with hinges along the side. These hinges allow
for complete opening of the window, swinging outward, to provide easy
exit or entrance in times of emergency. They are great for basements and
bedrooms because they occupy such little wall space but offer an easy
route for escape.
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