Egress Window Installation

High-Quality Basement Windows

To install basement egress windows, Chicago or Chicagoland installed, call Reliable Basement Services. We’d love to tell you all about how basement egress windows can increase the value of your home.

The Benefits of Basement Egress Windows

There are so many benefits to basement egress windows! These include:

Provides a Safe Escape
Man looking out egress window

Egress means “to emerge or “a path out.” True to their name, egress windows are openings specifically designed to create a safe escape form an emergency. Your local and national building codes will define the specific minimum requirements for these windows to ensure that you can get out if there is ever an emergency in your home. These requirements also make it easy for police and firefighters to get in. You must meet specific basement egress window Chicago specifications and install in all habitable sleeping areas of your home such as bedrooms and basements.

Increases Sunlight

By installing basement windows, your basement will dramatically increase in brightness. You won’t have a dark, dingy basement that no one wants to be in anymore. A basement egress window can serve as a safe exit from the basement in the event of a fire or some other emergency. Whenever you want to remodel your basement to make a new bedroom, office, or other living space, you should always have basement windows installed.

Increases Home Value

If you want to finish your basement or are even considering a basement renovation, you should research if there is a town requirement for basement egress windows. In most towns, this is a requirement. Most building codes also mandate the installation of basement egress windows to provide an adequate escape route in case of an emergency. Not only does an egress window increase your home’s safety, but it also increases your home’s value, your home’s airflow, and the natural lighting in your basement. An egress window can make even the darkest, stuffiest, most unpleasant basement spaces into a welcoming environment.

Doubles the Size of Your Basement

Remodeling your basement might be your most affordable option to increase your living space. In many cases, an egress window can nearly double the size of your basement. You can find basement egress windows and window wells in many attractive colors that will blend in with the exterior or any home and complement your interior décor. Some windows come with additional features such as terraced steps molded into the wells, which make for an easier escape than the alternative of a traditional ladder.

Egress Window Size Requirements

The International Residential Code (IRC) sets the requirements for egress windows. They may be slightly adjusted in local building codes, so make sure you check that you are complying with the local requirements in your area.

An egress window must meet four IRC criteria:

As for the horizontal dimensions of the window well, they should provide a net clear area of at least nine square feet and a horizontal projection and width of at least 36 inches.

The net clear opening refers to the actual free and clear space that exists when the window is open. This is not the rough opening size or the glass panel size, but the actual opening that a person can crawl through.

Your window must be able to open easily from the inside without keys or tools. You may install bars, grilles, and grates over the window, but you still must be able to open the window to the minimum clear opening without tools or keys.

You might make the mistake of assuming a window that measures 20 inches by 24 inches would be a big enough egress. However, those dimensions will not yield a net clear opening of 5.7 square feet. Instead, it will only be about 3.3 square feet. You will need either a 20-inch by 42-inch window or a 24-inch by 34-inch window to make it the appropriate size.

Basement egress windows are not just a top safety feature but also a great investment. They require careful planning, selection, and installation for any living space or remodeling project. You must make sure that your window meets both Section 310 of UBC and IRC 2003 Building Code.

Types of Egress Windows

Slider Egress Window

These windows slide open and closed and are mounted upon tracks and runners. Some styles open vertically while others open horizontally. Size requirements can be a bit more of a challenge with basement egress windows. You will need AT LEAST a 48-inch by 48-inch window to have the appropriate size. Since they also allow for so much natural lighting, they decrease your energy bills!

Casement Egress Window

Casement windows are a great choice for basement egress windows. They often have large panes with hinges along the side. These hinges allow the window to be completely opened by swinging outward. This makes them especially easy to crawl through in an emergency situation. They are perfect for bedrooms and basements because they occupy such little wall space but offer the greatest, easiest escape route.