Egress Windows

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Basement Egress Windows

Egress Windows dramatically brighten 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.

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.

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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

 

It’s the Law

If you add a bedroom in an unfinished basement or create a habitable space in your basement, an egress window must be installed in the bedroom.

According to the International Residential Code (IRC) 2003 lower level egress requirements, egress windows and wells are required under the following circumstances:

-If you add a bedroom in an unfinished basement, an egress window must be installed in the bedroom.
-If you create a habitable space in your basement other than a bedroom and you currently do not have an egress window, one must be included with the installation of the habitable room.

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