The Basics of Egress Windows

The Basics of Egress Windows

In any room where people spend a lot of time, it’s necessary to have egress windows in place. While their primary purpose is to serve as a means interior basement waterproofing of escape in the case of an emergency, there is a lot more that they can do.

We are going to learn about the basics. You will learn what qualifies as an egress window, the benefits and drawbacks, and which types of windows are best for your home.

The Basics

Firefighters can get in if you and your family get out of the house. Any room used for sleeping or living must have a window through which you can get out. The rule also applies to school classrooms.

A means of escape is more than just a glass of wine. One exterior window or door must be open to allow an adult to pass through to safety without the use of keys, tools or special effort.

Dimensions and Code Requirements

The following standards must be met in order to meet the baseline requirements.

  • Minimum width of opening: 20 in.
  • Minimum height of opening: 24 in.
  • The minimum opening is 5.7 sq. ft.
  • Recommended sill height above floor: 42 in. *

Municipal maximum height may be different from residential maximum height.

The net opening is bigger than you think. Many older homes don’t have windows in the bedroom, guest room, living room, or basement.

There are other terms that apply. There is a clause of additional means of escape inVermont. The clause states that an egress window must meet one of the following.

1 The window has to open on the balcony.

A person trapped in a smoky room can be saved if they are able to escape through a balcony.

The window will be accessible to the rescue apparatus.

The means of escape from the room when doors are broken should be accessible to a fire truck’s ladder or the ground.

The window has to be within 20 feet.

You need to jump if the window is less than 20 feet from the ground.

The fire department needs to be able to get into your home in the event of a fire, and you should be able to escape through the window without a dangerously high drop.

You need to make some changes after installing the window. In a basement a window well might be required. The window well around the window must meet certain standards.

  • Allow the egress window to be fully opened
  • A ladder or ladder steps must be included in the well.
  • Ladder steps must be at least 12 in.

Let’s explore the benefits now that we have established the necessity. The peace of mind that comes from having a safer home is just one of the benefits of installing egress windows in your basement.

Adding windows to the basement increases the value of the home. The basement can be brought up to bedroom or living room code with a secondary means of escape. Adding living or bedroom space adds value to your home.

Adding a window can bring an element of design to a scene that is otherwise drab. Other cost-saving materials, like stone or brick, can be used instead of tin. If the window is not surrounded by a well, you can add a small planting bed to add a view to the landscape.

There is a lot of light in the room. Adding a window in a basement makes the room look better. Increased sunlight can have a positive effect on mustiness.

It is worth repeating. The US Fire Administration says that thousands of Americans die in fires every year. In the event of a fire, an egress window in each room that is intended for sleep or living can greatly increase the chances that you and your family can escape.

The Drawbacks

There are a few things that can affect the bill. A new window installation or an upgrade to a larger, compliant window type and size is usually going to require a contractor’s assistance. You don’t have to deal with a contractor in addition to buying the windows you want, if you choose to enlarge the window opening and install it by Acme Glass. The convenience for a one-and-done transaction is hard to argue against. The technician installing the window is certified and may have a warranty that will save you money down the road.

Window Well Installation

The dimensions of window wells are large. It’s a large project with a footprint of 9 square feet. Local fire departments often have guidelines on where wells can be located in relation to decks and porches, so make sure you know the requirements of wells. Before, during, and after your window project, you should get an inspection. The standards are written for you.

Around Vermont the basement is notoriously damp. If your basement has a history of water problems, you should install egress windows. The window well should be the same depth as the window trim. Updating your gutter or installing a drainage system is a good idea if you have experienced flooding.

The next step is to look over the types of windows recommended for egress, and decide which fits the style and function of your project.

The Options

The style of the window can make it hard to function. There are some basic recommendations for windows.

This large, expansive window has side hinges open wide, making it the first choice for an exit window. Casement windows are used for basement windows.

Double Hung Windows

The sash in the frame of the double hung windows slide up and down. To meet the net opening requirements, a double hung window needs to be larger than the casement window.

There are windows that slide open. The area of a casement window is usually twice the size of this opening due to the sash movement.

There is it. Bringing an older home up to modern code is one of the costs that come along with the use of eds windows. You and your family are less likely to become trapped in the event of a fire because of the additional natural light in your home. The cherry on top is the increased value of your home with the updated windows and the increase of living space in your home.

The homeowner’s guide to windows can help you understand windows and your home.


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