While “egress” may sound like a fancy window brand, the word egress actually means exit or way out, and therefore egress windows refer to windows that provide a means of emergency escape. Egress windows aren’t just a smart way to ensure that people can get out of a room if they need to; they are also required by building code.
At Preferred Window and Door, we are window experts, and are very familiar with International Residential Code (IRC) building and installation requirements for egress windows. For egress window installation, or repair or maintenance, call our team today.
What Does Building Code Say About Egress Windows?
The IRC pertains to all single and two family homes, and is the law; constructing homes up to code is not optional, but mandatory. The code specifically sets forth criteria for egress windows, as found in section R310 of the code. To be sure, the law requires that egress windows be installed in all dwelling additions that include sleeping rooms, and in basements that contain sleeping rooms (although new basement additions that have an emergency escape that is accessible are exempted from this requirement).
When constructing and installing an emergency escape window within the bedroom of a basement, the window must be constructed in accordance with size and operability criteria. Specifically, the window must be operable from the inside without special tools or knowledge, and must have a clear opening of at least 20” of width and 24” of height, and a clear opening area of at least five square feet at grade, or 5.7 square feet below grade.
Benefits of Egress Windows
Egress windows are designed to provide an exit in the event of fire (or other emergency in which a person cannot exit the bedroom via a stairway to the main level). The installation of egress windows doesn’t just provide peace of mind should a fire occur, but can also be used to provide natural light, fresh air, and a way of combating the dungeon feeling that is so often associated with basements.
Are You Building a Basement or Adding a Bedroom?
If you are pursuing a basement construction project in Illinois or Indiana, ensuring that your basement is constructed up to code is an absolute must; failure to build to code can result in fines and fees, a huge headache and a lot of stress, more costs (if you have to make changes later on), and a safety hazard.
When installing egress windows, we hope that you choose to work with Preferred Window and Door. Not only do we have more than 20 years’ worth of experience installing egress windows in Illinois and Indiana, but we think about more than just size and building to code in our process. Indeed, when choosing an egress window, we also consider things like ventilation, security, ease of exit, and even style and energy efficiency.