Important Facts about Egress Windows for Basements Washington D.C.
If you are planning to use your basement as a living space or sleeping area, it is a great idea to have egress windows fitted on it. Here are some important facts about egress windows and why you have to install them. Be sure to involve a professional contractor when installing egress windows in your basement.
Egress window: What is it?
An egress window is a type of window that should be installed in specific areas in home and must meet certain size specifications in order to serve its purpose. The purpose of an egress window is to offer an emergency exit from a building.
Building safety regulations require that egress windows be installed in bedrooms or other spaces that are used as living spaces or sleeping rooms. This includes basements.
What are the specifications of egress windows?
The International Building Code requires sleeping rooms and basements to have at least one egress window. All egress windows must meet the following requirements:
- A clear opening of at least 5.7 square feet. This is the actual free space that can be used when the window is open, or the opening that people can escape through.
- Minimum height of 24 inches
- Minimum opening width of 20 inches
- The bottom of the window should be not more than 44 inches above the floor.
- The window should be operated from the inside, not obstructed with grilles or bars, and not needing keys or other equipment to open.
Do egress windows have other uses in a basement?
In addition to acting as emergency exit points on your basement, egress windows also have other uses. They let natural light into your basement and can therefore thus transform a dark and not well ventilated basement into an airy and livable area.
How is an egress window different from an ordinary basement window?
Egress windows differ from ordinary basement windows in that they must meet certain standards. For instance, if your basement is unfinished, you are only required to have ventilation windows. These will not necessarily meet the egress window specifications.
But finished and habitable basements have stricter codes for egress windows. A basement egress window must:
- Be able to be opened fully
- Have an area of nine square feet
- Have a minimum width and height of 36 inches
- Have a ladder if the bottom of the basement is at a height exceeding 44 inches from the floor
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