Egress Window Requirements
provided by J&J Contractors, LLC
Do I need an egress window? Egress window requirements call for basements to have at least one egress window. If there is a bedroom in the basement the egress window must be located in the bedroom.
Do I need more than one egress window? Egress window requirements call for more than one egress window only if you have more than one bedroom as there must be an egress window in every bedroom.
What size egress window do I need? A casement style egress window which is 30" wide and 48" tall will meet the egress window requirements for a standard egress window project
What size egress window well do I need? We like to center the window well with the window for aesthetic reasons so for a standard egress window project a window well measuring 64' wide by 36" projection and between 3' and 5' in depth (depending on how far above or below grade the window sits) will meet egress window requirements
What is the purpose of an egress window? An egress window is a requirement to consider a basement a habitable space and any bedroom in the basement a legal bedroom. This is important when buying a house, selling a house, renting a house, meeting section 8 requirements, providing a bedroom for a nanny, foster child, foreign exhange student, a family member or guest etc. Egress windows also offer more light and allow your basement to look more like the first floor of you home.
Most importantly meeting egress window requirements gives you peace of mind that you are providing a safe means of escape and rescue from your basement in case of an emergency such as a fire. Smoke detectors are excellent warning devices but are useless without a means of escape and rescue from your basement..
When reading through the egress window requirements below you will find that the code is concerned with measurements that will allow a child and/or adult to be able to climb out of the egress window which is a quicker and safer route to safety and possibly the only way out of the basement if the stairs are blocked. The code is equally concerned with fire fighters being able to fit through the egress window and well with their fire gear on (such as an oxygen tank pack) in order to rescue a person who has passed out in their sleep from smoke inhalation.
Summary of Section R310 Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings
Basements with habitalbe space and every sleeping room shall have at least one openable emergency escape and rescue opening (window or door). Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency egress and rescue openings shall be required in each sleeping room.
egress window requirements
-maximum 44 inches from the floor to top of sill
-minimum net clear height equals 24 inches and minimum net clear width equals 20 inches
-minimum net clear opening equals 5.7 square feet
-operable from inside to the required full clear opening without use of a key or tool
window well requirements
-minimum horizontal area of the window well shall be 9 square feet
-minimum horizontal projection and width of 3 feet
-the area of the window well shall allow the emergency escape and rescue opening to be fully opened
-exception: the ladder or steps required shall be permitted to encroach a maximum of 6 inches into the required dimensions of the window well
ladder and steps requirements
-window wells with a vertical depth greater than 44 inches shall be equipped with a permantly affixed ladder or steps usable with window in the fully open position
-ladders or rungs shall have an inside width of at least 12 inches, project at least 3 inches from the wall and shall be spaced not more than 18 inches on center vertically for the full height of the window well
bars.grills, covers, and screens
-bars, grills, covers, screens or similar devices are permitted to be placed over emergency escape and rescue openings or window wells that serve such openings, provided the minimum net clear opening size complies and such devices shall be releasable or removeable from the inside without the use of a key, tool or force greater than that which is required for normal operation of the escape and rescue opening
*Doors may be used as the emergency egress if occupants can exit to the exterior of the house and door is operable from the inside to the required full clear opening without us of a key or tool.
We install egress windows in the entire Denver Metro Area throughout Colorado and specialize in older homes in areas such as Denver and Boulder, Washington Park, Park Hill, Bonnie Brae, Congress Park, Denver Highlands, Sloan's Lake, Cherry Creek, Cherry Hills Village, City Park, Lowry, Stapleton, Wash Park, Aurora, Boulder, Littleton, Lakewood, Englewood, CO etc. You may not need a window replacement, as your basement window may already meet code requirements; however, your window well may need to be replaced. We provide an a la carte window well replacement, window well exchange, window well installation service. If you are interested in a landscape window well, we also build custom landscape window wells. See our photo gallery for different window well options.