Basement windows, also known as egress windows, are an easy way to make your basement an extra living space in your home. They add light and make it more welcoming. If you intend to use your basement as a living area, egress windows are not just a nice addition, but are a requirement. This is so that there is not just sufficient light, but also so that there is an emergency exit route.
In older homes, basements weren’t intended to be living spaces. This means that if you live in an older home, you may need to have your basement windows analyzed to ensure they meet current safety mandates and codes. You need your egress windows to be big enough for a fully-equipped firefighter to be able to get into your house through and for a fully grown adult to be able to use as an escape route.
Requirements For Egress Windows
The codes for egress windows vary based on state, county, and city. Peak Windows will be able to find the exact codes for your area. Since they are meant to work not just as a window, but also an emergency exit people and emergency personnel can use, generally, they must have at least:
- A width of at least 20 inches.
- A height of at least 24 inches.
- An opening of at least 5.7 square feet
- A sill no more than 44 inches off the ground.
In addition to these minimum measurements, basement windows have other requirements too. Since they’re meant to be used as an escape route, they must open from the inside, which means there can’t be any screens or bars that would prevent this. Basement windows also have to be able to open all the way and have a completely clear opening, so that getting out or through them is as easy as possible.
If your basement windows don’t meet these requirements, they’ll need to be updated. Peak Windows can help with this.
Basement Windows Below Ground Level
Basement windows can be added below ground level. They need a window well dug under the frame that is at least 36 inches wide and 36 inches long. If the well is deeper than 44 inches, steps or a ladder will need to be added, to ensure that getting through them is as easy as possible. They also will need to still meet the general requirements for basement windows in your area.
So long as they meet all these requirements, egress windows can also be installed under a deck or porch. The only additional requirement here is that there should be at least 36 inches from the top of the well to the bottom or the deck or porch, again, to increase ease of getting in and out through them.
Types Of Egress Windows
When considering adding windows to your basement, know that the requirements don’t mean you don’t have options. There are a couple of options available for egress windows: casement and sliding.
Casement windows work like a door, and open via handle. They’re hinged and open out. Because of how they open, they can go over sinks and other smaller wall areas.
Sliding windows generally will only work for you if you have the wall space for them, as their opening is half the size of the window itself. Because they slide open and closed and both sides do not open at once, you need more space than casement windows.
Buy Windows Directly From the Manufacturer
When you purchase windows from Peak Windows, you will know you are getting some of the best windows on the market. We create custom windows and doors at our Utah office. Our window manufacturing services allow us to keep costs down. In having lower costs, we can pass along the savings to our customers.
Utah’s Best Choice for Replacement Windows
Peak Windows focuses on providing our customers with the best choice for replacement windows. We invest in the quality of our product. Whether you are working on replacing a few windows, or you need to order windows for multiple homes in a new construction development, Peak Windows is here to help! Contact us in Logan, UT for any of your window-related needs.