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Old 06-05-2009, 05:30 PM   #1
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Bedroom window egress codes


Hey everyone,

I was just told by a window company rep that the casement windows in our upstairs bedrooms do not meet the current codes for egress. The house is only 20 years old. The windows are 38 " X 38 " with half a stationary pane and the other half a casement. SEE Photo. With the centre pillar, the window area is 16X38 and the casement area is 16X38. Likely smaller when you take into account hardware etc on the casement side.

Is the guy bull-****tin me about the codes?

I presume that if we don't make any changes we will be OK, but the moment we change a window, it must meet current code?

I guess I am going to have to call our county to find out more.

What a Pane in the arse.
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:07 PM   #2
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Bedroom window egress codes


I'm not sure on the exact measurements needed
This is what I found on a search
I'm not sure if just replacing a window triggers the need to meet current code. I think you actually have to be renovating a certain % of the room/house


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Old 06-05-2009, 09:54 PM   #3
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Bedroom window egress codes


Yes, it has been that way for over 30 years, to get a fireman with a oxygen tank on- in and out your child's window during a fire:

Second paragraph: http://www.codecheck.com/cc/pg07_08building.html

Call your local Building Department for your Province's rules. Be safe, G
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Old 06-06-2009, 06:38 AM   #4
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Bedroom window egress codes


IRC 2006 R310, window sill not higher than 44" above floor. Min height-24", min width-20", and require no keys, tools, etc to open from inside.
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:21 AM   #5
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Bedroom window egress codes


Thanks for the help guys. I am going to call our building department to get their exact codes, but I feel much better hearing your input.

It is good to know the guy wasn't BSing me and that our windows definitely don't meet the standards. And our house is only 20 years old. And he mentioned he is seeing a lot of these size windows so it's not just our house.

His plan is to make the picture pane smaller and the casement larger. Like below. Looks OK to me.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:20 AM   #6
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Bedroom window egress codes


OK, I just talked to the County building permit department.

Here is their minimum egress numbers. The wording is mine, not theirs.

Minimum access is 15 inches wide or 15 inches high with a minimum open area of 3.75 Sq Ft.

What this means is if your window is 15 inches wide (like my casement) it needs to be at least 3 feet tall to gain the 3.75 sq ft.

The casement window portion of our windows do meet the sq ft test and they are exactly 15 inches wide. However, it can be argued that we don't have the full 15 inches available for egress because of the casement hardware and the opening limitations of the window.

So here is an example of building to meet the minimum standards when in reality, better than code would have been nice.

So even though I am compliant with code (just barely), I still think I will go with the larger casements when we replace the windows.

Any other thoughts.
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Last edited by drtbk4ever; 06-09-2009 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:43 AM   #7
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Bedroom window egress codes


When I 1st learned of egress codes I couldn't understand why we needed such a large area - 5.7 here (US). I mean if I'm inside i'm kicking out whatever I need to get out. But then a friend who is a firefighter pointed out that it's so a fully equipped firefighter can get IN.
So bigger is better
In your case it will make the opening pane larger (I think) then the fixed side. I'de be inclined to go with the larger size for safety. Like you said - you usually lose a couple of inches on one side due to the way the window opens
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:25 PM   #8
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Bedroom window egress codes


Glad to see you are thinking safety. 5 years ago, I checked egress after I had installed a casement unit. Because of the operating hardware, it was restricted by 4-1/2" smaller, not meeting egress. After calling the salesman and getting "we have been selling them that way for years", I called the manufacturer. They said the same thing, 12 years ago they changed their hardware and no one has complained but me. Now they go bigger, or give different hardware. They sent two 7'x5' free replacement windows, which we left with the homeowner after exchanging the operating hardware (15 minutes each). We had already installed and sided around them. Be safe, G
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:47 PM   #9
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Bedroom window egress codes


I just downloaded a free Canada building code check, which Alberta is under. It stated the same egress window size as I first listed. You may want to download, also: http://rapidlibrary.com/index.php?q=...code+of+canada Scroll the list for Canada Code Check Building, a free download.

You don't have to pay or be a member. Save it to a file, it's more current than mine. It also lists the minimum width and height combinations of different windows. Be safe, G
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:54 PM   #10
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Bedroom window egress codes


Thanks GBAR, Now I am confused.

I will head on over to the county admin buildings and before I pay my property taxes, I'll ask the question "In person".
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:11 PM   #11
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Bedroom window egress codes


OK i now have clarification. Alberta has it's own building codes. The Alberta building codes use the minimum 15 inch measurement and the minimum 3.75sq ft opening area.

I searched online and of course the actual Alberta Building Code book costs $$$. I did find notices on adding secondary suites and the bedroom egress numbers for those bedrooms match the 15 " and 3.75 sq Ft.

So my windows are OK, just barely.

Thanks for all your input guys. And if someone has an actual copy of the Alberta Codes, I would love to have their confirmation.

Cheers.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:48 PM   #12
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Bedroom window egress codes


I also am interested to see the egress code. This is the FREE code check building for Canada: Enter the 3 letters, then click the box Download (to the right of the letters) NOT the Fast download box--$$$

http://rapidlibrary.com/download_fil...ing+Codes+.rar Be safe, G
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:31 AM   #13
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Bedroom window egress codes


The egress codes that I have used over the years in the US are as follows:
A minimum net clear openable area of 5.7 sq ft
A minimum net clear openable height dimension of 24"(a fireman with his oxygen tank)
A minimum net clear openable width dimension of 20" (a fireman's ladder)
A finished sill height not more than 44" above the finished floor.
If there is a exterior door in the room, that will be your egress opening.
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:10 PM   #14
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Bedroom window egress codes


Basements with habitable space and every sleeping room shall have at least one openable emergency escape and rescue window opening. (IRC R310.1)
Where emergency escape and rescue openings are provided they shall have a sill height of not more than 44 inches above the floor. (IRC R 310.1)
All emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet. Exception: Grade floor openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5 square feet. (IRC R310.1.1)
The minimum net clear opening height shall be 24 inches. (IRC R310.1.2)
The minimum net clear opening width shall be 20 inches. (IRC R310.1.3)
Emergency escape and rescue openings shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys or tools. (IRC R310.1.4)
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:00 PM   #15
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Bedroom window egress codes


Check the local requirements, In some areas the bottom of the opening may be 42" in some areas.

I have seen people that did not put in carpeting or flooring until after the final inspection to meet the minimumheight requirement - Set to allow children to get out.

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