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Old 06-30-2009, 06:44 PM   #16
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As someone notes above, inwards and outwards access for emergency responders is one of the reasons for the requirements:


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Last edited by Michael Thomas; 06-30-2009 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:53 AM   #17
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In Ontario the egress code is that you must have a clear unobtructed opening of 3.8 sq/ft with a minimum dimension of 15".
It also states that you require only one window per floor that meets this criteria. Therefore if you have larger windows or a door system on the floor in question then they may meet the criteria and you are OK by code.
However, you may on your own want to ensure egress in all your families bedrooms regardless, for your own piece of mind whether you meet the building code standards or not.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:39 PM   #18
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To approach this, I would separate the requirements and look at it in two different ways.

1st is what you feel comfortable with and what you want for your safety. Whether it meets min. code or not, could you actually get out of the window in case of a fire? Even if you have a window that's minimally code compliant, that's not going to help you sleep easy at night if you're not confident you could fit out to use it as an escape window.

2nd is what are the actual code requirements in your area. Most jurisdictions have different requirements for new windows vs existing windows. If you install a new window, it will likely need to meet different requirements than the current window has to. Some areas around where I'm at have no requirements for existing as long as they were legal at the time they were installed. Others have standards that apply even to 100 yr old windows. It depends on the city, county, etc

EDIT: didn't realize how old the original post was, I can't imagine this is still too helpful yet at this point, oh well. Last post was recent but I should have looked at the other dates too.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:12 PM   #19
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Alberta Bedroom Window Egress Requirements

To clarify, the Alberta, Manitoba, etc code requires any window that when fully opened provides an unobstructed opening that is a minimum area of 3.76 sq ft with a minimum dimension of 15" in any direction. Not a opener with a frame width that is a minimum of 15' wide (the most common mistake). Take the screen out of your window and crank or open the window to its max, in the case of casements you will see that the hardware brings the sash into the opening area away from the side of the jamb as it opens. With sliders or even some single/double hungs the edge of the opened window does not open to the edge of the fixed side of the window.
With the screen out measure the un-obstructed area, from the edge of the jamb to the nearest side of the opened sash, it is this opening that must be a minimum of 3.76sq ft and this area that must not have a measurement smaller that 15".
Because awning windows have thier crank out hardware located on the centre bottom of the opening, (an obstruction) they do not meet egress. Even though in most cases the hardware for the awning windows is easily detached with clips or could easily be broken, the code is a fire related code and though many of your commentors have surmised about fire equipment, this is actually in place for the very young, the very old and the paniced. Firefighters have axes to deal with glass if they need to get in, and if you are too big to get out of 15" perhaps you should carry an axe around with you. So awning windows are not egress compliant even though they were choice number 1 in the seventies for bedrooms (if its raining you can still crack the window). Windows that were installed prior to the current building codes are grandfathered and are not illegal, so if you have them and don't need/want to replace them ensure that everybody in the house knows how to deal with them, ie. regular fire drills for your family in your house, always a good idea. Windows that aren't original to the house provide a much darker shade of grey, technically if you sell your house and the new buyer picks up on the illegal windows, which is rare, it could get messy with either the deal dying, the home owner or in some cases the window company having to replace the window again, or the new owners says meh no worries.
Though these regulations have been in place since the ninties (prior to the latest regulations dated 2006) many inspectors aren`t really clear on the how to apply the code, I have witnessed a inspector measure the frame of a window 2ft x 4ft and surmise that its opening was 4sq ft or half the frame size area, however prior to his arrival I had measured the opening with the screen out, fully opened, which with the frame thickness removed only provided an opening of just over 3sq ft, so if you were confused you were in good company.
One final note, if the room has a closet its a bedroom, it doesn`t matter that you use it as an office or storage or sewing, when your house is sold the realtor will list it as a bedroom, if you want to dance on that knife`s edge, thats your call but its still a bedroom.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:38 PM   #20
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The real question is whether you are grandfathered into the old codes. In the US, as long as you do not change the size or style of the replacement window, you are grandfathered into the old codes. So, you could replace a casement for a casement, but couldn't put a Dh where you had a casement.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:10 PM   #21
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pkrapp -

There is a very good reason to follow the local code requirements for an egress window that provides both exiting AND entering for fire protection/fire fighting.

If and when you go to sell, usually an non-complying room is not listed in the habitable space, so the assessed value is lower and the market value is reduced and harder for a buyer to finance.

Usually it has little to with code compliance, but from a practical point, the value is less in the eyes of an appraiser or financing company. There is myth about closets. Some codes say that any room with a closet in a bedroom, but many other classify a habitable room to meet the requirements since temporary furniture is very commonly used to strore clothing and materials since they eliminate a door and give flexibility in arrangement options.

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Old 02-27-2013, 02:21 PM   #22
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Old thread guys. When we replaced the windows we HAD to make them code compliant (which we did).



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