Egress Question - Windows and Doors - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
Advertisement


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Windows and Doors

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Like Tree3Likes
  • 2 Post By 3onthetree
  • 1 Post By Old Thomas
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes
Old 03-25-2020, 02:54 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 4
Default

Egress question


Hi,

I have a house built in the 60's in Utah. Unfinished basement, and am trying to finish it. From what i understand is that egress windows need to be minimum of 24" high and 20" wide to meet new standards(without window well). Current window size is 24"Hx72"W above the ground so a opening of 22.5"Hx34"W which does not meet the 24" height requirement and 5.3 square feet vs 5.7 required. Still seems large enough for most people to get out of.

I guess my question is do you think it is worth increasing the window to a 36"Hx72"W to meet the egress requirement or to just keep the current size? I estimate it will cost around $2,000 to replace two windows , cut concrete and put in window wells. What are your opinions?

Thanks!


Last edited by hap801; 03-25-2020 at 02:56 PM.
hap801 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-25-2020, 02:58 PM   #2
Exterior Construction
 
Windows on Wash's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Washington DC Metro Area (VA, MD, DC)
Posts: 22,934
Rewards Points: 9,596
Blog Entries: 41
Default

Re: Egress question


Whether it needs a well or not is relative if the window/opening will be below grade.

If you are finishing the basement, the code officials will inform you on the exact requirements to consider it a legal bedroom. There are exceptions for ground/grade level vs. below grade.
Windows on Wash is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-25-2020, 03:10 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Maine
Posts: 9,199
Rewards Points: 8,522
Default

Re: Egress question


The size is also necessary for firefighters to enter wearing protective gear and air tanks (from what i understand0.

As Windows said, this needs to be discussed with your local authority along with your permit for the entire project.

Personally, I hate basements, but if no moisture problems and improved correctly they can be living space.

Be sure to update your home owners insurance to include the improvement.

Bud
__________________
I volunteer my help and opinions, but you are responsible for what YOU choose to do with that information.
Bud9051 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-25-2020, 03:49 PM   #4
Hammered Thumb
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: SuburbanIL
Posts: 1,743
Rewards Points: 1,250
Default

Re: Egress question


IRC R310 code is 5.7sf clear opening above ground and 5.0sf at or below grade. There is a 44" max sill height to get up to the window, but there is a code exception for replacements. The controls must also conform to ASTM, which means the window will be designated by the manufacturer as an "egress" window. Even with lax code enforcement, if it does not look like an easily-opened window, the inspector might ask for the spec sheet. They will be your final say for permit, however, even if allowed to remain non-compliant, you should also think about insurance and assessment/resale value whether it is a defined bedroom.
Windows on Wash and Bud9051 like this.
3onthetree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2020, 04:31 PM   #5
retired framer
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Fraser Valley BC Canada
Posts: 32,386
Rewards Points: 8,436
Default

Re: Egress question


Some times you can re arrange the header and go up and then you would need a ladder of sorts. As is you likely need a ladder anyway.
__________________
Do not use flat bottom gables with scissor trusses.
Nealtw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2020, 10:43 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: NY and FL
Posts: 831
Rewards Points: 1,666
Default

Re: Egress question


In NY, code is based on the IRC which many places use. A basement that is being converted from unfinished space to finished space has to be built to today’s code. If it was previously finished in conformity with a previous code you could replace a window with a similar new window that meets the code in effect when it was finished. As I read your situation, it should be built to today’s code. If you cheat and someone, including a firefighter, is trapped, you could have a very bad day in court. I am sure the prosecution will find this thread demonstrating that you knew. Do you feel lucky?
Bud9051 likes this.

Last edited by Old Thomas; 03-25-2020 at 10:46 PM.
Old Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 10:19 AM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 4
Default

Re: Egress question


Thanks for the helpful information everyone. I contacted my city building department like you suggested, and he told me this, the window DOES meet the 5 square foot minimum size opening for above ground level window, but I do not meet the floor to sill height which needs to be 44" and I am at 50" currently. So, from that information my only options are to A put in a bigger window that will get me into the 44" sill height requirement, or B put in a permanent step in front of the window to meet the 44" sill height requirement. Even though it does not say anything about a "step" in the 2015 IRC code for replacement windows.

Quote:
R310.2.5 Replacement windows.
Replacement windows installed in buildings meeting the scope of this code shall be exempt from the maximum sill height requirements of Sections R310.1 and Sections R310.2.1 and R310.2.2, provided the replacement window meets the following conditions:

The replacement window is the manufacturer’s largest standard size window that will fit within the existing frame or existing rough opening. The replacement window is of the same operating style as the existing window or a style that provides for an equal or greater window opening area than the existing window.

The replacement window is not part of a change of occupancy.
I assume this is only for basements that are already finished.
hap801 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 04:21 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 5,491
Rewards Points: 686
Default

Re: Egress question


$2000 for 1.5" gain feels like a good money down the drain. I would, at least, ask the building inspector. Does the town require you to have a permit? For that money I would look for rationalizations not to spend. Very tiny steps forward for safety but majority of houses are old and don't have such big size egress windows. There is no argument here, though, if starting with legal responsibilities for yourself.



Look at the casement windows. Some may come with different kind of hinge that follows the size requirement but may fit into the rough opening you have.
carpdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 04:35 PM   #9
retired framer
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Fraser Valley BC Canada
Posts: 32,386
Rewards Points: 8,436
Default

Re: Egress question


Quote:
Originally Posted by hap801 View Post
Thanks for the helpful information everyone. I contacted my city building department like you suggested, and he told me this, the window DOES meet the 5 square foot minimum size opening for above ground level window, but I do not meet the floor to sill height which needs to be 44" and I am at 50" currently. So, from that information my only options are to A put in a bigger window that will get me into the 44" sill height requirement, or B put in a permanent step in front of the window to meet the 44" sill height requirement. Even though it does not say anything about a "step" in the 2015 IRC code for replacement windows.



I assume this is only for basements that are already finished.
Or raise the floor 6" or a platform in front of the window??
__________________
Do not use flat bottom gables with scissor trusses.
Nealtw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 11:21 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: NY and FL
Posts: 831
Rewards Points: 1,666
Default

Re: Egress question


If the code says the sill height from the finished floor, it means the finished floor. It does not mean a step or platform. You are changing unoccupied space to occupied habitable space. You should do it right or try to get a variance if it is very close to being right.
Old Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Top of Page | View New Posts