What Are Egress Windows and Should You Install One in Your Basement?

Egress Window Installer in Fairfax County, Virginia.

(This Egress Window Allows In Natural Light While Providing A Safe Exit At The Same Time.)

Egress Windows are commonly found throughout Fairfax County, Virginia homes.  In fact, any room in your home that is considered a “bedroom” or “living space” must have an Egress window installed.

What Is An Egress Window?

Egress Windows are usually installed in specific locations within your home (basements, bedrooms and living spaces) and they are intended to provide an emergency exit from the building.  Egress windows must meet specific size requirements and other specifications to be considered an Egress window.  If you are planning to finish your basement then you want to make sure you’ve meeting code requirements in relation to Egress window requirements.

Where Would An Egress Window Be Installed?

Egress windows are meant to be installed in every bedroom within your home regardless if it’s on the 1st or 2nd floor.  It’s actually required by most state building codes.  Egress windows should also be installed in basements with living space, bedrooms or suites as a quick and safe exit in an emergency.  If any room in your home has the potential to become a bedroom you should have an egress window installed.

When remodeling a basement into a living space building code requires you to have an egress window installed, so if you don’t have one already this can add to the expense of your basement remodeling project.  Just something to consider.  Egress Windows don’t have to be boring and there are many different options available that can meet the code requirements.

Requirements For Egress Windows in Fairfax County

There are four (4) different International Residential Code (IRC) criteria that an Egress window must meet in order to meet the specifications.  These apply to homes built within Fairfax County, Virginia.

• The egress window must have a minimum width of opening equal or greater than 20″.
• The egress window must have a minimum height of opening equal or greater than 24 in.
• There is a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 sq. ft. (5.0 sq. ft. for ground floor).  (free space when window is open)
• There is a maximum sill height above the floor of 44 in.

Does My Older Home Meet Current Egress Requirements

There are many Fairfax County, Virginia homes and buildings that were built long before there were any egress window requirements.  Other homes may have been built when the requirements were different from what they are today.  If you converted any room of your home into a bedroom (that doesn’t have an egress window) you are actually required to install one.  Without one the building or remodeling project would never pass an inspection.

Egress windows are an important safety feature in your home, providing a quick escape route out of the room it’s installed in.  If you’re remodeling take the opportunity to go over the building code in your area.  Any competent local contractor will be able to help you, and explain to you the requirements.  If you’re building a brand new home, it’s an important point you’ll need to discuss with your contractor.

Who Installs Egress Windows In Fairfax County, VA?

Innovative Contracting is a full service home remodeling contractor specializing in basement finishing and renovation projects.  We routinely install egress windows with many of our remodeling projects and we are up-to-date and educated on the current building codes and egress window products and installation methods.   Give us a call today!

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