What Is an Egress window?
Egress windows are also called “escape windows”, These windows are installed in rooms, dens, liveable spaces, basements, and bedrooms as a protective measure and are used in the unforeseeable event of an emergency exit. The emergency can be of any kind, for example, a house fire, force majeure (earthquake, floods, etc.), a house lock, etc. Additionally, if you want to convert your basement into a living space, an egress window should be installed prior to its conversion, and it must comply with International Residential Code (IRC) specifications. Egress windows not only provide an emergency escape, but a basement specialist near me suggests that they also increase the ventilation and natural lighting in the basement, making it a healthy place to live. Egress windows can also be used as an entryway for an emergency responder. Egress windows serve as a vital security and safety feature in homes, apartments, and high-rise buildings.
Uses of Egress Windows according to basement specialist near me
- Improved Security: Egress windows are designed in such a manner that they provide a safe exit and rescue with a minimum size requirement. By providing a safe entry and exit point, egress windows save lives in crucial situations.
- Ventilation and Natural Light: Egress windows also address the issue of basements, which are often stuffy and dark with no source of circulating air. It provides abundant sunlight and fresh air, which makes the basement a suitable place to spend some time. Egress windows improve the overall ambiance of the basement, keeping its aesthetic look alive
- Improved Market Value of Home and Building: Egress windows raise the total cost of the home or building. Potential home buyers always look at the safety and condition of the property. Properly installed and well-maintained egress windows give a boost to the property, and they also provide peace of mind for homeowners.
- Compliance with Building Codes: Constructing egress windows is not a matter of choice; it is required by the local Building codes, and these codes ensure the safety and security of the living space. It is always recommended to consult local regulations and have a site survey to determine the exact requirements for an egress window. Compliance with building codes also avoids any legal issues or impediments that may arise in the near future.
Our basement specialist near me goes by the International Residential Code
The International Residential Code is a code set up in the US by the International Code Council (ICC). It lays down the set of principles that whoever intends to build, refurbish, alter, demolish, or make any changes to the present structure of the building to which the code applies must apply to obtain the required building or structure permit.
- The IRC applies to new dwelling houses and townhouses that do not go beyond three stories.
- It ensures flexible and efficient building designs that reinforce health and safety.
- It also encourages the use of technologically advanced methodologies.
- It avoids unnecessary costs, and the codes are updated every three years.
- In a single code, all aspects of the construction are covered, whether it is plumbing, building, mechanical services, fuel gases, energy conversions, or electrical provisions.
IRC Is known for:
The International Residential Code is known for its following salient features:
- Safety: It caters to the complete instructions to frame the foundations and provide safe and secure plumbing installations.
- Easy To Use: It uses an easy-to-use format in all codes
- New Technology: The IRC has a tradition of adopting new technology while taking health and safety into consideration.
- Honest and Open Code Development Process: The IRC is revised once every three years through its rigorous development process
International Residential Code criteria
To meet the requirements of the International Residential Code, the minimum width of egress windows must be 20 inches, and the minimum opening height must be 24 inches. It should also consist of a clear opening of 5.7 square feet and 44 inches from the floor at the sill. You should also be able to operate Windows from the inside without keys or tools.
For egress evaluations, below are the key points and basic requirements for egress to consider that help the building designers and facility managers recognize if the space is overutilized.
- The maximum occupancy load should not exceed 50 people if the space or room has only one exit
- The maximum occupancy load should not exceed 500 people if a space or room has two exits.
- The maximum occupancy load should not exceed 5000 people if a space or room has three exits
- For a fixed sitting room, the person load should not be more than the number of fixed seats. The seating area load is separately calculated from the occupant load.
- The doors should swing in the direction of egress if the room is used by more than 50 people
- Egress doors should be well-equipped with crash bars (panic hardware) if the room is used by more than 100 people.
- If there are two doors in a room that are closer to each other, then it counts as one door, and the maximum load still should not exceed more than 50 people.
- According to basement specialist near me, another requirement for the egress doors is that they should not allow the person to be locked from inside. Secondary locking devices such as slide bolts, deadbolts, etc. are also not installed. An exit door should be opened with a single motion without any tools, keys, or special knowledge
- The limit of the space depends on the size of the room. Empty rooms with no furniture (would be calculated at 7 square feet per person, whereas classroom occupancy is calculated at 20 square feet per person and conference room occupancy is measured at 15 sq. ft. per person
Cost to purchase and Install Egress Window as per the basement specialist near me
The price of purchasing and installing an egress window depends on various factors, such as the size of the egress window, the area to be covered, the types of material used, and the category of room or basement. A typical egress window will cost you anything between $400 and $6000. Only an egress window costs around $150 to $750, depending on its features and quality.
It is always advisable to hire a basement specialist near me to do the installation work on an egress window. An irregular cut can be a cumbersome task to repair, as it again requires lots of effort and extra cost. A ballpark figure for what it will cost you to install egress windows lies between $1400 and $4000.
Labor Charges and various other types of changes required to Install Egress Windows
The cost of labor to install the egress windows depends on various factors, such as the basement specialist near me, the complexity of the project, and the area used to install the egress windows. Not to mention, if major work is needed to install the egress windows, then material costs and labor charges will be higher. To install the egress windows, labor charges run from $40 to $110 per hour. However, to install a new egress window or to resize an existing one, you need a building permit. Many times, basement specialist near me and vendors offer their services to get the required permit at an additional cost of $100 to $300.
Below-ground egress windows require additional excavation work, which requires a site surveyor and structural engineer to make sure the foundation remains intact, and drainage is maintained. Basement specialist near me can charge you $350 to $1600 per visit, depending on the requirements of the work
Then an Electrician is also needed to do the electrical work, such as installing wiring, fixing the cuts with electrical tape, and ensuring the site is safe and secure with proper earthing. Hiring an electrician may cost you approximately $400.
Installation of Egress Windows according to basement specialist near me
There are multiple ways to install egress windows, depending on the basement specialist near me, however, following the below best practices can make the installation safe and secure
- Cover the lawn area with plywood to protect high-traffic zones
- Then start the excavation work and dig the hole by hand to avoid any errors damaging your property. It also provides shelter for underground utilities.
- While excavating, If any holes are found, please be certain that they must be covered properly to prevent the dust from entering
- The crew should use a highly sophisticated diamond-bladed ring saw on the outside wall to minimize any debris and dust inside your home.
- The inside of the wall should be scored with a jackhammer.
- Then cut the egress window hole, remove the dust, and trim the opening with lumber. Then use urethane caulk to seal it and use special techniques for greater efficiency.
- Anchoring the window to the wall and use gravel to backfill it so that it gets stuck in its place.
Maintenance Tips for Egress Windows according to a basement specialist near me
Post installation, the maintenance of the egress window is deemed necessary, and luckily, it is not a huge task. Rather, regular windows need more time than egress windows. To avoid bearing high costs, it is advisable, for your own benefit, to maintain the egress windows in good condition. Overlooking any visible issues can become big in no time, and it can put a burden on your pocket.
- Please ensure that the area near to egress window is clear of any kind of debris, stones, leaves, and dust.
- Please take extra care during rainfall, which may add precipitation and moisture, making the foundation of the egress window pale.
- Monitor the egress window regularly for any cracks and leaks
- Cover the window properly
- Please make sure that the water drainage system is working properly
- Water should not be collected near the surface of the egress window
- Also, make sure that the bottom windowsill is one foot above the bottom of the window well
Egress windows are vital for both convenience and safety purposes. Wherever you live, please ensure that you have at least one egress window installed in your home or structure. It is a sensible investment for any person who is looking to enhance the value, safety, and operability of their home. It improves the ventilation of the home and, also, provides a way for natural light. Egress windows come with multiple benefits. Please ensure that you work with basement specialist near me. If you are planning to install the egress windows, they are aware of all the paperwork, codes, and necessary requirements. Do not ignore the importance of egress windows if you want to gain peace of mind with the assurance that your family is safe.