All residential buildings are required by code to have at least one egress window in the basement that can be operated from the inside and can be fully opened. The window must have at least 9 sq. ft. of open area, and a minimum height and width of 36 inches.
Having an egress window is like having a savior in time of emergency. This is because egress windows have done more good than harm for people that have been saved by them.
While it may be too hard or pain in the as* figuring out how to make at least one egress window in the basement work and how to decorate it as you may not want to leave the window just like that, it is worth the job.
We don’t pray you to be in a situation whereby the egress window is your source of escape but you can ask those that have been in that situation. They will tell you their ordeal. What would they have done should their basement did not have enough egress windows? But the question is, how many egress windows are required in a basement?
How Many Egress Windows are Required in a Basement?
You need at least one egress window in the basement in the United States. However, if you wish to have more than one egress window in your basement, you can go ahead as long as you follow the IRC code when constructing the basement egress windows.
Even if you decide to have more than one egress window, it is not a bad thing owing to the fact that egress windows are there to provide an escape for you in times of emergency.
Therefore, if you have more than one egress window in your basement, you are providing enough escape route in terms of emergency and you are also making it possible for the emergency workers to easily enter the house on a rescue mission.
Does Every Basement Bedroom Need an Egress Window
Yes, every basement bedroom needs at least one egress window that is big enough for anyone to crawl through and escape in time of emergency. The window must be operational from the inside and must not be blocked with bars and grills.
When constructing egress windows in the basement, there are several codes you need to follow and requirements you need to meet. These codes and requirements have already been stipulated by the IRC to ensure that you have an egress window that actually works. These codes are:
- The basement egress window must be wide enough to enable one to crawl out in a time of emergency
- It should be wide enough to enable emergency works to access the basement in times of emergency.
- The basement egress window must open fully
- It must have at least 9 sq. ft. of the opened area
- The window should be operated from the inside
- The window must not be blocked with bars or grills
- The window must not be locked by key
- The window must not need any tool to open
- The window must have a minimum height and width of 36 inches
- The window must have a 12 inches wide ladder if it is more than 44 inches off the floor
It should be a free window that is easily accessible for both the homeowner and the emergency workers in time of emergency, to enable them to reach out and save lives. We all know how basements are, that is why the IRC requires that the basement egress windows must be built in a way that they can be fully opened.
Also, it is important to note that the basement egress window needs to have a 12 inches wide ladder that is permanently attached to the egress window that is more than 44 inches off the floor. This is to enable easy access to the window.
If there is no ladder that is permanently attached to the window, it may make it difficult for anyone to escape through the window in times of emergency. Moreover, the ladder should not be less than three inches from the window well.
When placing the ladder at the egress window, ensure that the window does not obstruct the ladder. Also, ensure the ladder doesn’t encroach more than six inches on the required opening dimensions the window is supposed to open in the first place
Having it under a porch or deck means that you have to give at least 36 inches between the top of the window and the bottom of the structure joists.
These are the codes you need to meet when constructing an egress window in your basement; meaning that if you have more than one bedroom in your basement, each bedroom egress window must meet all these requirements.
Difference Between Egress Window and Basement Window
The difference between egress window and basement windows are that egress windows are constructed with specific requirements to meet the emergency standards while basement windows are constructed for ventilation. Egress windows have stricter standards than basement windows.
While egress windows in the basement are there to ensure you have a way out in times of emergency, basement windows are there to ensure you have enough ventilation inside the basement as having enough ventilation is paramount for a propane heater in the basement.
How to Decorate Basement Egress Windows
The best way to decorate a basement egress window is by using unified, airly, and light window decorations such as a decorative window film, valances, fully functional shutters painted a light color, light draperies, and stained glass to decorate your basement egress window.
Now that you know how many egress windows are required in a basement, it is better to try and follow all the requirements while building the window. Also, it is true that the IRC requires you to follow all these codes, however, sometimes, the codes tend to vary from one state/city to another. Therefore, it is better to call the appropriate authority in your state such as the Building Department, and have them give you the exact requirement you need to meet for your basement egress window.