Egress windows, or basement windows, are emergency exits for the basement area. While mainly regarded as utility windows, there’s no reason why they can’t be as stylish as the other windows in your home while fulfilling their functions. In this blog, egress window and foundation piering contractor Stratum Structural Systems shares an overview of our egress window options.
Egress Window Requirements
The International Code Council’s standards (adopted by the State of Illinois) state that basement windows must have a minimum opening size that’s at least 20 inches wide and 24 inches tall. The maximum sill height from the floor should be 44 inches, with a net clear opening space of 5.7 square feet. Occupants should be able to operate the windows from the inside, and must require no special knowledge, hardware, or tools to open them. It should be as simple as opening a latch and pushing or sliding the window open to create an exit.
Egress windows are surrounded by an escape well, a clearing that allows clear access from the egress window to ground level. The escape well must have at least 9 square feet of clear area. If the well is deeper than 44 inches below grade, there must be a permanent ladder installed.
Our Egress Window Options
Slider — Our sliders are operated like typical sliding windows. Since these windows open only part of the window area, we make sure that the resulting opening is at least 20-by-24 inches as required by code.
Inswing — Our inswing option works like a casement window, except that the sash opens inwards. The inswing option is ideal if the entire window area is needed to comply with the opening size.
Vertical — The vertical egress window is similar to a single-hung window. As with the slider, we will make sure that your vertical egress window is code-compliant.