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Does Your Egress Windows Meet Industry Standards? Window wells are windows that are designed specifically to provide exit in case of emergency situations. In bedrooms on every floor, they’re actually required but for most of the time, you would see them in basements that have habitable space and designed to be accessed by firemen as well as rescue teams easily. As for the egress windows, it should be able to comply the International Regulation Code or IRC. For instance, these windows should have a minimum opening height of at least 24 inches, minimum opening width of 20 inches, a minimum net clear opening of 5sq/ft for ground floors and 5.7sq/ft for other floors and lastly, maximum still height of 44 inches above floor. Net clear opening is basically the amount of available space for someone to crawl through if the window is open while the minimum height and width for window wells are 24 and 20 inches respectively, a 24×20 inch window can yield a net clear opening of at least 3.3 sq/ft. which is less than the net clear opening required in IRC criteria.
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Now, to be able to attain a net clear opening of a minimum 5.7 sq/ft. a 20 inch wide window must have a minimum height of 42 inches and at the same time, a 42 inch high window must be at least 34 inches wide. The IRC has set regulations in monitoring window wells that indicates that the egress window must have enough amount of space for it to allow the window be opened fully with minimum 9 sq/ft floor area.
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Say for example that you’re living in an old house which was constructed prior to the IRC requirements were set, your window wells might not potentially meet its regulations. Sometimes, homeowners do forget to add egress windows that meet the IRC criteria if they have decided to convert an office or other room of the house to a bedroom or add a new room to the basement when doing home remodeling. If any of your windows is missing such, then you must consider installing one for safety precaution. Because of the reason that egress windows primarily serve as a mean to escape, it is essential not just to keep it free of any objects or widow treatments that might hinder a person’s escape but to also avoid using complex locks which can make it hard to operate. This on the other hand does not mean that the windows should look boring. You may actually use any design idea or style you want so long as it comply with the IRC criteria. You might want to contact a professional if you want to be sure with the design and style.