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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. They are required in bedrooms on every floor but most of the time, you’ll see it in basements that have habitable space and designed to be accessed easily by rescue teams and firemen. For egress windows, it must be able to comply with the International Regulation Code or IRC. For example, these windows must have 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. The net clear opening is simply the amount of space that is available for someone to crawl into the window if it’s open while the minimum height and width for window wells are 24 and 20 inches respectively, a 24 by 20 inch window is also able to yield a net clear opening of 3.3 sq/ft. which is less than the net clear opening required in IRC criteria.
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Now, in order to attain the net clear opening of 5.7 sq/ft. minimum, a 20 inch wide window should have a minimum height of 42 inches and a 42 inch high window has to at least be 34 inches wide at the same time. 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. Homeowners sometimes forget as well to add egress windows that meet the IRC criteria if they decide 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. Of course, there’s no problem in using any design idea or style but see to it that it meets the IRC criteria. If you’re confused with which design and style is applicable, consider working with professionals.