There are a lot of reasons to have your basement converted by pros from Chicago basement remodeling firms like DAL Builders. Basements can be turned into virtually any type of space like an additional bedroom or a laundry room; and in the process, amplify the home’s resale value and energy efficiency. When planning the details of your basement conversion, however, one component should never be left out: the egress window.
What is an egress window and why is it important? It’s essentially what its name implies—a window that can be used for emergency exits, if needed. It’s also meant to allow rescue crews passage into and from the space in case of emergency. Egress windows are required in every habitable space, specifically bedrooms or family rooms. If the basement will have more than one “sleeping room”, each has to have its own egress window. If your basement is to be converted into a non-frequented room, such as a laundry room or gym, you are not required to add an egress window. However, you may still want to have one in case you change the room’s use in the future.
Size requirements for egress windows vary by state or city, though they must comply with the four major criteria from the International Residential Code (IRC).
Aside from the height, width, and square footage requirements for the window itself, the window well around it must also satisfy specific criteria. They must allow the window to be fully opened without obstructions, and have a floor area of at least 9 sq. ft. If the window well is more than 44 inches deep, there must be a permanent ladder at least 12 inches wide and projecting at least 3 inches from the well.
There are different types of egress windows, and choosing one should be an essential part of Chicago basement finishing projects. Casement windows are side-hinged ones, and occupy the least amount of wall space. Other types include double-hung, the largest of which is typically 4 ft. 9 in. in height according to requirements; gliding, and awning (top-hinged) windows.
It’s one thing to create a basement that’s cozy enough to sleep in, but another thing to make it safe. Egress windows provide such safety when emergency strikes. Basement remodeling experts are aware of this need, and will comply accordingly. Discuss your preferences with them so this can be incorporated seamlessly into your basement remodel design.
(Source: Basement Remodel? Don’t Forget the Egress Window, WPTZ.com, January 12, 2015)