Egress Windows: What you should know about basement windows
Are you looking for extra space for your home and considering building out your basement? In that basement, do you want an in-case-of-emergency (ICE) exit for your home? Then you might want to consider installing one specific style window in your home basement, an egress.
What are those basement windows called again?
The basement windows in this article are also known as egress windows (egress meaning escape). Though egress windows will provide your basement with more light, making it the perfect extra space you with space you need for living, their primary purpose is safety. Simply, this type of window provides an escape route in case of an emergency, for example a fire or an earthquake.
Due to an increased number of fire incidents and disaster-based hazards at homes, it has become crucial for homeowners to design an escape route that caters to situations requiring a quick response in case of emergency. One of the most confined spaces in homes is the basement. With increased importance being given to safety these days, installing a safe window option, like egress windows, in a basement is crucial.
They also serve other purposes, such as becoming a source of ventilation for basements. There are a lot of things that you should keep in mind before getting your basement windows replaced or set up, the foremost being get the work done professionally.
Why do you need basement windows?
More than 4000 lives are lost every year due to fire hazards and incidents. Due to increasing fire incidents, leading to massive loss of lives throughout the world, importance has been placed on safety.
If you are looking to refurbish your basement and make it residential, an egress window serves the purpose of making it more livable. Other advantages of egress windows are listed as follows:
More natural light and air circulation
In addition to providing the function of safety, basement windows also provide a source of natural light. They help in lighting up a drab space, which describes most basements. With an egress window, your basement won’t look as much like a basement anymore.
Because these windows open by design, they can be source of air circulation for the basement. This will add to the room’s livability.
Safety first, and always
For a contingent option in case of any unforeseen event such as natural disasters or fire incidents, the basement becomes a place to refuge safely. Egress adds an added advantage for basements, making them more secure. With basement windows, you can rest well assured knowing that your family is safe with an ICE (in case of emergency) option installed at your home.
Increase in the property’s value
Whether you are looking for potential buyers for your property or not, you might want a better value for your home. Adding an egress window provides the opportunity for an additional bedroom in the basement. It also adds value to your property since not all properties on the market will have basement windows or other way to provide natural light or escape in an emergency. Also, a building that is in congruence with different building codes set by the municipality provides the advantage of attracting many potential buyers.
Protection from Flooding
When it rains, it pours, and this affects our homes. When we face flooding or waterlogging issues, it is tricky to get the excess water out of the constricted spaces such as the basement. The last thing you want after spending the money to make a livable space in your basement is water, and if that happens, you need to get the water out fast. A basement window will help you remove the excess water quickly.
Comfortable and dry
Basement windows help in providing a source of light and air in the basement. It helps in regulating the internal temperature of the room. It also protects your space from potential mold infestation and other related problems. It turns your basement into a room just like any other in your home.
Some standards you must follow to install an egress window.
You must conduct a thorough evaluation of the building to create an egress or basement window that specifically works for your building type. It is where height, width, length, and other specifications come into play.
Incorrect measurements lead to faulty designs that can turn out to be expensive.
Before you commence your basement window project, you must adhere to some guidelines that are also part of the building regulations set forth by your municipality, such as:
- It should be of a minimum 3.8 feet (1.16 m) height with 15 inches (ca. 38 cm) width.
- It should easily be accessible. Open and close functionality should be simple and easy to use.
- Bars (if any) must be accessible from inside without any additional knowledge.
- The window should be in a manner such that one can escape safely without any obstructions, for example, a glass panel that might be obstructing.
- If you are installing window wells for your egress windows, they should be at least 44 inches (1.12 m) in depth or more. There must be a space of 22 inches (0.56 m) between the basement window and window well.
- There should be a provision for a ladder, preferably at least 12 inches wide. It should be three inches away from the wall, and its steps distanced not more than 18 inches.
This is a job for a professional
An egress window is not just a regular window that anyone with the right tools can install because its installation is not easy. There is a decent amount of expertise needed to install an egress window as a solution for your home basement needs.
Before you start planning on extending your window, it is wise to seek consultancy from Window Liquidators’ engineers. They will guide you depending on the building codes set by your municipality.
There are aspects of basement windows that only an experienced engineer can solve. These include calculation of structural loads, conducting an audit of the basement’s moisture profile. These can cause severe problems in the future if left unattended.
For extending the window area, you need consultation of different contractors for getting the work successfully done. It is important that you get them coordinated on the same day (for example concrete cutting and basement windows installation) to save both money and your valuable time.
You can read more about egress and other kinds of windows here.