Bedroom egress window requirements?


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Old 08-07-14, 09:44 AM
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Bedroom egress window requirements?

Hey DIY Crew

Still working on finishing my basement, and with that, we are adding two bedrooms. One will technically be used as an office until we have a kid to fill it, but when we go to sell the house, we want to be able to call both extra rooms in the basement, bedrooms.

So, does anyone know the minimum egress bedroom window requirements? I've googled it, found 5 sq ft, 5.7 sq ft, sill height no higher than 44" from the ground, and a bunch of others, but nothing set in stone.

I'm in Iowa by the way, so the Iowa code is what I'm looking for. Any insight on this?

Thanks in advance
 
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Old 08-07-14, 10:02 AM
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1 Minimum width of opening: 20 in.

2 Minimum height of opening: 24 in.

3 Minimum net clear opening: 5.7 sq. ft. (5.0 sq. ft. for ground floor)

4 Maximum sill height above floor: 44 in.

Codes are normally by county or city, but those are the most common standards. Some areas allow slightly smaller for 1st floor egress, but I've never heard using less for a basement.

To be absolutely sure, you should call your local inspectors office. Most are more than happy to answer such questions. You are having it inspected aren't you?
 
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Old 08-07-14, 10:22 AM
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I have seen some areas that require a maximum height above the finished floor to be 42" (a lot of short kids in the jurisdiction).

Dick
 
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Old 08-07-14, 10:34 AM
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Let me make sure I'm understanding this right, a 44" sill height above the floor, means from my finished flooring to the bottom of the window, or the sill, needs to be a minimum for 44"?
That'd leave me with like a 30" (typical basement window already in that is 30" wide) x 36" or even a bit longer. Seems a bit ridiculous
 
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Old 08-07-14, 10:46 AM
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MAXIMUM height above the floor, not MINIMUM.
 
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Old 08-07-14, 10:48 AM
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4 Maximum sill height above floor: 44 in.

From the post above...
Regardless, I'm in touch with my lumberyard and they are getting me window quotes. Yippy, good thing I still have the backhoe at my house to dig the holes for the window wells!
 
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Old 08-07-14, 11:12 AM
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And remember (the yard should know this) it's clear opening without removing anything. So a 30 x 36 double hung window wouldn't pass (since the clear opening would only be about 30 x 18), but an awning or casement would.
 
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Old 08-07-14, 11:12 AM
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Usually, most egress requirements apply to the clear open space without and hardware protuberances when opened.

Build a window itself is easy - Just look for a engress classification. Leave the sticker on until approved (it makes it easy for an inspector). The trick is to install it in the proper places (usually open sill height). Some casement window may look good, based on the glass size, but hardware when opened, is a common fault leading to not being certified.

The requirements are based on getting out (occupants including possible future children) and a fireman to get in with gear (tanks, hats hoses, etc.). In an emergency, removing hardware is not acceptable.

Dick
 
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Old 08-08-14, 01:37 PM
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OK let me ask a related question for folks that have dealt w/ this many times...

Requirement of 44" above floor is so you can climb out. I get that, actually even that seems high.
But has anybody seen an inspector OK if you had a permanent structure below it (e.g. large box, couple of steps, etc) to effectively raise the floor, and pass a window that is higher?
 
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Old 08-08-14, 01:46 PM
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I would imagine as long as it was a permanent part of the structure, it might be ok'd. If it could be removed with a screwdriver...I doubt it. I'd get an opinion from the inspector before proceeding with it.
 
 

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