basement windows as an egress


  #1  
Old 06-02-05, 08:37 PM
latuszek
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basement windows as an egress

Here are my current windows in the part of the basement that I want to make a bedroom.

http://www.addante.net/dan/IMG_3169.JPG

Now what my original idea was to replace both double hungs with big slider which would be good enough for an egress. Couple of questions.

1. What are the requirements for an egress in a bedroom?
2. Can I safely take out the wood between the windows (this provides no structural support does it?)
3. My opening (measuring from the cement) is approx 86" wide by 36" high. Lowes said I can only get a two lite slider at max width of 62.5". So my plan won't work. Can I get a custom made window somewhere else that will span my entire opening?
4. Is there any other way to satisfy the egress requirements with casement windows, three-lite sliders, etc? (lowes also said max width for a single casement is 62.5")

Thank you for your replies! The people at Lowes were polite but unknowledgable.
 
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Old 06-02-05, 09:18 PM
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The image link is broken.

Egress requirements may change depending on your local fire code. You will have to check with your inspector to see what your exact requirements are, and what types of windows they will approve. Generally, most places go by U.I. (united inches) which is basically the square inches of clear opening that can be used in the event of a fire.
 
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Old 06-02-05, 09:23 PM
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Link is fixed
 
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Old 06-02-05, 09:58 PM
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The picture doesn't show what's up above, but it looks to me like the area in the center is just the counterweight cavity, which is not structural. The entire window frame could be removed.

If the board to the left and right of the counterweight are 1 1/2" thick, they may be structural, in which case they had better stay.
 
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Old 06-02-05, 10:04 PM
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thank you for your help. once I remove the entire frame, I am going to be left with the cement walls right? What is the proper way to install the windows then? Would I put some PT boards around first and then install a replacement or new construction window? Also should I give them the measurements of the opening minus 1 1/2 " for height and width to account for the new "frame"?
 
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Old 06-02-05, 10:06 PM
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By the way, the boards to the left and right of the counterweights are probably like 3/4" thick, no way over 1".
 
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Old 06-02-05, 10:18 PM
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My town's code book doesn't mention any specifics about egresses in bedrooms. But it does say that the international residential code, 2003 edition is used. Do you know what their requirements are?
 
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Old 06-03-05, 05:22 AM
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Basements with habitable space and every sleeping room shall have at least one open able emergency escape and rescue opening. Where emergency escape and rescue openings are provided they shall have a sill height of not more than 44 inches above the floor. (2003 IRC Code, Section R310.1)*

The minimum opening shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet. Also, the window is required to have a maximum height of 44 from finish floor to the window sill plate. (2003 IRC Code, Section R310.1 & R310.1.1)

The minimum horizontal area of the window well shall be 9 square feet, with a minimum horizontal projection and width of 36 inches. If the depth of the window well is greater than 44 inches the well shall be equipped with a ladder or steps usable with the window fully open. (2003 IRC Code, Section R310.2 & 310.2.1)

Regarding how to prepare the opening, you are correct in thinking the hole needs to be lined with PT wood. To seal against air infiltration, apply construction adhesive to the opening before laying the PT wood in place. Anchor it with Tapcon screws or powder actuated nails.

Once it is installed, check the opening for level (since you will want your window installed level) you want no more than 1/2" of space around all 4 sides of your new window. I would get a custom sized window that has a nailing fin. This could be a replacement window (provided it comes with a nailing fin) or a new construction window (provided it is custom sized). Due to the odd size of your opening, I would probably recommend that you install a custom sized XO casement. (R or L casement, NOT an awning... a horizontal casement!) Your casement should be the maximum size... since your height sounds like its going to be around 30" or so after the R.O. is prepared, I'd order the casement wide enough to meet the requirement of 5.7 sq ft. (remember that you need inside measurements of the opening when the window is cranked open- not the outside measurements of the window frame.) A 30" tall window might only leave 25" of escape area. The rest of the window can just be fixed, like a picture window. You should be able to order these premulled.
 
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Old 06-03-05, 01:47 PM
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Thanks! just the information I was looking for. I am thinking of going for a window that is a casement in teh middle and then two fixed panes on either side. This I think would be better looking due to the symmetry.

Thanks again
 
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Old 06-04-05, 10:32 PM
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So once I put the PT wood to prepare the opening, I nail the nailing fin to that right? What do I do to finish the exterior? Put some brickmold around it?
 
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Old 06-05-05, 06:26 AM
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Brickmould should work. Otherwise, perhaps some rough cedar 1x4's which are a little wider... if you need to cover up some rough looking cement. Not sure what is above the top of your window, but you also need to think about flashing your trim. If you are close to the sill plate of the house, you can just make a flashing that hangs down from there. If it's all cement, you might want to create a sawcut in the cement (with a skilsaw & cement blade) so that you can slip a flashing into the cement, then caulk the top of the flashing with caulking that bonds well to cement.
 
 

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