WHAT IS WINDOW EGRESS AND WHY DO YOU NEED IT?
I often receive elaborate architectural plans from homeowners building new homes or remodeling their existing homes. We look at every aspect of the windows pertaining to a home and examine the design to make sure Ringer Windows meet all the window codes, regulations including thermal specifications, safety glass, and window egress requirements.
WHAT ARE EGRESS WINDOWS?
Egress is the act of coming or going. How does this relate to windows? Window egress is the act of coming or going through a window. For emergency escape or rescue. Egress Windows are windows that meet building code regulations. No, the regulations weren’t put in place to aid teenagers from escaping their parents or for sneaking in extras (as I mentally sing “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” by my favorite Beatle, Paul McCartney).
I often explain egress as escape from fire. However, egress windows also accommodate the size for firefighters or emergency persons to enter a home through a window with all their protective gear! Bathrooms are not regulated by egress regulations unless they are used as bedrooms. Egress regulations pertain to sleeping areas or any room that may be used as or perceived by inspectors as a bedroom. Unlike she who was protected by a silver spoon while coming through the bathroom window, window egress size regulations protect people by allowing an assessable emergency escape or rescue route. Egress may also be met with outside doors.
WINDOW EGRESS BUILDING CODE REQUIREMENTS
Egress Code states these four basic principals; minimum window opening width, minimum window opening height, square foot area of the window opening, and the sill height from the floor. Each one of these constraints must be met to pass egress regulations. New construction window egress requirements may be different from replacement window egress regulations, and variables may occur from city to city. Codes are often updated and variances may be obtained through city permitting facilities especially for replacement window applications. In Austin, TX, recent regulation changes in Austin Residential Codes allow for variances to be obtained while permitting replacement windows for egress in brick or stone window openings in homes. These variances include provisions to install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
KNOW YOUR WINDOW SYSTEM FOR EGRESS WINDOWS
Every window company has their own set of engineering specifications. Each window system has its own sizes that will meet window egress specifications. Choose your window manufacturer before drawing out your plans with your architect to ensure you meet window requirements to reduce the number of revisions of your plans. A local architect should be familiar with all of the building codes in your area, therefore, rely on local professionals for your home remodeling or new construction. Many quality window systems have wider window frame for better energy efficiency and structural design. Egress may be met using a larger window sizes when designing with a more robust window system.
CALL RINGER WINDOWS TODAY
At Ringer Windows, our professional commitment is to not only manufacture beautiful, energy efficient windows exceeding Energy Star requirements, but also to make sure our windows meet regulations and engineering specifications for the safety of our clients. When a client presents a set of building plans to us, we ensure that window egress specifications and window building code specifications are met with our windows. A beautiful set of fixed picture windows that a client wishes to feature in a master bedroom may need to be modified for egress constraints. Advising contractors, remodelers, and homeowners of tempered glass specifications, is a daily part of our job.
SAFETY IS OUR CONCERN
Our expertise will save you time and money in the long run. There is nothing more frustrating to a client than to have an inspection not meet permit requirements because of code violations. Don’t purchase windows without fully understanding if that window will actually meet the window building codes during inspection when fulfilling the permit requirements of many remodeling jobs. Different window styles and window systems meet egress at different window sizes.
Plan ahead and enlist the professionals to examine your plans at the start of the project before buying materials. At Ringer Windows, we welcome plans to be submitted by email. We’ll examine your plans and advise you on ways to meet window code including window egress using Ringer Windows.