December 21, 2016

Basement Egress Windows


The location of a basement makes it different from other rooms in a house. It comes with its own challenges, and there are strict guidelines for renovating this space. In an emergency, it might not be possible to access other parts of the home. An egress window is essential for safety, and it is required under building codes. These windows also increase comfort since they can provide ventilation for the space.

Types of Egress Window Systems

Understanding the types of egress windows helps to make your decision easier. Here are the types you can look at for your basement.

  • Double hung or glider windows. Most basements can use more natural light, and these types serve that purpose. The downside is that much of the opening will be blocked by glass, so they provide less ventilation than some other types. They usually need more installation space, so they are not suitable for most basement.
  • Gliding windows. These windows also add plenty of natural light to typically dark basement spaces. If you plan to install one, make sure that it is at least four feet high, and four feet wide to comply with building codes.
  • Casement windows. This is the ideal choice for basements that lack the space for a large egress window. Some types will not open enough to suit your needs, but you can deal with this by changing the operator arm. This will help it to open wider for improved ventilation and more natural light. Casement windows have side hinges and they are available in a variety of designs. Some types come with special features.
  • Awning windows. Contractors usually discourage homeowners from choosing this type. Some window components can get in the way if you need a quick escape. The position of the opening mechanism can be an obstruction. In some cases, they are not even classified as egress windows.

Egress windows are not only for the purpose of helping someone to escape a dangerous situation. They can also help rescuers to reach anyone inside the basement. There is nothing wrong with installing grills for added security, but make sure they are removable. It does not matter what type of basement conversion you are doing, an egress window is essential. During the early planning phase, we will discuss different ideas and advise you on getting the right type.

Give us a call at 410-877-6112 or 302-793-9352 if you’re ready to create some serious natural lighting in your basement. We’ll schedule an appointment and discuss the details involved in installing egress windows and creating egress window wells.

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