Egress Windows: What are They and Do You Need Them?

Egress Windows

In most construction projects, there is a certain set of safety requirements needed for the building or site to be up to code. Many of these standards are required in the construction of homes and buildings. Generally, these are small additions and adjustments made to protect the inhabitants in the case of accidents, natural disasters, fires, and other unforeseen disasters. One of the most important standards with building in a basement area is the installation of egress windows. If you’re finishing your basement remodeling project, be sure to meet all the egress requirements.


What Are Egress Windows?

Egress windows are openings that are large enough for exit or entry in the case of an emergency. They are typically added to a finished basement. They are made to be built in rooms where people would reside, even if it’s just a living room. With each egress window comes an egress window well with a small ladder to make exiting easier. Because residential codes can vary by state, it is important that your residence reflects what is required. 


In most older homes, egress windows do not exist. For the most part, the only windows in older basements are small and placed high up on the wall. It is only fairly recently that people started using their basements as more than just storage areas. If you plan on renovating your space for a downstairs living room or bedroom, you’ll need to update your windows to match the egress windows requirements. 


Different Types of Egress Windows


Egress windows must comply with a strict safety code in order to keep all residents safe from harm. In order to ensure that any person can fit through these escape spaces, egress windows must be built with accuracy and precision. In addition to building the window according to code, the accompanying window well also has its own set of requirements. The well should be built when the window opening sill height is below ground elevation. The ladder must be attached to the well and shouldn’t be removed in case of emergency. 


Though the most popular use for egress windows is in basement settings, there are other applications in which they are used.



Basement Egress Window.

This is the most common type of egress window and has the strictest standards. It is placed generally in basement bedrooms and living rooms and accompanied by a well with a ladder. Those living in the basement area must be able to escape in the event of a fire or flood. The well needs to be at least 36 inches high and 36 inches wide. A ladder is needed if the depth is past 44 inches. Additionally, some require the ladder to only extend 3 inches maximum away from the wall of the well.


Single-Hung Egress Window.

Single-hung egress windows are similar to basement egress windows but are often used more for ventilation purposes. However, in the event of an emergency, if a human can fit through it, then it could be used as an escape option.


Double-Hung Egress Window.

These windows are the same as single-hung egress windows but are double paneled as opposed to single. While they are more so built for letting natural daylight in than for emergency exits, they can still be used when there is no other option.


Skylight Egress Window.

While some argue that skylights are functional as egress windows, if it is the right size it can always be an option. For it to be a viable escape, it needs to be within 44 inches of the floor.


Casement Egress Window.

Casement windows, though not originally designed to function as egress windows, are a good option. Unlike traditional hinged windows, casement windows open upwards as opposed to outwards. This makes them suitable for a quick exit during a  home emergency.


Awning Egress Window.

Awning windows are considered by many to be viable egress window options. However, they do have certain minimum requirements that need to be for them to function effectively. The awning window must have a minimum width of 20 inches, a minimum height of 24 inches, and a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet. These standards were set by an international residential code but may vary from state to state.


The Advantages of Egress Windows

Egress windows provide benefits in both safety and home value. They can:


  • Increase the value of your home (by increasing the overall livable square footage)
  • Provide proper escape plans and routes
  • Add comfort by improving the lighting
  • Improve the look of your home, depending on your choice of materials


Even the egress window cost is a reasonable amount. What you pay ultimately depends on the materials you choose for the well and if you need a permanent ladder or steps attached to the well. You can keep the window and the well basic, or you can pay more for a refined, upscale finish.


Utah’s Egress Window Specialists 

When it comes to installing egress windows in Utah, A-core can help you. As concrete cutting specialists, we take on tasks that involve anything from renovating highways to installing egress windows. We’re contract workers that know how to get the job done right the first time. If you recruit our help for your egress window, you can be assured we will do the following:


  • Mark gas and water lines.
  • Dig the window well with cleanliness and professionalism.
  • Cut the desired window size using advanced wall-sawing techniques.
  • Remove the concrete foundation.
  • Install and seal the egress window and the metal window well using advanced solutions.
  • Backfill around the well and inside it with ¾ inch of rocks.
  • Provide knowledge in well covers


Let A-Core Help

Don’t stress thinking about how you’re going to find someone who can install egress windows. A-Core is here to help you with any of your large or small project needs. Our specialists are trained and knowledgeable in all the standards and specifications for egress windows that meet building code requirements. Home emergencies are already stressful enough, don’t make the exit plan even more of a headache. A-core can help you choose the best option for your home so you have one less thing to worry about.