- Tip 1 – Figure out the inside first – Develop a floor plan for the basement. Do you want a separate bedroom, exercise, game room or theater space? An escape window will be needed for all bedrooms and common living areas. You generally don’t need the large egress window for a bathroom, utility or storage area.
- Tip 2 – Know the code – Most local building codes follow the 2006 International Residential Code which requires a 5.7 square foot open space for a bedroom and common area for lower level living space. This opening will need to be at least 20” wide and 24” high and the sill can be no more than 44” off the finished floor.
- Tip 3 – Put the window in the best place – It may be easiest to make bigger an existing basement window opening since it generally has a wood or steel header in place already – although it’s best to place the emergency exit window in the room or rooms where you would like to maximize your light and ventilation.
- Tip 4 – Order the right window – Acrylic block windows are an excellent choice for this application because they offer a high degree of privacy, are available in low maintenance aluminum and vinyl frames, and are easy to operate. Block windows comes in casement, awning, slider, and single hung operating styles. The best egress selection for both cost and function will be the casement acrylic window. The entire sash on this window will open (which will allow you to create a smaller opening and still meet code) and will be hinged on the side. Single hung and slider acrylic windows (where the code will only count one of the two sashes as open space) will require a significantly bigger window and window well which will drive up costs significantly.
- Tip 5 – Hire the right contractor or get the right tools and equipment – Installing the egress window is actually a small part of the entire project. The area will need to be excavated for the well, the opening (concrete or concrete block) will need to cut with a concrete saw, drainage will need to be included inside the well and then you’re in a position to install the window. This project involves some pretty large and expensive equipment (generally the excavation is done with a skid steer loader). It may be easier if you don’t have access to this equipment and tools to hire a professional basement remodeling contractor.
Are you looking for any help with a basement remodeling project and what windows you’ll need to do things according to code – or do you have some words of wisdom to share with others? Please comment below.
To learn more about egress and acrylic block windows visit Columbus Glass Block (614-252-5888), Cleveland Glass Block (216-531-6363), and Mid America Glass Block (513-742-5900) of Cincinnati & Dayton Ohio.
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Tags: acrylic block, acrylic block window, basement, basement bedroom, basement blog, Basement Remodeling, basement remodeling contractor, block window, casement window, egress window, emergency exit, escape window, international residential code, slider window
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