Guidelines For Egress Window- What Is It And How To Do It

Egress Window means a place of going out or exit. It is required in homes so that during an emergency, you and your family can make an escape and save your life. It is usually required when finishing a basement and is paired with a well. A ladder or steps is also required with it for an easy escape. It ensures the safety of people living inside the house and at the same time makes your home beautiful and bright.


These windows comply with the International Residential Code (IRC) 2006 Egress code. It is for one and two-family dwelling. Some of the highlights of the IRC 2006 code are as follows:

For Window

  • Minimum Opening Area- 5.7 square feet.
  • Minimum opening height- 24.”
  • Minimum opening width- 20.”

For Window wells

  • Dimensions (Horizontal) – 9 square feet.
  • Projection (Horizontal) – 36.”

For Ladders

  • Depth- deeper than 44” and permanently attached.
  • The ladder may go into well up to 6.”
  • Step distance- 18” and 12” wide.
  • Projection away from wall must be at least 6”.

Grates: It must be removable without the use of any key or tools.

Here are the steps you must follow to initiate with the process of Egress Window:

  1. Design Interiors: First, you must think about what rooms you need inside the basement. If you want to add a bedroom, living room or anything, you will need an emergency window in each room. If you plan not to have any specific room in your basement, then you must install at least one window in the basement for emergency exit. You also need to consider which room you want more space or more brightness. Install the window in the room in which you want more brightness and space.
  1. Numbers: You will have to calculate how many emergency windows you want in total for your home. So, before string keep in mind the total number of windows. It will help not getting into the confusion before the installation professionals.
  1. Building Codes: As rules may slightly vary from place to place, you must know the building codes in your locality. You can also take the help of an installation professional who can guide you with correct codes. In this way, you won’t be in trouble and can easily install the window and get secured.
  1. Choose the best Egress Window: You will have to choose the best window for your basement, bedrooms and living rooms. There are many choices available like casement, double, hung or slider. You also have to check for the type of window that is vinyl, acrylic block or aluminium clad wood window, etc. Casement type of window is considered to be the best because it is hinged on the side, so it opens up the whole sash.
  1. Tools and Equipment: You must get the right tools and equipment for the installation of the window. You can, however, take the help of local installation services to help you in this regard. Choosing the right tools may secure a good window cutting, strong foundation, and long life of your window.