Why Do Basements Require an Egress Window?

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Egress windows, or sometimes called escape windows, are like that small container of pepper spray you have in your purse… you hope you never have to use it, but it sure is comforting to know it’s there.

Let’s face it: accidents happen. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 104 Michigan home fire fatalities were reported in 2015. Egress windows provide an accessible exit or entry should all others in your home be blocked in some way in case of an emergency. Egress windows can be built large enough for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and all of his family members to walk through with ease. Though, there are various sizes available in case you’re just going for the size of one firefighter (which we recommend).

Basement Bedrooms Require an Egress Window in West Michigan

Incidentally, since 2006, basement bedrooms in West Michigan have been required to have an egress window installed to ensure the safety of those inside. According to the International Code Council (ICC), 2006 International Residential Code for One- and Two-Story Dwellings implemented language stating basements that contain habitable space need an egress window. Always check your local area’s building codes to make sure you’re up to snuff, safety-wise. If you have any questions, give us a call at WMGB and we’ll gladly lend a hand – our egress specialists are ridiculously good with local building codes. Quiz them, if you’d like!

Here is what goes into installing an egress window:

  1. A window with a minimum width of opening of 20 inches
  2. A window with a minimum height of opening of 24 inches
  3. A window with a minimum net clear opening –- the actual opening through which a person must crawl—of 5.7 square feet
  4. A sill height no higher than 44 inches above the floor.
  5. A window-well floor space of 9 square feet with minimum dimensions of 36 inches wide and long.
  6. A permanent ladder or steps if the window well depth is more than 44 inches.

Besides safety, however, there are numerous benefits to having an egress window installed in your basement, such as:

  • Increased natural light. Say goodbye to that dark and scary basement.
  • Enhanced home value. Ensuring your home is up to code adds greatly to the value of your home. Additionally, by letting more light in, you could save on electricity costs during the day. Ka-ching!
  • Visual enhancement, but without expensive landscaping. Egress windows require a window well to be built for easy access, and we always make sure it looks nice and pretty – and you know, above all else functional.
  • Maintenance free, high density, polyethylene construction.

So, what are the next steps?

Give us a call at WMGB. Whether you’re in Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo, or Lansing (or anything in between), our Egress window installation professionals can get you started. We’ll answer your questions, wander into that currently dark and scary basement to assess the situation, and even give a free estimate, so you can decide on your time what works best for your home. In the meantime, explore our website for brand, window, and well options. It’s like the Subway of egress windows.

This New Year, resolve to live more comfortably, and know your family is safe. Call WMGB and ask to talk to an egress window installation specialist today!

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WMGB Home Improvement is committed to making your home look its absolute best. To learn more about our home improvement products and services, give us a call at 616-205-9568 or Contact Us online.
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