If you’re remodeling your basement into a sleeping room, an egress opening is a non-negotiable requirement. As a matter of fact, you have to pay attention to its ins and outs as soon as you decide to turn your unused area into a living space.
As the authority in all types of window installation in Grand Rapids, MI, WMGB Home Improvement wants to share with you the essentials of building basement egress windows. The more you know about them this early, the better you can plan your basement makeover later on.
Know the Dimensions
First, an egress window can’t just be any opening. It’s chiefly used for emergencies, so there are specifications the government wants you to follow. Requirements may vary per local area, but here are the building codes on basement finishing in Grand Rapids:
- Egress windows shall have a sill height of 44 inches or less above the floor.
- The minimum clear opening size shall be 5 sq. ft. if the sill is less than 44 inches below grade, or the minimum clear opening size shall be 5.7 sq. ft. if the sill is more than 44 inches below grade.
- The opening shall be at least 24 inches high and at least 20 inches wide.
If you don’t have an exterior door, your basement egress window in Grand Rapids, MI, must meet these standards to be deemed suitable as an emergency exit.
Build a Window Well
Apart from having an egress window, you should also build a well to hold back the soil and provide a safe path to enter and exit your basement egress window. It has its own list of requirements too, but in general, its top edge should be at least six inches above the soil line.
The egress window well should never be an afterthought. Before you cut your exterior wall to place the egress window, you have to plan and excavate the well first.
Hire Specialized Pros
You can’t just sign on any contractor for your egress windows in Lansing, MI. You must hire a builder that specializes in basement remodeling, egress windows, and wells to ensure everything is done properly and efficiently. Even if you’re going to get a permit, and your project will be inspected by government officials, an inexperienced, or worse, unlicensed contractor would make your remodel unnecessarily stressful.
A basement remodel can be tricky. Let WMGB Home Improvement handle your project and ensure you experience no hassles from start to finish. Call us now at (616) 226-8580 and schedule your free consultation.