If your Grand Rapids, MI area home has a finished basement that you like to spend some time in, like maybe a game room, or a home theatre room, or even a work room where you build and paint things, you should have a second means of escape from the basement — a basement egress. And if you have a bedroom in the basement, by law you must have an egress.
New Code for “Emergency Escape Basement Egress Window”
Basement living space requires emergency escape and rescue openings. Your first step is to check your local Michigan building codes. Your code authority may have its own rules or it may be among the more than 90 percent of communities in the United States that adopt the standards of the International Code Council (ICC). The ICC’s 2006 International Residential Code for One- and Two-Story Dwellings has new language stating basements that contain habitable space need an egress window.
Whether it is an egress window in your Grand Rapids, MI home or an egress door, it has to open easily without the use of keys or tools. It must also follow code requirements for height and width of basement egress windows.
Egress Window opening requirements include:
- A window with a minimum width of opening of 20 inches
- A window with a minimum height of opening of 24 inches
- A window with a minimum net clear opening –- the actual opening through which a person must crawl—of 5.7 square feet
- A sill height no higher than 44 inches above the floor
- A window-well floor space of 9 square feet with minimum dimensions of 36 inches wide and long.
- A permanent ladder or steps if the window well depth is more than 44 inches.
When we install your basement egress window or door for your Grand Rapids, MI area home, our expert installers will make sure that it is up to code.
FREE Egress Basement Windows Estimate
When you need a certified basement egress window installation professional for in Grand Rapids, Grand Haven or Holland, you can rely on WMGB Home Improvement. Contact us at 616-226-5558 for more details or to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. You can also use our convenient online request form.
What Is a Basement Egress Window?
Also known as an Egress Compliant Window, these basement additions provide an additional means of escaping a basement space. They are required for homes with finished basement spaces to adhere to code and must meet certain requirements regarding height, width, and more.
Do I Need a Basement Egress Window?
Even if you don’t have a bedroom in your finished basement space, installing an egress window is still both necessary and advisable. According to Michigan’s building codes, basement living space requires 2 exits, each of which must adhere to sizing regulations. Speak with our team of pros to learn more about proper egress window dimensions.
Can I DIY Egress Window Installation?
No. Installing code-compliant egress windows is a tough job that requires many special tools and know-how. From cutting through concrete while preserving the integrity of your home to perfectly fitting and sealing the new addition, the job is a complex one. Always trust the experienced WMGB Home Improvement team to get jobs of this caliber done in your Michigan home.
Do Basement Escape Windows Leak?
When you trust the pros to install your windows, you can always rest easy knowing you’re getting the water-tight performance your home needs and deserves. Proper fitting, installation, and sealing keep rain, snow, and ice at bay throughout Michigan’s most intense seasons to keep your basement area dry, clean and comfortable.
Does the Window Well Drain Water?
Yes. Standing water is something you always want to avoid, so we always implement a proper drainage system when we install egress windows in any home. When we excavate the space for the outdoor well, we dig deep to locate your existing basement drainage system. We then connect your window well to that existing system so your window well stays dry without a hassle.
Where Can Egress Windows Be Placed?
Egress windows can be placed in any part of your basement with a few exceptions. Escape windows cannot be located within 2 feet of either a gas meter or propane meter. Furthermore, it’s recommended to keep egress windows a minimum of 2 feet away from outdoor air conditioning compressors. They can also be placed beneath a deck or porch as long as there’s 36 inches of free, clear space to allow the egress window to act as an escape route. It’s recommended to place your window where it’ll allow as much light in as possible.
When Is the Best Time of Year to Install Egress Windows?
Thanks to our specialized industry knowledge and powerful digging tools, any time of year is perfect for installing egress windows in your home. Whether we’re dealing with the frozen ground of Michigan winters or the wet air of spring, we can get your window installed when you need it most.
Can You Work With My Remodeling Company?
If you’re working on a full remodel of your basement, we can work in conjunction with any contractors you’re already working with to get you the results you need. However, we also offer much more than egress window installation and are here for many of your other remodeling needs as well.
Is It Too Late to Add an Egress Window?
It’s never too late to bring your home up to code. If you already have a finished basement without an egress window, we can build a plan for your escape route addition together. We will find a way to add the necessary components to your basement with a minimal impact on your interior design and without ruining your existing wall color and carpet.
Can I Install Multiple Egress Windows?
Yes, it’s entirely possible to install multiple egress windows in your basement space. The only factor that truly limits the number of windows you can install is the amount of free and usable wall space you have.
Does Installation Impact a Home’s Foundation?
While causing damage to a home’s foundation could be possible without training, we’re dedicated to keeping you, your home, and your family safe during and after every egress window installation. We use our huge amount of cumulative experience to assess what parts of your home need to be cut and which should be avoided and take all the crucial steps to ensure your new addition only adds value to your home without taking away your peace of mind.
Are Egress Windows Safe?
Yes. Egress compliant windows lock securely when not in use, just like other windows throughout your home to prevent break-ins. If you’re concerned about falls in or around the window well, additional grates can be installed to act as a guard. In fact, these grates are required for egress window installations that are deeper than 32 inches or that are located within 3 feet of a sidewalk, patio, or other highly trafficked areas.
Will My Egress Window Have a Good View?
Generally, you’re not going to be able to see much beyond the window well itself. However, we still ensure you’re getting the best view possible by using top-tier materials that come in a variety of colors, textures, and designs. You may not have a sweeping landscape view, but our design professionals are here to ensure you have the next best thing.
How Will My Egress Window Look From the Inside?
The biggest benefit of egress windows from the inside is that it allows natural sunlight into your basement space. This will help your downstairs living space look bigger and brighter. The design itself is simple, which allows you to incorporate it into any interior design scheme you have in mind seamlessly.
Will I Require Any Permits for Egress Window Installation?
Permit requirements vary between municipalities. When you choose to work with WMGB Home Improvement, we’ll keep you in the loop regarding which (if any) permits you’ll require to get the job done and offer guidance on how best to obtain those permits within your municipality.
How Long Will the Installation Take?
Assuming the weather is favorable, the project can normally be completed within a few days. Speak with WMGB associates to learn more about the installation process and how it could work with your schedule.
How Will You Take Care of My Yard During Installation?
We’re here to ensure you’re getting the most out of your home in every aspect, so we won’t wreck your yard while installing a window. We take special measures to avoid making a mess of your yard with our vehicles and haul away the dirt removed from the window well so you don’t need to worry about a big pile of mud in the aftermath.
Will Other Parties Need to Be Involved?
While WMGB will handle the installation process, we do call in a number of professionals to mark utility lines. This ensures we can install your window without interfering with your home’s electricity, water, and other crucial utilities and create a safe work environment.