Egress Windows

What are egress windows?

An egress window is a window that is required in specific locations in a home and is intended to provide an emergency means of exiting.  Windows must meet specific size and requirements to qualify as an egress window.

Egress windows are required in every bedroom. If you are constructing a new home, the code requires that you put an egress window in each bedroom. Waking up to a fire is not fun, especially when you have no means to exit. That is why this code has been put in place.

Below are a list of requirements for an egress window:

  • minimum width of opening must be 20 inches or more
  • minimum height of opening must be 24 inches or more
  • minimum net clear opening must be 5.7 square feet
  • maximum sill height above floor must be 44 inches

You can use any type of window as long as it means these requirements.

Some of the older homes that were built before this code was put into place do not meet the requirements.  If this is the case, you are not out of code by right of grandfathering.  However, if you decide to replace your windows then you must do so up to code.  This is why it is important to have a professional come and evaluate your home and to help you follow all of the correct builder codes.