If you are a homeowner in Oakville, you most certainly have heard of egress windows. An egress window is one that also can serve as an emergency exit in the event of a fire or other such dangerous situation. They are typically installed in rooms such as bedrooms and basements and are required by law.
If your current windows are not up to code, you might want to consider vinyl windows replacement to convert your current windows to egress-style windows. Contact your local windows company for more information.
Egress Window Facts & Guidelines
What is Basement Egress Window Size?
- Egress basement windows must have a window well with a depth of 760 mm as well as 30 inches (0.76 m) in depth.
- The opening must be unobstructed with a dimension of at least 380 mm.
- The window sill shall not be higher than 1118 m from the floor.
What are the General Guidelines for Egress Windows?
- The window must be able to provide sufficient airflow year-round.
- Egress windows should not require any special tools, skills, hardware, keys, etc. in order to be opened quickly in the event of an emergency.
- Egress-style windows must provide no less than 5% light in the entirety of the room.
- The window must be accessible and equipped with steps or a ladder.
- The window must be large enough to provide a safe and fast exit from the room.
- Window grills and security bars must be able to be quickly and easily removed without the use of any special tools or skills.
- Egress windows are not required in those rooms that have a built-in sprinkler system.
What Style of Windows is Ideal for Egress Windows?
Ideally, casement windows are the best design for egress basement or bedroom windows. They are generally sized to the ideal proportions or can be custom designed to fit any size. As well, they are equipped with a crank handle that makes them easy to open in the event of a fire or other life-threatening situation. Additionally, they open outward, away from the home, which allows for a safe and easy escape.
Ways to Convert Your Basement Windows to Egress Fire Windows
Make Your Existing Windows Larger
A lot of homeowners opt to simply make their current basement windows larger. However, we need to point out that for the most part, it will include cutting into the existing concrete wall. Most windows companies are not trained or equipped to do this kind of work. In this instance, you will have to hire an outside contractor to complete the task. Once the space has been properly sized, your windows company can install your egress windows. However, you will need to obtain a permit before you can begin the work. As well, this will incur additional costs.
Expand The Existing Wall
Similar to the above process, you will need to acquire a permit to expand the wall. Again, most window companies will not provide this type of work. In addition to getting a permit, you will need to hire a contractor as expanding the wall will most likely interfere with the wall structure. This, too, will add extra costs to your renovation budget.
If you choose this option, you most likely will not need to obtain a permit. However, it doesn’t hurt to check to protect your best interests and not incur any future fines.
Cutting down the window will expand the opening of the window downward. This process is less costly as it does not interfere with the integrity of the wall structure.