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Maryland Egress t/a Worldwide Waterproofing

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Pasadena . MD. 21122

Serving all of Maryland DC & Va

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By worldwide9110583, Dec 20 2016 10:46PM

It's the Law - Egress Window Requirements


The IRC 2012 or International Residential Code pertains to all single and two family homes.

The intent of the code is to keep you and your loved one safe by requiring a means of egress in basement level living spaces. The reason for needing a means of egress are twofold; to allow for an exit in case of an emergency, and to provide access for a firefighter to gain entrance. You will find that each product on this site clearly states whether it complies with the egress window requirements.

The code gets updated every three years. Check with your local building department to determine what version of this code is being enforced in your area at this time.

Here is an overview of section R310 of the code that are applicable to Egress Windows:

Egress windows (or doors) are required in every habitable space. Especially in any room used for sleeping purposes, it will require its own egress window. Remodeler: if you have an existing home and you add a sleeping room, or finish a separate living space in the basement, the code requires that you install an egress window to serve these spaces. Without a means of egress, these rooms can represent a dangerous fire trap if you do not have a quick and easy to operate emergency egress escape window. If you have a basement that has a bedroom, recreation room, den, family room, media room, office, or home gym. All of these rooms are required to have a means of egress.

Basement Egress Window Requirements

The bottom of the egress window opening can’t exceed 44” from the finished floor.

The minimum opening area of the egress window is 5.7 square feet.

The minimum egress window opening height is 24” high.

The minimum egress window opening is 20” wide.

The egress window must have a glass area of not less than 8% of the total floor area of room(s) for which it is servicing, to allow the minimum amount of sufficient natural light. *

The egress window must have a opening area of not less than 4% of the total floor area of room(s) for which it is servicing, to allow the minimum amount of natural ventilation. *

* Multiple windows can be used to service a single area where one window does not meet these percentages of total floor area. As long as the totaled amounts from this combination of windows meet or exceed the 8% for natural light and 4% for natural ventilation.

Egress Window Wells

Egress window wells are required where the bottom of the egress window is below ground level.

The egress well must not interfere with the egress window fully opening.

The distance from the egress window to the back of the Egress well must be at least 36”

The minimum area of the egress well must be 9 square feet. (width x projection)

Egress Ladders and/or Steps

Egress ladders and or steps are required on window wells deeper than 44” and must be permanently attached.

An egress ladder or step may encroach into well up to 6”.

Steps and/or distance between rungs of the ladder can’t exceed 18”.

The rungs of an egress ladder must be 12” wide or greater and must project a minimum of 3” away from the back wall, but can’t exceed 6” from the back of the wall.

Egress Well Cover and/or Well Grates

Shall be easily opened or removed from the inside of the egress well without special tools.

These requirements are intended to make sure an average, able bodied person, would be able to both fit through and lift themselves up, and out the window. Please keep in mind whom may be using the living space in your basement and adjust these requirements as you feel necessary. The law only dictates the minimum required by law and may not be what best suits your needs. Use your common sense when picking the egress window size and egress window well size that you feel is right for you and your family. Keep safety in mind.

See your local building inspector with questions regarding code requirements in your area. You are responsible for abiding by all applicable building codes in your area.


Call Maryland Egress ( a Division of Worldwide Waterproofing & Faoundation Repair) 800-682-2288 for a free estimate


By worldwide9110583, Aug 22 2016 05:11PM

Egress windows add so much value to your home, lets for a second forget that now you can escape in an emergency situation. This of course is your number one reason to install an egress window. A fire fighter's job is hard enough without having only one way in and out of your basement.

A egress window or door brings fresh air in and now fresh air is recycling in and out of this larger window in your basement allowing you to be in a healthier enviorment overall.

We all know that natural sunlight makes us feel good, stay inside all day and walk out into the sun and you feel better.

But the best and most important part of an egress opening is adding marketable square footage to your home. The area an egress window is in changes all of the space in the room to livable square footage.

So that 3 bedroom house just became a 4 bedroom house. Where else can you add 20-50% more sq footage to your home for $5000- $8500. Call Maryland Egress for a free inspection and quote 410-437-0360

By worldwide9110583, Jul 20 2016 08:22AM

By definition, an egress window is any window that provides a safe escape route from your home in case of fire, as well as an access point for emergency personnel. That being said, they’re an important (and required) feature throughout your home. And if you’re adding an egress window in your basement, you’ll reap the added benefits of bringing natural light and ventilation into your basement area, and increasing your home’s overall square footage and value.

There isn’t much not to like when it comes to adding an egress window. They increase the value of your home, and create a safer environment for everyone that lives under your roof. And since size requirements mean larger windows overall, they bring in more natural lighting, and provide more ventilation throughout. Here’s a list of reasons that egress windows should top your to-do list this summer.

Safety — According to the U.S. Fire Administration, “4,000 Americans die each year in fires, and over 20,000 are injured,” many of which could be avoided with proper escape plans and routes. An egress window in each bedroom, as well as in other “habituated” areas (basements included), drastically increases your chances of safe escape in the event of a major house fire, and provides entry points into your home for emergency personnel.

Added Value — Adding egress windows in your basement is especially important when it comes to increasing the value of your home, since it’s the key to bringing basement bedrooms and living areas up to code and including them in calculations of overall square footage. According to Popular Mechanics magazine, “with an extra legal bedroom [in the basement], you could recover 10 to 20 times your window installation cost when you eventually sell your home.”

Added Comfort — An egress window in a basement dramatically brightens an otherwise dark, dingy room,” which isn’t surprising considering the fact that most building codes require egress windows to provide “a clear opening of at least 5.7 square feet.” A window of that size is big enough to provide a wealth of natural ventilation to the stuffiest basement, as well.

By guest, Apr 15 2016 08:41PM

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