Egress windows are actually pretty common and can be found in most homes across the world. Chances are you even have some in your own house. Egress windows are the type of window that is pretty easy to use as an escape route, as they open and close pretty easily. They are generally a good size as well. They are the most common windows installed when exiting safety is a priority.
The Average Price of Egress Windows
Egress windows are a bit on the pricey side compared to other styles of windows. This is usually because egress windows are larger, and they have to be installed in such a way that they are easy to open and close in the event of an emergency. They tend to cost anywhere between $1000 and $5000 per window. The larger the window is, the more it will cost. It also depends on the style of the window. More simple egress windows will usually be on the lower end of this range, with more intricately designed windows costing more.
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The Pros of Having Egress Windows
Possibly the most significant advantage of egress windows is the fact that they serve a great purpose. They are designed to be a built-in way for you to escape your home in the event of an emergency. Fire codes in most areas will have a clause that required egress windows to be installed on all levels of your home. They have to be in the areas that are most often used, such as the bathrooms, kitchen, bedroom, and living room. They help to ensure that you have a way out of the house if there is a fire or other emergency.
The Disadvantages of Egress Windows
The most significant disadvantage of egress windows is that they are mandatory. They are required in most rooms within your home. A lot of older homes do not have these windows installed, and it can be quite costly to have them installed. These older homes, for this reason, are not as safe as newer homes that have these added safe ways out. They are also not up to code for fires, which may prove to cause problems down the road.
The rooms that are required to have an egress window include all bedrooms and any room that is the size of a bedroom and has a closet counts as a bedroom. You should also have them in each bathroom in the home, as well as in the kitchen and living room areas. There isn’t too much worry when it comes to the attic spaces and basement spaces unless they have been converted into a living area. In which case, they would need to have egress windows installed as well.
The Importance of Adhering to Fire Codes
Since fire codes require homes to have egress windows in all of the areas of the house that people live, that means you don’t have to have them in the attic or basement or other rooms that are not used very much. Fire codes are there for a reason, and in many cases, egress windows tend to save lives. If there were a fire in your home, you may not notice it until it is too late, which could prove to be fatal. During your sleep is when you are most likely to have the biggest risk because you often don’t notice until the flames have spread too far. This is why egress windows are so very important, and you need to make sure your windows are up to regulation.
Do You Have Egress Windows?
If you are unsure whether or not you have egress windows, it may be a good idea to talk to your local fire department about the local codes. They may even come out and take a look at your windows to let you know whether or not they are up to code. Being aware of the fire codes and regulations, you will be able to keep your family safe.
Egress Windows in the Basement
Since you are only required to have egress windows in the areas that are most lived in, you may not have basement windows in place. Having egress windows in your basement can be a good idea. This is especially true if you have turned your basement into a living area, such as a bedroom or game room. It is better to be safe, rather than be sorry. In this case, a basement egress window may be a good idea.
Egress windows in the basement need to be placed fairly strategically. This is because there are outside obstructions, such as bushes and grass, and you need to make sure that your basement egress window is free from external obstruction. Otherwise, the window is pointless if you are going to be unable to get out due to something blocking the window. Make sure that you place it in an area that will be easy to get out of in the event of an emergency.
More often than not, a window well will have to be dug and installed in order to make the window useful for escape purposes. This ensures that the exit is fully functional so that you have a way out if needed.
What About Older Homes?
Since older homes may not be up to code, it makes sense that people without egress windows may wonder what they need to do. There are thousands and thousands of homes across America that are not up to code. Egress window regulations were not a big thing back then when a lot of older homes were built so that they may be grandfathered in due to their age. The problem is, these homes are not as safe as they should be.
If you want to see whether or not your windows count as egress windows, you will want to make sure that you check their measurements. Windows need to be large enough for you to be able to escape out of them if need be. The minimum size should be 24 inches in height, and 20 inches in width. They also need to have an opening of a minimum of at least 5 feet upon exiting the house, to allow the firemen to have room to place a ladder for exiting.
Are Your Egress Windows Too Small?
Sometimes window casements tend to be on the smaller side, and they may not be large enough for them to meet the code requirements. If that is the case, you will need to make sure that you have casement windows that have one opening, so that you can climb out easily. This means you may not be able to use single or double hung windows, but safety comes first.
Could Skylight Windows Be a Good Option?
Skylight windows may be a great way for you to escape your home in case of an emergency. While it may not be the first thing that you think of when you consider skylights, it is a viable option. The key is to make sure that your skylight windows meet the requirements of an emergency exit according to the local fire codes in your area. First of all, you have to consider the height of the window. It needs to be no more than 44 inches from the floor, so it wouldn’t be ideal if it were a room with high ceilings. You must also get a skylight window that is easy for you to open and close as needed. Some are fixed, making this impossible. This type would not count as an egress window. The best one to choose is the type that is hinged out and opens straight out like a regular casement window.
Installing Egress Windows
If you are looking to install egress windows in your home, you will want to make sure that you hire a professional to do the job. This type of window is not your average window. You need to make sure that the measurements are done according to the local fire codes in your area. The best way to ensure a proper measure of it is to talk to a certified installer. They will be up to speed when it comes to the codes and will be able to ensure that your windows are properly and safely installed.
As you can see, egress windows are definitely not the best when it comes to architectural design. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get designer egress windows that will add to the design of your home. It just means that you may pay more for it. The main purpose of these windows is not to really add to the design of your home, but rather to give you the ability to get out of the house if you need to. These windows serve as a way to save your life in the event of a fire or other emergency situation.
The Hatch Difference
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