Egress Window Installations – Part II

A deal is a deal. I promised to talk more about actions & consequences when seeking for the cheapest price. 

“You have probably heard about the triangle ‘cheap, fast and good’. You will never be able to get all three of them but certainly two… that’s why I talked earlier about the cheapest price, not the best.”

Anyways, when seeking for price, compromises need to be made, sometimes reasonable, sometimes not. Again, reasons are manifold, could be lack of knowledge, could be willingness to compromise, could be so many other reasons.

It is crucial to cover the basics: when you want to have an up-to-code egress window installation, make sure to:

  1. Include a structural engineer who prepares the paper for…
  2. Permit drawing which makes the egress window installation an official additional bedroom.
  3. Choose a contractor who guides you through the process before starting. This can save you time, nerves and money.
  4. Make sure the contractor is insured, carries a contractors license and offers a contract as well as a warranty on his craftsmanship (minimum is one year, better two years). This sounds basic but differentiates a legit business from a business which can disappear at any time and leave you with the result of poor craftsmanship. Just saying…
  5. An egress window must satisfy four International Residential Code (IRC) criteria:
  1. Minimum width of opening: 20 in. 
  2. Minimum height of opening: 24 in. 
  3. Minimum net clear opening: 5.7 sq. ft. (5.0 sq. ft. for ground floor). 
  4. The bottom of the egress window opening can’t exceed 44” from the finished floor.                                                                     4B. The minimum egress window opening height is 24” high.

Oh, and please invest in great windows, your energy bill will thank you years down the road!

Excursus and good to know:

I do not want you to bore you to death, but give you a practical example of not how to do it. When shopping around for a small 24×48 window, we saw a (falsely) advertised egress window. We ordered as we had a client who just wanted a cut down, no horizontal extension of the window opening. When delivered we double checked the opening before we actually installed it and found out the opening was only 19”. The minimum width of opening is 20″, so the advertised egress window was not up-to-code! In a bit of a frenzy we looked around and found another local window distributor which also claimed theirs as an egress window. It ended up having the exact same problem. The learning: Make sure you do not end up with a window that does not clear the egress criteria, get all information before ordering and get it in writing. Just saying…

Next time I’d like to talk about proper project documentation and why it can ease everyone’s pain.

Stay Fair & Square,

Axel

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