Benefits of Egress Windows Include:
Safety and Emergency Preparedness:
- The primary benefit of egress windows is their contribution to safety and emergency preparedness. If there is a fire, natural disaster, or any other emergency, egress windows provide a safe means of escape, even if the regular exits are blocked or inaccessible.
Compliance with Building Codes:
- Building codes often require egress window wells, particularly when bedrooms are in the basement or below ground. These codes require that every bedroom has a secondary means of egress, usually fulfilled by installing egress windows. Compliance with building codes not only ensures the safety of occupants but also helps avoid potential legal issues and penalties.
Increased Natural Light and Ventilation:
- Egress windows are larger than traditional windows, allowing ample natural light to enter the room. The additional daylight can create a brighter, more inviting space while reducing the reliance on artificial lighting during the day. Egress windows improve airflow, reduce condensation, and prevent stale air, promoting a healthier indoor environment.
Improved Property Value:
- Installing egress windows can enhance the value of a property. Potential homebuyers or renters often consider safety features and building code compliance when assessing a property’s worth. Egress windows make buildings more appealing to buyers or renters, boosting their value and marketability.
- Homeowners can choose from different designs and styles of egress windows that match the look and style of their property. These windows can enhance the exterior appearance of a building, providing a fresh and updated look. Additionally, they can also enhance the interior ambiance by introducing natural light and creating a more open and spacious feeling.
Potential for Basement Living Spaces:
- Egress windows are useful for homeowners who want to turn their basements into livable areas like bedrooms or offices. Installing egress window wells enables basements to meet the necessary safety requirements for legal classification as habitable spaces. This opens a range of possibilities for expanding living areas and maximizing the usable space in the home.
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Never had an egress window installed before?
Here’s a general overview of the process so you can know what to expect!
Determine the Location: The first step is to identify the ideal location for the egress window. This is typically in a basement or a below-grade area where bedrooms or living spaces are present. Consider factors such as accessibility, proximity to an exit point, and compliance with local building codes regarding window size, placement, and well dimensions.
Obtain Permits: Before starting the installation, it’s crucial to check with your local building department to determine if any permits or approvals are required. Building codes may have specific requirements for egress window installations, and obtaining the necessary permits ensures compliance with regulations. At Emergency Service Pros, we can help simplify this process because we are familiar with permit requirements of the areas we work in: Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and Windsor.
Excavation and Well Preparation: Excavate the area outside the chosen window location to create a window well. The well provides a space for people to safely exit and also allows light to enter the basement. The size of the well must meet local building code requirements, which typically specify minimum dimensions for depth, width, and projection from the foundation.
Cutting the Opening: Once the well is prepared, carefully mark and cut an opening in the basement wall where the egress window will be installed. Use appropriate tools, such as a concrete saw, to create the opening while ensuring structural integrity. Take caution to avoid damaging any utility lines or pipes during this process.
Install the Window: Insert the egress window into the opening, ensuring it fits securely and aligns properly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation, which typically involve securing the window frame to the wall, sealing it against moisture, and ensuring it operates smoothly. Use appropriate materials, such as flashing and sealants, to create a watertight and airtight seal around the window.
Window Well Installation: Install the window well around the exterior of the egress window. The well may consist of various components, including a window well liner, gravel or drainage material, and a clear cover or grate to prevent debris accumulation. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for assembling and securing the window well components to ensure stability and proper drainage.
Finishing Touches: Once the window and window well are installed, make any necessary adjustments or repairs to the surrounding wall, both on the interior and exterior. Ensure that the window operates smoothly, seals properly, and locks securely. Consider adding interior finishes, such as trim or window treatments, to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the space.
Safety Considerations: Finally, ensure that the egress window is easily accessible from the interior and exterior of the building. Install window well ladders or steps to facilitate safe entry and exit from the well. It’s essential to maintain the well area by regularly removing debris, checking for proper drainage, and ensuring the clear cover or grate is secure.
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