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Egress Window Installation

Egress window Installation Duluth MN

If you're considering a basement renovation as a way to expand your living space, don't be surprised if the building-codes office has something to say about it, especially if a new bedroom is part of your plan. Regulations simply won't allow a basement bedroom without an egress window. Because this rule is fairly recent, most basements were not built with egress windows. It's a conundrum that could keep you cramped for space when everything you need is right under your feet.

What will you get for your investment?
The added light let in by the new, deep window can eliminate the dark and dank atmosphere so common to earlier basement finishes. The sensory difference can be remarkable. 

In basements, more than anywhere else, light is a critical design element. Of course, the primary benefit of a deep window is an easily accessible opening through which you can escape or a firefighter can enter in the event of a basement fire. Basement fires are common, so this is really more than a code issue. With an extra legal bedroom, you could recover 10 to 20 times your window installation costs when you eventually sell your home.

Egress window Installation Duluth MN
Code Requirements
Local regulations vary, so you'll need to start with a visit to your codes administration office. With minor variances, here's what you'll find. To begin, not all basement rooms need a legal egress window, but certainly no basement bedrooms will be allowed without one. 

And if it has occurred to you to call a given room a den before the inspection and a bedroom after, well, let's just say that this isn't a very original idea. Today, any bedroom-sized room with a closet is considered a bedroom, no matter what the blueprint says.As for size requirements, expect to need a window with an opening of 5.7 sq. ft. Some codes count the glass area, while others measure the area with the window open. In any case, a vertical casement window with 6 sq. ft. of access is a good choice for a retrofit installation. The height of the window installation is also important. The bottom of the window opening should be no more than 44 in. off the floor. Outside, an oversize window well is required. It will need to be at least 36 in. wide and extend 36 in. 

out from the window. The window well height is also limited to 44 in., as measured from the well floor. If a deep basement forces a deeper window well, most codes will allow a concrete block on the floor of the well to serve as a step, as long as it doesn't interfere with the window's opening

Egress window Installation Duluth MN

Installation
After the best area for the window has been decided we can start excavating for our new egress window. Once we have excavated down to the footing drain we can connect a new vertical piece of drain tile to the existing footing drain. This will keep your new window well, draining properly so water doesn’t build up. This is the most important part and seems to be the biggest failure of and egress window. Next we cut an opening in the foundation wall and install the new egress window of your choice and window well. We install 4” high density Styrofoam under the new window well to insure frost will not affect your foundations footing. Finally we offer many types of finishes for around your new window on the exterior from stucco to cedar trim.


Egress Window Installation Duluth, MN
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