How can I install egress windows?


Quick Answer

If your basement remodel includes a bedroom, building codes require an egress window in case of fire. If your windows do not meet these requirements, you must make modifications to meet the code by installing an egress window.

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Full Answer

  1. Know the requirements

    Most building codes require a minimum of a 5.7-square-foot opening. In addition, they require windows to be a minimum of 20 inches wide and 24 inches high. The bottom must be within 44 inches of the floor. Codes vary by locality, so check with the building department.

  2. Determine the location

    Place the window where it most enhances the project while providing access. Keep landscaping and underground utilities in mind. Mark the location using painter's tape. You need to install a header to replace the support removed with the basement wall to install a window.

  3. Cut the hole

    Rent a concrete cutting saw with a diamond blade. If your basement construction includes solid concrete, the Family Handyman recommends hiring a professional to cut the hole due to the weight of the concrete you plan to remove.

  4. Install the window

    Follow the manufacturer's directions to install the window. Finish both inside and outside the window. Install an expanded window well outside the window. While galvanized steel wells work, there are other options as well.

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