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Do You Need a Basement Egress Window?

Whether you're converting a basement into livable space to bolster the value of your home or creating a rentable unit for additional income, you may have to add an egress window. The requirements for adding windows and their specifications vary by state and municipality. If people are going to be sleeping in the converted basement space, chances are high you will need to construct a window system that leads up and out to safety in an emergency.

Window Sizing and Placement
First, any egress window you install must be wide enough for a full-sized adult to pass through with ease. The sills must be close enough to the floor to allow access to children or adults who may need to climb out. Make sure that you purchase the correct size for your new egress window and install it properly to keep out moisture and drafts.

Providing Adequate Window Space and Access
For older homes, renovation can be tricky. Many building codes allow you to add a concrete step below the window to assist people out. The well outside an egress window must be large enough to accommodate steps to the surface or an escape ladder. Top the well with a removable grate or cover that keeps out critters and debris.

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Purchasing and Installation
You can find pre-fabricated, double-insulated windows made for the job. Installing an egress window typically requires a concrete saw for cutting out window space in your home's foundation, which can mean lots of dust in and around the basement. The mortar must be chipped away, too, before mounting the window.

It can be a dirty and sometimes costly job. On the plus side, though, a window can bring welcome sunlight into your newly renovated--and safer--basement.


    	


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