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Thread: Egress Window Question.

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member nelsonba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Egress Window Question.

    I'm adding a bathroom to the 2nd floor of my house and I'm planning to steal a 3' x 2' area from the corner of a bedroom. I called the permit office to see what types of plans they need to see. They said since I was going to be modifying part of the bedroom I might have to install an egress window. This seems ridiculous since all I'm doing is basically boxing in the corner to allow more room for the bathroom.

    Currently I have two double hung windows right next to each other. I like the look of the double hung windows, but they wouldn't be big enough to pass for egress. The opening is currently 24 inches tall by 26 inches wide which meets the width and height requirements, but not the total opening requirements. Code says the opening has to be 5.7 square feet.

    Are there any options I'm not thinking of? I don't want to put in a sliding window or a crank out window because it wouldn't fit with the rest of the house. I really don't want to reframe the window opening to allow for bigger double hung windows.


  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    Get a definitive yes or no, not a maybe, then think about it. Somebody know the national code on this? Basically it is always a good idea to have two ways out of a bedroom, and since you are changing it, that may be part of the price of admittance. They don't enforce things retroactively (you're grandfathered normally), but make a change, and the whole thing must meet current codes.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    200 miles south of Little Rock


    Quote Originally Posted by nelsonba View Post
    They said since I was going to be modifying part of the bedroom I might have to install an egress window.
    Maybe that was said to cover the possibility you might be planning to remove or block an existing window?

    Maybe you could ask for some clarification.

  4. #4
    DIY Member theelviscerator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Elkhart, IN


    On a double hung window only the bottom half counts toward egress.

    thats why a slider or casement is always your best choice for smallest window to meet code.
    The world is a grindstone, whether it wears you down, or polishes you up, is up to you.

  5. #5
    In the Trades AZ Contractor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Phoenix, AZ


    Where emergency escape and rescue openings are provided they shall have a sill height of not more than 44 inches above the floor

    All emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum clear opening of 5.7 square feet

    The minimum net clear opening height shall be 24 inches

    The minimum net clear opening width shall be 20 inches


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