EGRESS CODE (BASEMENT)

2018 IRC CODE 

EGRESS CODE
International Residential Code™ (IRC-2018)
Egress/Rescue Openings Code Requirements
For One- and Two-Family Dwellings

IRC CODE
SECTION R310 EMERGENCY ESCAPE AND RESCUE OPENINGS
R310.1 EMERGENCY ESCAPE AND RESCUE OPENING REQUIRED.
Basements, habitable attics and every sleeping room shall have not less than one operable emergency escape and rescue opening. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, an emergency escape and rescue opening shall be required in each sleeping room. Emergency escape and rescue openings shall open directly into a public way, or to a yard or court that opens to a public way.

Exceptions:
          1. Storm shelters and basements used only to house mechanical equipment not exceeding a total floor Area of 200 square feet (18.58m2)
          2. Where the dwelling or townhouse is equipped with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section P2904, sleeping rooms in basements shall not be required to have emergency escape and rescue openings provided that the basement has one of the following:

2.1. One means of egress complying with Section R311 and one emergency escape and rescue opening.
             2.2. Two means of egress complying with Section R311.

R310.1.1 OPERATIONAL CONSTRAINTS AND OPENING CONTROL DEVICES.
Emergency escape and rescue openings all be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys, tools or special knowledge. Window opening control devices complying with ASTM F 2090 shall be permitted for use on windows serving as a required emergency escape and rescue opening.
 
R310.2 EMERGENCY ESCAPE AND RESCUE OPENINGS.
Emergency escape and rescue openings shall have minimum dimensions as specified in this section.
 
R310.2.1 MINIMUM OPENING AREA.
Emergency and escape rescue openings shall have a net clear opening of not less than 5.7 square feet (0.530 m2). The net clear opening dimensions required by this section shall be obtained by the normal operation of the emergency escape and rescue opening form the inside. The net clear height opening shall be not less than 24 inches (610 mm) and the net clear width shall be not less than 20 inches (508 mm).
Exception: Grade floor or below grade openings shall have a net clear opening of not less than 5 square feet
(0.465 m2)

 
R310.2.2 WINDOW SILL HEIGHT.
Where a window is provided as the emergency escape and rescue opening, it shall have a sill height of not more than 44 inches (1118 mm) above the floor; where the sill height is below grade, it shall be provided with a window well in accordance with Section R310.2.3
 
R310.2.3 WINDOW WELLS.
The horizontal area of the window well shall be not less than 9 square feet (0.9 m2), with a horizontal projection and width of not less than 36 inches (914 mm). The area of the window well shall allow the emergency escape and rescue opening to be fully opened.
Exception: The ladder or steps required by Section R310.2.3.1 shall be permitted to encroach not more than 6 inches (152 mm) into the required dimensions of the window well.
 
R310.2.3.1 LADDER AND STEPS.
Window wells with a vertical depth greater than 44 inches (1118 mm) shall be equipped with a permanently affixed ladder or steps usable with the window in the fully open position. Ladders or steps required by this section shall not be required to comply with Sections R311.7 and R311.8, Ladders or rungs shall have an inside width of not less than 12 inches (305 mm), shall project not less than 3 inches (76 mm) from the wall and shall be spaced not more than 18 inches (457 mm) on center vertically for the full height of the window well.
 
R310.2.3.2 DRAINAGE.
Window wells shall be designed for proper drainage by connecting to the building’s foundation drainage system required by Section R405.1 or by an approved alternative method.
Exception: A drainage system for window wells is not required where the foundation is on well-drained soil or sand-gravel mixture soils in accordance with the United Soil Classification System, Group I Soils, as detailed in Table R405.1
 
R310.2.4 EMERGENCY ESCAPE AND RESCUE OPENINGS UNDER DECKS AND PORCHES.
Emergency escape and rescue openings shall be permitted to be installed under decks and porches provided that the location of the deck allows the emergency escape and rescue openings to be fully opened and provides a path not less than 35 inches (914 mm) in height to a yard or court.

R310.2.5 REPLACEMENT WINDOWS.
Replacement windows installed in building meeting the scope of this code shall be exempt from the maximum sill height requirements of Section R310.2.2 and the requirements of Section R310.2.1, provided that the replacement window meets the following conditions:
        1. The replacement window is the manufacturer’s largest standard size window that will fit within the existing window or existing rough opening. The replacement window is of the same operating style as the existing window or a style that provides for an equal or greater window opening area than the existing window.
        2. The replacement window is not part of a change of occupancy. 

R310.3 EMERGENCY ESCAPE AND RESCUE DOORS.
Where a door is provided as the required emergency escape and rescue opening, it shall be permitted to be a side-hinged door or a slider. Where the opening is below the adjacent ground elevation, it shall be provided with a bulkhead enclosure.

R310.3.1 MINIMUM DOOR OPENING SIZE.
The minimum net clear height opening for any door that serves as an emergency and escape rescue opening shall he in accordance with Section R310.2.1.
 
R310.3.2 AREA WELLS.
Area wells shall have a width of not less than 36 inches (914mm). The area well shall be sized to allow the emergency escape and rescue door to be fully opened.
 
R310.3.2.1 LADDER AND STEPS.
Area wells with a vertical depth greater than 44 inches (1118 mm) shall be equipped with a permanently affixed ladder or steps usable with the door in the fully open position. Ladders or steps required by this section shall not be required to comply with Section R311.7. Ladders or rungs shall have an inside width of not less than 12 inches (305 mm), shall project not less than 3 inches (76 mm) from the wall and shall be spaced not more than 18 inches (457 mm) on center vertically for the full height of the exterior stairwell.
 
R310.3.2.2 DRAINAGE.
Bulkhead enclosures shall be designed for proper drainage by connecting to the building’s foundation drainage system required by Section R405.1 or by an approved alternative method.
Exception: A drainage system for bulkhead enclosures is not required where the foundation is on well-drained soil or sand-gravel mixture soils in accordance with the United Soil Classification System, Group I Soils, as detailed in Table R405.1.
 
R310.4 BARS, GRILLES, COVERS AND SCREENS.
Bars, grilles, covers, screen or similar devices are permitted to be placed over emergency escape and rescue openings, bulkhead enclosures, or window wells that serve such openings, provided that the minimum net clear opening size complies with Sections R310.1.1 to R310.2.3, and such devices shall be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool, special knowledge or force greater than that required for the normal operation of the escape and rescue opening.
 
R310.5 DWELLING ADDITIONS.
Where dwelling additions occur that contain sleeping rooms, an emergency escape and rescue opening shall be provided in each new sleeping room. Where dwelling additions occur that have basements, an emergency escape and rescue opening shall be provided in the new basement.
EXCEPTIONS:
1. An emergency escape and rescue opening is not required in a new basement that contains sleeping room with an emergency escape and rescue opening.
2. An emergency escape and rescue opening is not required in a new basement where there is an emergency escape and rescue opening in an existing basement that is accessible from the new basement.

 
R310.6 ALTERATIONS OR REPAIRS OF EXISTING BASEMENTS.
An emergency escape and rescue opening is not required where existing basements undergo alterations or repairs.
Exception: New sleeping rooms created in an existing basement shall be provided with emergency escape and rescue openings in accordance with Section R310.1.
 

 

OUR BASEMENT EGRESS PROCESS

Step One: Consultation

Interested in Basement Egress Windows and Doors?  Best way to start is to begin with a no-obligation conversation about your project.  Here is what to expect to jumpstart your new basement egress project.

 

  • Initial Phone Conversation
  • On-site Consultation and Evaluation
  • Free Estimate and Formal Proposal
  • Agreed Proposal, Schedule Permitting, Engineering and Design

OUR BASEMENT EGRESS PROCESS

Step One: Consultation

Interested in Basement Egress Windows and Doors?  Best way to start is to begin with a no-obligation conversation about your project.  Here is what to expect to jumpstart your new basement egress project.

 

  • Initial Phone Conversation
  • On-site Consultation and Evaluation
  • Free Estimate and Formal Proposal
  • Agreed Proposal, Schedule Permitting, Engineering and Design

OUR BASEMENT EGRESS PROCESS

Step Two: Planning

Planning is a crucial step to ensure a smooth process and ensure a safe home. Here we will provide a full-service operation with the handling of all design, engineering and permitting.

  • Sketchup 3D Design (if needed)
  • City Approved Engineering
  • We handle all City Permitting and Submittals
  • Create a Date and Schedule for Egress Completion

OUR BASEMENT EGRESS PROCESS

Step Two: Planning

Planning is a crucial step to ensure a smooth process and ensure a safe home. Here we will provide a full-service operation with the handling of all design, engineering and permitting.

 

  • Sketchup 3D Design (if needed)
  • City Approved Engineering
  • We handle all City Permitting and Submittals
  • Create a Date and Schedule for Egress Completion

OUR BASEMENT EGRESS PROCESS

Step Three: Construction

With our City Approved Permit, we’re ready for Construction.  Our team will walk you through our step by step process of what to expect during your basement egress construction.  Here is a simple process of most egress projects.

 

  • Excavate Egress Opening
  • Cut Foundation Opening
  • Install Window / Door
  • Ready for City Inspection and Complete Touch-ups
  • On average a 2 day construction timeframe

OUR BASEMENT EGRESS PROCESS

Step Three: Construction

With our City Approved Permit, we’re ready for Construction.  Our team will walk you through our step by step process of what to expect during your basement egress construction.  Here is a simple process of most egress projects.

  • Excavate Egress Opening
  • Cut Foundation Opening
  • Install Window / Door
  • Ready for City Inspection and Complete Touch-ups
  • On average a 2 day construction timeframe

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Basement Egress Window?

Egress is a building code term that relates to the ability to exit a room during a hazardous situation such as a fire. Most applications apply to a basement area that will be finished for living space, typically a bedroom. Older homes and basements with low windows are difficult to finish due to the window size. An egress window solves this problem by complying with fire codes. An opening is cut into the basement wall to insert a window. Size requirements will vary from state to municipality.

What is the lead time to get on Schedule?

Lead times are on average less than 2 weeks.

How long is the Egress Window / Door Install?

2 days. Day 1 dig, cut and install. Day 2 clean up and wait for an inspector to final. We also broke it down further in our process above.

Will my Home Value Increase with Egress?

These spaces bring increased value, lifestyle enhancement, and expanded living to today’s homes. (with an extra-legal bedroom, you could recover 10 to 20 times your window installation costs when you eventually sell your home*. (*According to the Bob Vila and Popular Mechanic website).

Is a Permit required for a Egress Window?

In all areas of Colorado it is required. Some engineered some not. But all require. At Native Sons Egress Windows, we will handle the permitting process.

Will Native Sons handle all Permitting?

We are licensed in 30 jurisdictions along with the front range. (Yes they make us get licensed in every city/county)

Do I even need a Egress Basement Window?

Adding egress can greatly improve safety in enclosed spaces. Even if a basement is not going to have a bedroom, it may be wise to have an escape route. A below- or at-grade window adds considerable value to the equity of a home. Most home buyers are looking for homes that are built well and maintain adequate permits for any remodels on the home. A proper egress in the basement eliminates the worries of homeowners and buyers. The insulation of the windows also reduces energy bills of heating newly conditioned spaces.

What does a Egress Window Cost?

On average $3000 – $7000 for for one egress window. $15,500 – $30,000 for doors.

Our Recent Testimonials

Very professional. They were on time and I was involved in every step of the installation of my egress window. They cleaned up and made sure everything was as it was when they arrived and was very respectful of my home and my family. I will definitely use them again for any future remodeling needs. Way to go Shane & Steve!!!!!

Vanessa D.

Denver, CO

Great work looks wonderful would recommend them over and over

Trish R.

Arvada, CO

Steve showed up on time and was great with communication while working on our egress window project. He took the time to explain different options and make sure everything was exactly how we wanted it. Seamless from start to finish! I highly recommend them!

Tara B.

Littleton, CO

Working with Colorado Native Sons was great, they always kept me up to date with the process and finished the project when they said they would. Great Job! They did such a good job, I referred them to my neighbors.

Joann G.

Aurora, CO

CONTACT US

FREE EGRESS ESTIMATE

Get started with your free estimate

Our Recent Testimonials

Very professional. They were on time and I was involved in every step of the installation of my egress window. They cleaned up and made sure everything was as it was when they arrived and was very respectful of my home and my family. I will definitely use them again for any future remodeling needs. Way to go Shane & Steve!!!!!

Vanessa D.

Denver, CO

Great work looks wounderful would recommend them over and over

Trish R.

Arvada, CO

Steve showed up on time and was great with communication while working on our egress window project. He took the time to explain different options and make sure everything was exactly how we wanted it. Seamless from start to finish! I highly recommend them!

Tara B.

Littleton, CO

Referral for Native Sons Native Sons were impressive in there knowledge, craftsmanship and honesty. They did 2 windows for me that were permitted (the building Inspector even stated that they were some of the best windows he has seen). We did the wood well and the inswing window option, and I couldn't be happier!!

Leon G.

Aurora, CO

Download Our Free Guide

Have Questions About Basement Egress? Colorado Native Sons Egress created an introductory guide that will help Colorado homeowners get started.

Serving

Denver's Front Range and Surrounding Areas

Egress Done Right.
Serving

Colorado Springs and Surrounding Areas

Egress Done Right.
Serving Fort Collins

and Surrounding Areas

Egress Done Right.

CONTACT US

FREE EGRESS ESTIMATE

Get Started With Your Free Estimate

Download Our Free Guide

Have Questions About Basement Egress? Colorado Native Sons Egress created an introductory guide that will help Colorado homeowners get started.