Four Reasons Why You Need Egress Windows in Your Basement

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When it comes to interior design, egress exits refer to the openings in your home that could be used in case of an emergency. An egress window is an easily accessible window that can serve as an emergency exit for a below-ground living space. They are typically paired with a ladder or steps for a quick and easy escape. Here at Smart Foundation Systems in Kansas City, we have egress windows that can be tailored to fit your needs. Learn more here about why we’re different than our competitors. 

The Law Requires Egress Exits

A fire or other dire situation can block doors and stairways. An egress exit provides an additional option if needed. That’s why there are specific laws every residency must abide by. These codes and regulations can be daunting. However, they are in place to ensure you and your family are safe. 

For example, the International Building Code states: “basements, habitable attics, and every sleeping room shall have at least one operable emergency escape.”

You need a means of escape in a basement for two reasons. First, this allows an exit in case of an emergency. Second, it provides access for emergency workers to enter the premises in full protective gear.  

The code receives an update every three years. Check with your local building department to determine which version of the law is enforceable in your area. 

You can find more information about Smart Foundation’s egress windows here

It Raises Property Value

Adding rooms can significantly raise your home’s property value. Installing an egress window in your basement grants you the option to convert your basement into a bedroom. Having an extra bedroom can also be very beneficial for any house guests you might be hosting. It provides your visitors with some additional privacy, and you don’t have to stress out about not having enough room.

Specific Egress Window Requirements 

 Depending on your zip code, the requirements of an egress exit vary. Most of the time, a window is your most suitable option. Generally speaking, the requirements are as follows:

  • The retreat must have a net clear opening of 5.7 square feet, at a minimum. If you are not aware, a net clear opening refers to the free space when the window is open. It doesn’t apply to the opening size or the glass panel size. It pertains to the actual opening a person can crawl through. Code officials want the exit to be large enough so emergency workers can safely move through the window in case of an emergency. 
  • The opening height and width must be at least 24 inches by 20 inches, respectively.
  • The bottom of the “clear opening” has to be within 44 inches of the floor.
  • The window must be fully functional without keys or tools required for entry and exit. 

Healthy Airflow

An egress window increases air ventilation, which is extremely important for your health. A quality ventilation system throughout your home can reduce the risk of several health issues. These include asthma, allergies, and headaches.

When the air inside can’t mix with outdoor air, indoor pollutants can severely affect your home’s air quality. Dust and other irritants can trigger particular allergic reactions. When there is healthy airflow in your house, you will reduce the triggers of these and many other common respiratory problems. 

Order with Smart Foundation Systems

Escape systems might be a home safety requirement, but you don’t have to sacrifice your basement’s appeal to comply with code! You can build egress windows to suit your tasteful sensibilities and decor. The built-in steps Smart Foundation Systems has to offer are subtle and unobtrusive, so your living space’s aesthetic doesn’t have to suffer. We also have a wide range of window treatments perfect for egress windows, from shutters to stained glass to light draperies.

Take a look and see what we can offer here at Smart Foundation Systems Kansas City.  Contact us today for a quote!

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