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  • Nick Baynick

Understanding What Makes Egress Windows Special...

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

We talk a lot about Egress Windows but many people do not know the true definition of Egress and why you would need one installed.

That is why we put together this short read to help you understand the true value of an Egress Window and why not having one may be putting your family in danger while breaking the law.

What are Egress Windows?

First, let’s look at the definition of ‘Egress.’ It is defined as the action of going out of or leaving a place. This is an important distinction from other windows that are installed in your home.

The Egress Windows have critical guidelines for size, shape, and location. These windows are specifically designed to be an escape route out of your homes basement or lower level. They utilize a stair shape for a safe way to exit during the time of an emergency or disaster.

They also require certain measurements to be up to the code, such as:

  • Minimum Width of the opening cannot be less than 20”

  • Minimum height of opening cannot be less than 24”

  • The opening must be 5.0 Sq Ft on the first level installation and 5.7 Sq ft for a lower level.

  • Distance to the floor cannot be longer than 44 inches.

All of these requirements MUST be met to be considered an egress window and to follow the guidelines required by law.

So, What Does the Law Say About Egress Windows?

According to the International Residential Code (section R310), any habitable basement shall have no less than one operable emergency escape and rescue opening.“

Since an Egress Window serves as an escape route from your basement, they are required by law to be installed in every habitable basement or lower level. This is especially enforced in rooms used for sleep. 

This law is designed to ensure that you have a safe escape alternative for your family and allow firefighters to have a clear entrance into the basement. If they do not have a way to egress, these rooms can become extremely dangerous in the case of a natural disaster or fire.

Overall, every room that is used for living or sleeping is required to have a way to egress, such as:

  • Basements

  • Bedrooms

  • Game rooms

  • Offices or Dens

  • Shared Family Rooms

  • Media Rooms

  • etc. 

Reasons to Have an Egress Window in Your Basement

Aside from following the law, there are many other benefits of having Egress Windows installed in your basement.

Natural Lighting

Adding an Egress Window to your basement or living areas can have a huge impact on the levels of natural light. Because of the nature of these windows, they are designed to have a clear path to the outdoors, which allows your windows to light up your rooms! Additionally, natural light is much healthier for you, especially in dark rooms like the basement.

Energy Cost Savings

On top of providing additional light, Egress Windows can help bring down energy costs. This is done in two ways:The new windows will reduce the amount of time you will need to run your homes lighting system, allowing you to save money on the energy used.Egress Windows insulate your home better than traditional windows which can help reduce the amount of heat needed in those rooms.

Increase Home Value

Since Egress Windows are required by law, having them installed can increase the value of your home! They also have beautiful window options to compliment any home’s architecture.

Safety Concerns

Lastly, Egress Windows is the only way to ensure that your family is safe in these types of rooms. Don’t wait to get your egress windows installed, it could mean sacrificing the safety of the ones whom you love.


At Baynick’s, we specialize in Egress Window installation so you can get the windows you have always wanted and trust that our team of professionals will have it done right the first time! 

Put the safety of your family and friends first. 

Call us today and we’ll help you determine if a Wellcraft Egress window system or custom built solution is right for you, (414) 380-5656.

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