Many homeowners ask about egress cover code requirements. Having a cover over an egress window is both permitted and recommended because it adds extra safety when there is a playground or walkway adjacent to the egress window. There are certain requirements that must be met for egress windows, window wells, and egress window covers before installing an egress window.
Code Requirements for Egress Windows
Egress windows provide an easy means of exiting a home during an emergency. If there is any room in the basement used for sleeping, it must contain at least one egress window that is up to code. What makes things complicated is that if this window is located below ground level, requiring some sort of window well, which almost must meet code requirements. An egress well cover is attached to the top of the well to avoid someone falling into it.
If your window is located below ground level, you will need to install a window well, which almost must meet code requirements. An egress well cover is attached to the top of the well to avoid someone falling into it.
Egress Window Requirements
An egress window located in a basement or other limited-access space must be at least 20-inches wide and 24-inches tall. While it may be one of the various styles, it must provide an opening of at least 5.7 square feet with a bottom of the window no higher than 44 inches from the ground. Finally, it must be accessible to anyone without the use of force.
Egress Window Well Requirements
For basement egress windows, the well must provide enough space to that the window can open freely at the bottom, at least 3×3 feet. If the well is deeper than 44-inches, a permanent ladder or staircase is required. The ladder must be at least 36-inches in length and must extend beyond the window well no less than three and no more than six inches.
Adding an Egress Cover to a Window Well
Although an egress cover is not required for a well, it does add an extra safety feature. The cover must provide the same amount of 5.7 square feet in clearance with an opening a minimum of 20-inches wide. Most important, the well cover must be easy to open so that any child or adult can release the cover without a key or tool.
As long as the egress cover fulfills all of these requirements, it is legal to install it over an egress window well. Certainly, it provides a valuable safety feature in preventing someone from falling into the well.
Contact Jerry’s Waterproofing for Egress Windows Installation
Jerry’s Waterproofing installs egress windows, egress window wells, and egress window well covers for homeowners in the Omaha, Nebraska area, including Western Iowa. We can assure you that your egress window installation, including egress window well covers, will meet all of your state and local code requirements. Contact us today!