What are Different Types of Egress Windows?

Egress WindowThe different types of egress windows are windows designed for you to safely exit rooms in your home during an emergency. These windows are required for certain locations in a home. All newly built homes and homes that have been recently remodeled are required to have at least one egress window installed in rooms designed for sleeping. In order to be considered an egress window, a window has to meet certain standards. These standards include the size, opening area and the distance from the floor. Egress windows are required to open no less than 24 inches high and be no less than 20 inches wide. Their opening must also measure 5.7 square feet. Beyond that, there are no limitations on the design of an egress window. While the primary reason for these windows is safety, they also have the benefit of improving home value by adding more legal bedrooms.

The Different Types of Egress Windows

Newly built homes most commonly have four types of windows that are used for egress. The total size of each of these window-types will vary due to their different methods of operation. The different types of egress windows are:

• Double Hung Windows

These windows have two overlapping sashes. They overlap in the middle of the window with the bottom sash sliding upward in order to open the window. For a double hung window to serve as an egress window, the bottom pane must open at least 24 inches from top to bottom and be no less than 34 inches from side to side. The whole window will therefore have to be at least 48 inches high. Because of the size requirements, this type of window will not be suitable for most basement situations.

• Sliding Windows

Sliding windows operate like sliding doors in that they move side to side along a track. Their extra glass makes them especially useful in a basement setting since they let in more light than other window types; however, they do take up a lot of space. In order to meet the egress window standard, sliding windows will have to be at least 48 inches wide and 48 inches high, according to House Logic.

• Casement Windows

These are side-hinged windows that can be used as egress windows without taking up too much wall space. Their low space requirements make them ideal for use in basements. These windows can have features that allow them to be opened wider than normal in the event of an emergency. These features include a special operator arm or a standard arm that allows for wider opening. These can be used as egress windows as long as the “push here” label is left intact on the window. While double hung and sliding windows offer slightly less than the whole pane area for egress, casement windows offer close to the whole pane area.

It is important to remember that regardless of which type of window you choose for egress, it must be no more than 44 inches off the ground. Note also that if any of the different types of egress windows is located in a basement, it must have egress wells that provide space to exit.

Related Resource: Hopper Window