Ready to convert that old, dark basement into a bright, inviting area for your family to enjoy? Basement remodels are popular, convenient ways for Detroit and Ann Arbor homeowners to increase their available living space.
A finished basement can be turned into a bedroom for older children or aging parents. It can also serve as a game room or even a space that can be rented out. But the best way to make that area of your home usable is to ensure it is brightly lit and safe—and that’s where installation of egress windows comes in.
What are egress windows—and why do you need them in your basement? Read on to learn more about how your home can benefit from these essential safety windows.
What Egress Windows Do for Your Basement
This style of window is intentionally manufactured to be large and easy to open, so that they can be used for exiting a room. They’re required these days for new homes, and so you’re likely to need them installed if you do any basement renovations.
Egress windows provide many advantages that add great value to your home.
Makes Your Home Safer
Egress windows provide a secondary exit route in case of a home emergency. They are essential for a remodeled basement, where access to the room—usually by a staircase—may be limited during an event such as a fire.
Since many remodeling projects are designed to turn a basement into a living space, it’s important to plan for more than one means of escape should the unthinkable happen and that exit route is needed.
Brings Your Home Up to Code
Older basements, especially those built prior the 1940s and 1950s, often have windows that are very small compared to today’s standards. Building codes have changed, and basements are now required to have egress windows that open widely enough for an adult to easily fit through.
This means they must open at least 24 inches high and at least 20 inches wide, and be no more than 44 inches above the floor, so that homeowners can use them as an escape route and firefighters can use them as an entry point.
Gives You More Natural Light
Turning a basement into a living space means thinking about ways to make the room appealing to stay in. Whether it’s going to be used as a bedroom, a man cave, a hobby room, or an entertainment area, your basement will benefit from having as much lighting as possible.
Egress windows are great for this purpose. Their large size can bring in a lot more sunlight than smaller, older windows. The added light can make the room more homey and brighter.
Provides Better Ventilation
Fresh air is especially useful in a basement. Ample ventilation is always welcome in a room, and in a basement, it creates a feeling of comfort and spaciousness. In addition, adequate ventilation helps prevent the room from feeling stuffy or smelling musty.
Increases Resale Value
Today’s home buyers appreciate houses that are up to date with the latest amenities. A remodeled property means buyers don’t have to budget for major upgrades right after moving in. And a lovely, modern basement with egress windows is an advantage when you’re ready to place your home on the market.
In addition, a finished basement with proper egress windows can qualify as added living space, increasing your home’s square footage and boosting its overall value.
Go with Pros for Your Egress Window Installation
While it may be tempting to think about installing new windows as a DIY project, it’s challenging to do so—especially when it comes to a basement remodel. Basement windows are complex and require professionals for a proper installation that is up to code.
Requirements for your basement egress windows include:
Ensuring the Proper Dimensions
Your egress windows must provide an opening that is at least 5.7 square feet. The sill must be less than four feet off the ground. Building codes even include requirements for how much glass space your egress windows must offer, and how much ventilation they provide.
Addressing Basements that Are Below Ground Level
Many basement rooms extend beneath the surface, and that makes window installation even more complicated. To provide proper room for escape, plus air and sunlight access, a well at least 36 inches wide by 36 inches long must be dug underneath the window frame. A ladder or steps may even need to be installed so you can climb from the window to the surface outside your home in case of emergency.
Choosing the Right Window Style
You’ll need to select the proper type of window so it performs the tasks required of it. Casement and sliding windows are popular, effective options. You’ll need to be able to easily remove screens, grilles, and bars from inside without a key or tools. And the window sash must not impede the window from opening completely.
A pro team of windows experts will guide you to the choices that best fit your needs and satisfy building codes. They’ll ensure no details are missed, so you get egress windows that add the value and safety you need.
Upgrade Your Windows and Love the Results
Whether you’re remodeling a basement or you are looking to improve your overall home lifestyle, replacement windows are an excellent way to add value to your property. New windows boost your curb appeal, bring in greater natural lighting, enhance home safety and provide an excellent return on investment.
For over 25 years, John McCarter Construction has helped over 10,000 homeowners around the Detroit, Michigan area enjoy beautiful home exterior renovations. Discover how our windows replacement services can provide you with a truly low-maintenance home you’ll love for years to come.