Everything You Need to Know About Egress Windows
Here, we answer some common questions and cover everything you need to know about installing egress windows in your home.
What Are the Egress Window Size Requirements in Canada?
The NBCC and OBC size restrictions are the same, meaning that the rules for egress are Canada-wide. According to section 126.96.36.199 of the OBC, an egress window must:
“(b) provide an individual, unobstructed open portion having a minimum area of 0.35 m² with no dimension less than 380 mm, and
(c) maintain the required opening described in Clause (b) without the need for additional support.
(2) Except for basement areas, the window required in Sentence (1) shall have a maximum sill height of 1 000 mm above the floor.”
“(4) Where the sleeping area within a live/work unit is on a mezzanine with no obstructions more than 1 070 mm above the floor, the window required in Sentence (1) may be provided on the main level of the live/work unit provided the mezzanine is not more than 25% of the area of the live/work unit or 20 m2, whichever is less, and an unobstructed direct path of travel is provided from the mezzanine to this window.
(5) Where a window required in Sentence (1) opens into a window well, a clearance of not less than 550 mm shall be provided in front of the window.”
How Much Do they Cost in Ontario?
There are many factors that can play in to the cost of installing an egress window in Ontario. For example, Initial installation may require grading, a drainage system and proper evacuation. During your in-home consultation, a member of the Thermo-Bilt staff will assess your needs and use them as a base for in order to calculate your egress window cost. Depending on your window type, glazing selection, and window size, the cost will change as well.
Do Basement Have to Have Egress Windows?
In a word, YES! All basement windows across Canada must be compliant with the fire code and must be egress-compliant. In fact, when it comes to basements, following egress requirements is especially important. As an area of the home that can often be confining, having a proper escape plan in place is imperative to residents’ health and safety.
The added complication with basement windows, is that they can often be partially-obstructed due to the fact that they are partially or fully below ground. In order to meet egress requirements, your window replacement company will need to determine if any additional structural changes need to be made. In some cases, for example, you may need to build out a window well to accommodate for the height difference between your basement and the ground. If your home was built before egress window requirements were put in place, your professional window installers will need to devise a plan to overcome any extra challenges or road blocks that may come up.
Basement window size requirements are no different from the NBCC’s and OBC’s guide for bedroom window sizes for the rest of the home. As long as you are aware of bedroom window size requirements for the rest of the home, you can assume that the same rules apply to your basement bedrooms. If you’re in need of a reminder, please refer to the chart under “What Are the Egress Window Size Requirements in Canada?”