What is the Code for Egress Windows?

pit dug to install egress window

If you are a homeowner in the Hamilton or Burlington area – and your home has a full basement – then you should strongly consider installing egress windows for your basement. Egress windows are simply windows that can be easily opened from the inside without keys or tools. 

Basement egress windows are beneficial for several reasons. First, they allow light into your basement, which makes it nicer for you and your family to spend time in the basement – but even more importantly, they can be used as an emergency exit if necessary.

Ontario Building Code Means of Egress

Because of their importance, it is no surprise that egress windows are heavily regulated by the Ontario Building Code. For example, every bedroom in your home must have an egress window – so if you are planning to add a bedroom or apartment to your basement, it will be necessary to ensure that you have egress windows installed.

According to the building code, egress windows must meet the following criteria:

  • They must be easy to open from the inside without the use of tools.
  • They must open to a minimum area of 0.35 m2.
  • Each dimension of the opening must be at least 380 mm.
  • Must be able to stay open without the need for added support.
  • The sill height cannot be more than one metre (the exception to this rule is egress windows in basements).

For egress windows that have window wells (i.e., egress windows in basements), there are further requirements including:

  • There must be a space of at least 550 mm between the egress window and the window well.
  • If the window includes a sash that swings outward toward the window well, it must not reduce clearance in such a way that it would hinder a safe exit.
  • If you use a window well cover, it must be easily openable from the inside without the use of tools or special knowledge.

Considerations for installing basement egress windows

Suppose you are considering installing egress windows in your basement. In that case, it is important that they are professionally installed to ensure that they comply with the building code and that they will not leak, which could potentially cause damage to your foundation.

At Conterra Foundation, we offer professional installation of basement egress windows, so you won’t ever have to worry about them leaking and ensuring that your yard is properly graded to divert water away from your foundation. We can also provide expert advice – such as which wall(s) to have them installed to give your basement the maximum amount of light.

Whether you are considering egress windows because you want to rent out your basement to earn some extra cash or simply want a safer and more comfortable spot to enjoy with your family, we can help.

Contact Conterra Foundation today.

If you need basement egress window installation in the Burlington or Hamilton area, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.