What is an Egress Window?

Ashley Christensen
November 1, 2022

When considering replacing the windows in your home, you make come across some terms that you are unfamiliar with. One that is especially common in regard to residential windows, is that of egress windows. Egress windows are important as they are required in order for a home to meet safety and building codes. In other words, an egress window is a requirement to protect the occupants of the home in the case of an accident, natural disaster fire, or any other unforeseen disaster, where easy and immediate exit from the home may be required. Simply put, egress windows are large enough, as defined by local building codes, for entry or exit in the case of an emergency.


Different types of windows will have different sizing requirements in order to meet the egress standards that allow for exit or entry. Typically, egress widows apply to areas of the home, where people would reside, including bedrooms, and living spaces. Older homes, where basements weren’t initially intended to be used as living spaces, will have small windows located higher up on the wall and do not meet current egress codes. It is important to keep in mind, if your current windows do not meet egress, depending on where you live, you may have to update your windows to meet the current code requirements. 


Egress Window Requirments 

As a general rule, these are the requirements that must be met in order for a window to meet egress requirements. It is important to note, that different states and cities may have different or additional requirements. For the most current and local information, check with your local building inspector's office. 

  • The bottom of the window opening can’t be higher than 44” off the floor
  • The minimum opening area should be 5.7 square feet
  • The minimum opening height is 24”
  • The minimum window opening is 20”
  • An egress window must have a glass area of no less than 8% of the total floor area of the room(s) for which it is servicing. This allows for sufficient natural light. 
  • Egress windows much have an opening area of no less than 4% of the total floor area of the room(s) for which it is servicing. This allows for natural ventilation. 


Advantages of Egress Windows

In addition to the safety that comes with having egress windows, there are additional advantages that improve both the safety and value of a home. Egress windows can: 

  • Increase the value of a home by increasing the overall liveable square footage
  • Provide proper escape plans and routes in the event of an emergency
  • Add comfort by improving the amount of natural lighting

When it comes to installing egress windows, trust the experts at Gordon’s Glass. With years of experience and industry knowledge, they can help you in ordering new windows that will meet egress requirements, to improve the safety and functionality of your home. Call Gordon’s Glass today to schedule a free estimate so you can enjoy your new egress windows for years to come.

Get in touch with us

Serving Northern Utah, including:
Copyright © 2021 Gordons Glass
crossmenuchevron-downarrow-up linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram