Egress window installation has become a very popular renovation in Ontario . A great deal of the popularity has been because many municipalities have legalized the creation of basement apartments. Ontario building code requires all basement suites to have two means of egress. (some exceptions check with local building department). If there is only one existing exit out of the apartment then an egress window may be necessary to achieve the two exits rule. Once again check with your local building department to determine whether you will in fact require a second means of egress before committing to the installation of an egress window.
Egress windows can tend to be quite costly to install due to the specialized equipment required for concrete cutting the foundation wall and the incidental expenses of installing supporting structural elements. In addition there is typically a lot of time and labour involved with cutting and removal of concrete from your site. Disposal costs can be significant also.
So you have checked with the building department and they have confirmed that yes you will need to install a second exit or egress. That can be a door or a window but typically most will opt for a window due to costs and practicality issues. So the next question will likely be " where should the egress window be located within the apartment?" Many people mistakenly think that the egress window needs to be installed inside a bedroom but that is a myth. The egress window can be located within any room within the basement apartment. We suggest locating the egress window on an outside wall which is highest above grade so as to eliminate the need to excavate the earth around the foundation wall where the window will be located. If your lucky and you have a raised foundation and or outside grading is favourable then no excavation will be required. Lucky you!
Most likely however excavation below grade will be necessary. what needs to be done is excavation all the way to the footings , installation of drainage pipe into the weeping bed, back filled with properly draining material and installation of an approved window well to retain the dirt out of the well and to facilitate easy escape should the need arise. The widow selected for the egress will need to have a free clear space of minimum 3.8 square feet. The free clear width needs to be at least 15 inches, height 18 inches. Again these are minimums required but bigger is certainly better in an emergency situation.Several styles of widow can be used providing the above guidelines are observed. Most common are the double slider tilt window, the casement window, the hopper style window. All three have been used successfully in egress window installation applications.
At Innovative Home Improvements in Barrie we have several options for the window well system. Once we install the window well, drainage system and the new window then we will also need to install a proper lid for the window well to let light in but keep rain out. If you are in need of an egress window installation in Barrie, Collingwood ,Orillia or Wasaga Beach contact us and we will arrange for an on site consultation and estimate.
Q Do you only do egress windows in Barrie?
A No, we work from GTA all the way up to Barrie, Collingwood and Orillia. We are based in Barrie.
Q How long does it take to install basement egress windows?
A If no excavation is required then a complete install can typically be done in one day. If excavation, window well , drainage system is needed then count on two to three days start to finish.
Q Once the window opening is cut out then what will support the floor and brick above?
A We only install to meet building code and that will require the installation of an interior header and an exterior lentil if your house is brick or masonry.
Q Will my house be filled with dust due to the concrete cutting?
A Yes! Just kidding! Actually the answer is no it will not be filled with dust. We use specialized equipment which virtually eliminates that issue.
Q Will the saws used for cutting the concrete cause me to die of carbon monoxide poisoning ?!!!!
A No worries, we promise you will not be exposed to any noxious or deadly gases due to using our saws.
Q Are the egress windows finish trimmed on the inside and outside.
A Yes absolutely, the interior jam extensions and interior casing will be installed prior to our leaving the site. The exterior will be finished professionally with aluminum cladding and exterior caulking.
Q What style of window should I use in my new egress windows and how big should they be?
A Three styles are popular and practical one being the casement window and the other being the french tilt double slider window, the third being the hopper style window. All three meet egress window requirements. As far as the size goes most egress windows are two feet wide by three feet high as a general rule. The building code requires unencumbered free space of 3.8 square feet or greater.