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What Are Egress Windows?

An egress window is a window that’s required in specific locations in a building that can be used as an exit point in the event of an emergency that prevents the use of a doorway. To qualify as an egress window, a window must meet certain size and function requirements.

Where Are Egress Windows Required?

Egress windows are required in every bedroom, on any floor of the home, including basements. Code requirements can vary considerably depending on where you live, but typically, homes that pre-date code requirements do not have to have egress windows installed — even if windows are being replaced.

What Are the Size Requirements for Egress Windows?

Egress windows must meet four International Residential Code (IRC) criteria:

  1. The window must have a minimum opening width of 20 inches.
  2. The window must have a minimum opening height of 24 inches.
  3. The window must have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet.
  4. The maximum sill height must be no more than 44 inches above the floor.

The minimum net clear opening refers to the free and clear space that exists when the window has been opened. This is sometimes confused with the glass panel size, but it’s not — it’s the size of the actual opening a person must crawl through.

Egress Window Manufacturers

Our Pick for Egress Windows: Weather Shield

At Quality Window & Door, we like Weather Shield windows for egress windows. Weather Shield offers a variety of styles that meet or exceed the requirements for egress windows, delivering the required safety and versatility with exceptional style and energy efficiency.

Weather Shield windows & doors logo on white background

If you’re looking for a code-compliant egress window with exceptional performance and value, Weather Shield is a great choice. They have dozens of design options and thousands of color and style combinations to give your home unbeatable aesthetics, efficiency, and safety.

Egress Window Installation in MD, VA & DC

If you’re looking for egress windows in the Washington, DC, metro area and want a window replacement estimate, contact the replacement window professionals at Quality Window & Door today or visit one of our showrooms in Maryland or northern Virginia.

Contact us online or call 1-800-370-8751 to request a free in-home replacement window consultation today.

Why Choose Us?

All of our consultants have 10+ years of experience

Learn about how our educational approach makes Quality Window & Door stand out from its competitors.

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