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Egress Windows

 in Denver, Colorado

Egress Windows in Denver, Colorado

Egress Window Codes

Egress window codes were created to provide a safe means of escape from a building, so anything that could hamper that is prohibited. Bars, screens, and grates on an egress window must be easy to open and remove without the use of tools. Any type of window may be used as an egress, but it must provide an opening of at least 22.5 inches wide and 36.5 inches tall. 

Egress codes are often regulated locally, so there may be differences in the specific requirements for escape routes. In general, however, an egress window code requires a window for each bedroom in a home, as well as one in the basement, if it contains livable space. If there are individual bedrooms in the basement, a separate egress window is required for each. 


According to the code, egress windows should be a minimum if 20 inches wide, at least 24 inches high, and have a minimum net clearing opening of 5.7 square feet for anything except a ground-level bedroom. The clearing opening is lowered to 5 square feet for a ground floor bedroom because a ladder isn’t needed to escape.

The sills on egress windows can be no higher than 44 inches from the floor. These dimensions are enforced for safety precautions and easy movement in and out of the windows. 

For basement egress windows, there are also codes that regulate the sizes of the window wells, which is the area surrounding the window on the home’s exterior. The wells must provide 9 square feet of floor space and be a minimum of 36 inches in width and height. A well taller than 44 inches must include steps or a ladder that is permanently attached. The ladders are required to be at least 12 inches wide and not extend more than 3 inches above the window well. 

Most new homes are built to comply with the code recommendations, though homebuyers may want to perform a quick check with the local codes enforcement department for specific details about local regulations. Older homes that were built prior to the adoptions of the code regulations may not meet the code requirements, although in those cases, an egress window code will typically not be enforced unless a home is renovated. Colorado Window Source will do its due diligence to ensure your home windows will meet all codes. As each jurisdiction polices each area differently, we will ensure it follows and passes each of their guidelines. Call us now for more information about vinyl replacement windows in Denver and for egress window installation.