To be on the conservative side, I'd say it's been this way for at least 25
NO. Only if the space is used as living space, then there must be other
means of egress. Stairs/windows/door......pick your choice. I believe
windows have to be no more than 4 ft. off the ground, and at least
2'x4'.... I'm sure someone will come along and give the exact sizing, but
that figure is stuck in my head for some reason.
Matches my memory but may not be that exact number of inches. I remember it
as 'suitable for a person of 4ft5in to be able to egress without having to
drag any furniture over. A built in sort of window-seat was acceptable in
1972-4 in VA. There is also a memory of having to have that window-seat
able to hold up to 300lbs or something like that. Window-seat could not be
obstructed (like, used to hold a 70 gallon fish tank).
Oh! The window size obviously had to be big enough *and* on the other side,
there had to be some way to get down savely to ground level. Since on the
outside this window we adapted wasnt but a foot above ground level, it was
not an issue. We couldnt have any plants though that would block egress.
Inspector quibbled over the tulips but we won that one. We'd have lost had
it been a rose bush I think?
Grin, it does look funny. Its actually 2 separate issues there. 1 was the
height and the 'other' was the load bearing as our window was high enough it
couldnt count as an egress without the 'built in step' (window-seat in our
Think of it as a kid and his mother trying to escape. The kid is 4ft5in and
the momma is pregnant with another one <g>.
Actually if you check, it probably says '2 exits' as in your first query.
One can probably be a window if it's of a certain size and and can be
reached by something built in to use as an exit in an emegency.
Emergency exit would be the reason and quite common to require such. An
older house may not have it but to officially 'upgrade' you have to add
them. That said, it depends on what he means by 'remodel his basement' as
to how far he needs to go.
When redoing a basement once in Virginia, we didnt have to knock any holes
as the back side had several windows within codespc for exits. We did have
to replace one of them so it could be flipped out but that was due to the
huge size of the basement (1,800sqft). Center had staircase to main house,
far back corner had exterior ground level door, and we added the escapable
window along the far back furthest from the door. Built a little 'window
seat' under it (opened for storage) that made that wndow reachable for
egress for a 4.5ft tall person (VA Code then). Using the existing posts, we
separated that far side with the window from stairwell to wall into 3 rooms
and an ajacent bathroom. False walls i guess you would call them as we
didnt mess with the existing posts, just framed around them and left
doorways (2 per room). The 3rd room was a sortof 1 room apartment with
egress on one side to the huge pool table room (had 2 doors to the huge
family room where the window was) and egress on the other side to the rest
of the unfinished basement where the exterior door was. The under stairwell
was made into a walk in closet, and a wall conjoined the bathroom
(mini-kitchen on that wall and sink, bathroom on other side with shower and
a toilet with a sink in the top tank such as you see in Japan).
They made us change one thing for code. We had to add more lights in the
unfinished part as it was now an egress point. We didnt have a wall switch
on the 'bedroom side' so added some lights then put in one of those battery
charger types that go on in a power outage but keep charging when power is
on. Neat huh! Now, we had to go that far because we were truely
'renovating' and clearly making a true 'living space'.
very likely, for escape in a fire. thats what egreess ingress windows
are for. good news once you add the extra access space can be called a
this rule has spread across the US after so many died in basement
fires, Its a excellent rule
Codes Are Online, for Chicago for Rentals two points can be a seperate
area, for residential I do not know but for a house it should be less
stringent for fixing up. I think you have leeway, try a different
At 30 feet, the firemen can put a ladder or you can just jump. They also
make rope ladders you can drop out a window.
At 8 feet below grade and having a heater, maybe an oil tank near you, the
risk is greater. Statistically speaking, basement fires are ranked #1 or
#2. Kitchen fires are right up there also. Am I over reacting? Many years
ago my brother accidentally started a fire in our basement. He had an exit
by a door, no one injured.
Grin, you get a buy-off on older constuction and there are special rules for
2nd floor and above.
How much remodeling is your brother thinking of? That will narrow down
what's needed. BTW, being to 'code' is a big issue on house sales. I can
not technically sell my house as a 4BR because the 4th one is an enclosed
porch and isnt code spec for bedroom. Close but not quite. Issues are
insulation and window type (plexiglass single pane) as well as the floor has
to be raised 1 inch.
Maybe. How does that county define "auxiliary exit"?
When your brother called the county office, what did they tell him?
Oh...wait. He didn't call. He wants to get this information from you, who
got it from a newsgroup.
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