So... classic story of "measure twice, cut once".
I installed an egress window well myself. The hole for the window has
not been cut (I am subcontracting that). So for the past week I have
been digging, and I finally bolted the well to the foundation and
However, now that I measure twice, I see I might be a couple inches
short of the 36x36 requirement for clear opening in front of the
It's more like 36" deep by 34" wide.
How serious are the inspectors? Do they vary?
Oh yeah. I've recently had three new egress windows installed in
bedrooms, replacing old ones that were not up to egress code.
Inspector didn't measure anything. Insisted on checking every bedroom
in the house (even ones with no new windows) for smoke alarms, but
certainly did not measure any windows.
In your case, I'm guessing most would turn a blind eye to the missing
2". Would probably take a harder line though if your window was too
small by the same margin. My bet is you get away with it, and 2" is
not enough to worry about in terms of safety. However, every city and
every inspector is different. Two years ago I had windows and siding
replaced on back and sides of my house. Inspector was here for no
more than 10 minutes and passed everything just fine. When we had the
front of the house done last year, different guy came and mistakenly
inspected the whole house, including back. He raised about half a
dozen issues, all of them trivial, and in some cases, plain wrong. So
yeah, luck of the draw my friend, so good luck.
Thanks - the window and well themselves are generously sized. So
hopefully things work out well. If they don't, I'll have to re-cut the
hole super wide, and shift the entire window over. Not fun. But better
than re-digging and re-mounting the well offset.
How well have you gotten along with him so far? If you have a shitty
defensive attitude, you can bet he'll go after 1/16" under. If he is an OK
guy and everything seems to be done correctly he may never measure. There
there is always the inspector on a power trip just looking to pick nits.
Talking about 'egress' inspection ................... did the OP get
out of it?
Also, if asked, try saying, "But knowing the requirement I ordered a
36 inch window well, and that's what THEY provided!
BTW who is it around here who posts "If there is some nit to pick,
some nit-wit will pick it".
Maybe there should be a 'Nit-index'. Ranging from zero for something
that makes complete sense from a safety viewpoint to say ten for
something that makes no sense whatever and is just the personal
opinion/preference of some inspector!
I suspect code inspectors vary wildly....in my locale, on most days, you
can't get them to enforce codes unless it is a cosmetic issue. On other
days, not so....we had an inspection of seawall work "red tag" for two
days because there was water (high tide) in the hole prepared for
pouring concrete for tiebacks...this was afternoon of one day. Cont.
called the inspector to return the following morning when there was no
water in the hole. The guy didn't show up for another day. Always
wondered if the crew had another job to work on or whether an entire day
So...you have choices, the best being to correct the situation. Tough
choice, but I'd be tempted to call the code enforcement office, speak
with a supv., and ask the question. Got a building permit?
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