Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Basement Windows

For one, basements are often stuffy and feel close or crowded. Ventilation is important to basements in order to make them a livable area. Basement windows play a big part in ventilation; just because they may not let much usable light in, they provide another valuable service. Basement windows can also help circulate air, and provide a portal for the entrance in and exit out of air that is being circulated. Without this ventilation many people would find their basements depressing and confining, and their use would be limited.

Another valuable function of a basement window is as a means of entrance or exit from the house should situation prove necessary. Because of this use there are certain specification that must be met when selecting basement windows. For one, basement windows are not like the other windows in your home, so do not be fooled into thinking you can just get the same windows for every space in your home. Basement windows are specially designed for installation in masonry foundation walls. Although they are, generally speaking, relatively small in size compared to most of the vast array of windows available, it is important to select replacement windows for your basement that meet the egress standards of local codes when the windows will be installed in a finished basement. So what are these standards or size, etc.? According to the International Residential Code, an egress window must be at least 24 in. wide and 20 in. high with a net clear opening of at least 5.7 sq. ft. to allow occupants to escape in an emergency or to allow a fully outfitted firefighter to enter from the outside. While this may seem like a rather large space for a basement window, should your house ever catch fire, and a firefighter need enter through a basement window, you will be grateful for such regulations.

Other regulations for basement windows include: Regulations for venting: as discussed, basement windows are great sources for venting. However, when it comes to basement windows, it needs to either be able to vent, or not. Venting configuration regulations say that if you want to use the window for ventilation it needs to have venting capabilities OR it has to be stationary, which means non-operating.

Height restrictions and regulations: There are two regulations for basement windows, height and width, and are based on the nominal height and width of windows. Nominal height refers to the measurement across the longest side of the unit (from top to bottom). This measurement is expressed in inches, and rounded to the nearest full inch. Nominal Width on the other hand refers to the measurement across the shortest side of the unit (left to right), and is also expressed in inches and rounded to the nearest full inch.

And last but not least are the jamb regulations. Jamb depth means the measurement of the width of the frame of the unit from the inside edge to the outside edge, and like nominal height and width is expressed in inches.

Different areas have various regulations, so to find the regulations for your valuable basement windows so that you can meet requirements, ventilate properly, and have safety issues covered, contact a local basement window supplier.

Your basement windows do not just have to be functional. Many windows that are decorative can meet the safety regulations set forth. To give your basement windows a unique twist, try stained glass or etched glass. Because basement windows do not allow much light in anyway, it should not change the lighting configuration of the room.

(Source: Dan Calderwood) Back to Denver Window Information

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