As to window brand quality, we’ve learned that how a window is installed is as important as the type of window. Meaning, the best quality window will fail if installed wrong, while a low-priced window can perform great if installed correctly.
We have installed several compliant egress window systems and have learned a lot of valuable information. The main concern is that, depending on local codes, the typical basement window may meet egress size requirements but not the height off the floor requirement.
The main 4 items described in the 2006 IRC that will effect your window selection are: Minimum height of 24” Minimum width of 20” Minimum of 5.7. square feet Maximum interior sill height of 44” off the floor In our experiences, the sill of a window as you describe is typically is 60”+ off the floor. I have attached the section of the IRC 2006 that addresses egress code below for reference, but be sure to verify the applicable code in your municipality.
Often when we convert basement space into a finished space we need to remove an existing window, saw cut a larger opening and install a window that meets all the requirements. This is a very specific code and can be somewhat overwhelming, so let someone with knowledge and experience handle this job.
For remodeling and repair services in Metro St. Louis, call Mosby Building Arts at 314.909.1800 or contact them here.