Most homes today feature a basement, but surprisingly this is also the most neglected living space. According to a study by the Basement Health Association (BHA), over 60% of homeowners say they have never made any effort to improve their basements. This is despite the fact that what happens in the basement greatly affects the rest of the house.
EPA says over 70% of the air you breathe indoors for instance comes from the basement. If the air quality in this room is poor, the entire family will be affected adversely. This is just one reason you need to finish this living space to make it healthier. While there are many other strategies involved in basement finishing, egress window systems should be a priority for many reasons.
What is an Egress Window?
An egress window is designated to provide a safe escape to the house occupants in case of a fire. In older homes, basements did not have this fixture and in case of emergencies fatalities were high. This is the reason the National Building Code for basements was formulated.
Benefits of Installing an Egress Window
If you have finally decided to remodel your basement as a living space, you need to have this fixture installed by a highly qualified contractor. In summary, an egress window offers the following:
- Enhanced safety: With the U.S. Fire Administration indicating that over 4,000 deaths occur in home fires annually, it is important to provide safe exits to mitigate such disasters. A habituated basement poses a lot of risks if there is no such exit, hence the need to install an egress window.
- Increased home value: Home buyers today are looking for safety and security enhancements while buying property. Property appraisals also take into account such additions and your home will have more market value if there is an egress window.
- Aesthetic appeal: Contemporary egress window systems blend athletics and function to give your property an elegant touch. There are many types of windows to choose from and your contractor will help identify one that complements your home’s external facade.
- Added comfort: Every living space needs a touch of comfort. By adding an egress window, you will add natural light that brightens the erstwhile dingy basement.
- Legal compliance: Installing a basement window ensures you comply with the International Residential Code (IRC) 2003, which requires lower level living spaces to provide a safe escape route for emergencies.